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Giants vs. Dodgers: Giants lose series, get ready for NLDS

San Francisco fell 5-1 on Wednesday, but now look ahead to the first round of the playoffs and the Cincinnati Reds.

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Giants fall short in season finale

The San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers were looking to close out their regular seasons in style Wednesday night as Clayton Kershaw made his last start of the year for L.A. And in the end Kershaw and the Dodgers proved too much, taking their last game of the year, 5-1.

San Francisco got on the board first with an RBI groundout from Buster Posey, who locked up the NL batting title this evening with an 0-for-2 night to finish the year with a .336 average. That would be all the Giants could muster against Clayton Kershaw, who tossed eight innings of three-hit ball along with three walks and eight strikeouts, and even helped himself with an RBI single.

Los Angeles took the lead in the sixth after Adrian Gonzalez's RBI single extended his hitting streak to 15 games, while Alex Castellanos and Juan Rivera's homers in the eighth off of Jean Machi would put the game out of reach. It was Castellanos' first major league home run.

Ryan Vogelsong was outstanding in his five innings of work, allowing one unearned run and seven strikeouts. Marco Scutaro finished the regular season with a 20-game hit streak after his 1-for-3 night.

San Francisco will now head home to prepare for the NLDS matchup with the Cincinnati Reds, starting on Saturday evening at AT&T Park.


Posey clinches NL batting title

After missing the majority of the 2011 season with injury, San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey came back with a vengeance in 2012, clinching the National League batting title on Wednesday and perhaps the NL Most Valuable Player award as well.

Buster was pulled early in the Giants matchup with the Los Angeles Dodgers, finishing 0-2 with a .336 batting average for the season. Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen was his closest competitor, going 1-3 against the Atlanta Braves to conclude the year with a .327 average.

Along with a .408 OBP, 24 home runs, 103 RBI and a 27 percent caught stealing percentage, Buster Posey is making a very strong case for National League MVP, especially with his play in the second half, as he has a .388 average after the All-Star break. That's not to mention helping his team go 48-27 after the break while the Giants lost Melky Cabrera.

Along with Posey and McCutchen, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is a leading candidate to win the MVP this year as well.


It's set- The Giants take on the Reds in the NLDS

The San Francisco Giants will play the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 2012 playoffs.


San Francisco not resting for playoffs

The Los Angeles Dodgers go out in their regular season finale against the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday with little opportunity for climactic drama. Knocked out of the playoff race a game prior, the Dodgers will finish the season with Clayton Kershaw (13-9) on the mound and a long offseason on the horizon.

The Giants (94-67) will counter with Ryan Vogelsong on the mound. He's simply looking to pad his 14-9 record and 3.46 ERA.

Both teams will go with pretty standard lineups. One notable change is Tim Federowicz starting at catcher for the Dodgers (85-76) in place of A.J. Ellis. Federowicz has only played in two games this season.

San Francisco Giants

1. Angel Pagan CF
2. Marco Scutaro 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval 3B
4. Buster Posey C
5. Hunter Pence RF
6. Xavier Nady LF
7. Brandon Belt 1B
8. Joaquin Arias SS
9. Ryan Vogelsong P

Los Angeles Dodgers

1. Mark Ellis 2B
2. Andre Ethier RF
3. Matt Kemp CF
4. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
5. Hanley Ramirez SS
6. Shane Victorino LF
7. Luis Cruz 3B
8. Tim Federowicz C
9. Clayton Kershaw P


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Barry Zito has earned his spot on the playoff roster, but where does he fit in best?


Are the 2012 A's the 2010 Giants doppelganger?

Some striking homogeneity between these two Bay Area ball clubs.


A's and Rangers still tied on final day

The Oakland A's are tied with the Texas Rangers as the two teams face off for the division title on Tuesday afternoon. Both teams still have a shot at the best record in the American League and home field advantage throughout the playoffs, as they are one game behind the New York Yankees and tied with the Baltimore Orioles.

The loser of the A's and Rangers season finale will play in a one-game playoff on Friday against either Baltimore or New York for the chance to advance to the division series. The Orioles face the Rays and the Yankees play the Red Sox on Tuesday. If New York wins, they clinch the AL East and home field advantage.

The Giants have no scenarios in their last game, as they clinched the division long ago and are locked in to the third seed in the National League playoffs. San Francisco is still waiting to see who they will face in the postseason, as the Reds and Nationals come into the last day tied for the best record.

For complete standings, head to S.I.'s MLB standings page.


Giants eliminate Dodgers

The San Francisco Giants didn't make up any ground during Tuesday's 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. They probably didn't pop any champagne, or don any new hats; but they eliminated their arch rivals from the playoffs in their house, and it doesn't get much sweeter than that.

