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HumpLinks: Giants fold. Cubs roll. Dodgers hold.

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The Giants ran smack into their own Achilles heel, watching their bullpen collapse one time too many as the Cubs advance to the NLCS. That just leaves one final game between the Dodgers and Nationals to set up The Final Four.

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John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Well, we now leave behind the San Francisco Giants. I'm going to miss them. It has been a great series with the Cubs. I'm not sure that the Dodgers are up to that level of fun against Chicago, but maybe the Nationals are. And wouldn't that make us all a little happier?

Speaking of the Giants: Conor Gillaspie. Whaddaya' goin' to do?

Gillaspie played 17 games for the Angels at the back end of the 2015 season. In that time he fetched 13 hits and drove in 9 runs. He even had a home run. Playing 3B for the Giants, in this post-season he has been in 4 whole games so far. 4 hits, 5 RBI and a home run. He is batting .357 against the best pitching the Chicago Cubs have to offer. This isn't about what might have been had we retained Gillaspie. Over the entirety of 2016 he was little other than replacement value. No, this is about that rare thing that happens in the playoffs, when some average Joe (and we know how average) clusters up some luck at precisely the right time, even into the teeth of the first +100mph pitch he'd seen in his MLB career. And a legend is born. A Bucky Dent. A David Freese. A David Eckstein. A Joe Panik. A Conor Gillaspie.

Speaking of heroes, this weird thing they do over in the National League, where they force their pitchers to take turns swinging the bat, is also becoming a thing of legend. We American League lovers are never going to live this down. So I did some tallying. In this postseason NL pitchers are batting .190 with 17 strikeouts and 16 LOBsters. They do have a couple of home runs and 8 RBI's. Yeah. Totally fun. Maybe that's why they have used 89 pitchers in all those games so far. Because having pitchers pitch is so much fun.

By the way. I have noticed that the Giants' really suck at the closer position. I wonder if anybody else has noticed that? Giants fan can keep his lame sense of humor. And his goat. Because the evil SFG Even Year Curse is now dead. Cubs advance. Dodgers and Nats are in for a Game 5 for-all-the-marbles showdown on Thursday.

Have more Playoff Links:

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2016 PLAYOFFS ON DECK

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Everywhere In Baseball

Arizona Fall League: Hey, we