Give credit to the Dodgers for a valiant effort this season. They made some big changes and should be a difficult team to beat next season. Though manager Don Mattingly could be to to blame for their late collapse this year, making some critical errors in Tuesday's game alone.

Mattingly decided to intentionally walk Angel Pagan in fifth to get to Marco Scutaro, who just so happened to be on a 19-game hitting streak. Scutaro preceded to hit an RBI double, eventually proving to be the deciding run of the Dodgers season. Why pass over a cold Pagan (.125, 3-24 last seven days) for a hot Scutaro (.333, 8-24)?

Dee Gordon came in as a pinch hitter for Andre Either with one out in the bottom of the ninth, though Mattingly doesn't send the runner as Bobby Abreu pops out. Mattingly then decides to gamble his last out of season with a stolen base, with Gordon barely making it.

The season is long but can sometimes come down to the little things in the end. Unfortunately that was the case for Los Angeles on Tuesday night.


Giants win 4-3, eliminate Dodgers

The San Francisco Giants eliminated the rival Los Angeles Dodgers from playoff contention Tuesday when the Giants won 4-3. The Dodgers were alive for the final wild card slot, but needed to win both of their final two games and have the St. Louis Cardinals lose their final game.

Barry Zito got the win for the Giants, allowing two runs over six innings. He also struck out six while walking just one, completing his strong close to the 2012 regular season. Zito allowed three earned runs or less in each of his final five starts of the season. Sergio Romo got the final three outs, recording his 14th save of the season.

Buster Posey got the Giants on the board first with a solo home run in the second inning, Posey's 24th home run of the season. After the Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the second inning, Joaquin Arias put San Francisco back on top with a solo home run in the third inning. The Giants added two more runs on two-run double by Marco Scutaro in the fifth inning.

The win is the Giants 10th of the season against the Dodgers. The two teams will wrap up the regular season on Wednesday with first pitch scheduled for 4:15 p.m. PT.


Giants vs. Dodgers starting lineups

Here are the starting lineups for Tuesday night's game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Barry Zito faces off with Chris Capuano.


Barry Zito starts vs Dodgers on Tuesday

The San Francisco Giants will play the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium in the second game of their three-game series.

The Giants dropped the first game against their rivals in the final series of the regular season, 3-2, on Monday. The Dodgers broke the 2-2 tie in the ninth inning when Elian Herrera reached on an infield single and Hanley Ramirez scored. The win kept the Dodgers' playoff hopes alive. The Giants have already won the NL West.

On Tuesday, the Giants will start Barry Zito (14-8, 4.19 ERA) while the Dodgers will send Chris Capuano (12-11, 3.69 ERA) to the hill. Zito has been hot in his last 10 starts, going 6-0. Zito finished September 4-0 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts, including a 4-0 win over the Dodgers on Sept. 9 at AT&T Park. Zito is 2-2 with a 2.55 ERA in four starts against the Dodgers this season. Capuano is just 2-6 with a 5.25 ERA in his last 12 games. Against the Giants, Capuano is 0-3 with a 4.44 ERA in his last four starts.

Game Information

Game Time: 7:10 p.m. PT

TV: CSN Bay Area

Venue: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA

Season Series: The teams have split last four games overall, but the Giants lead 9-7.


Matt Cain officially starting game one of playoffs

Matt Cain is now officially playoff opening pitcher for the San Francisco Giants.


Tim Lincecum will get his postseason chance

Though Lincecum has struggled this season, he will still figure into the Giants playoff rotation heading into their NL Divisional series


Matt Cain makes last regular season start

The San Francisco Giants begin their last series before the postseason against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, with both teams looking to conclude on a high note at Dodger Stadium.

The Giants are trying to stay sharp heading into the second-season, while the Dodgers are two games back of the Cardinals in the wild card race, needing some wins and some help to make the playoffs.

Matt Cain (16-5, 2.77 ERA) will take hte bump for San Francisco, who's won 14 of his 18 starts on the road this season. He is 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA over his last eight starts versus the Dodgers, and he's 2-0 with a 2.29 ERA in his past six outings at Chavez Ravine. He tossed seven scoreless against the Diamondbacks in his last start on Wednesday, leading to a 6-0 win.

The Dodgers will counter with Aaron Harang (10-10, 3.68), who had no-hitter into the fifth inning of his start on Wednesday against the Padres. He lastied just one out more in their 8-2 win. Harang is 4-1 with a 2.15 ERA in his past seven starts against San Francisco.

First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PT with coverage on CSN Bay Area and KNBR 680 AM.


Giants conclude regular season against Dodgers

These long-time rivals get one more crack at each other at Dodger Stadium.

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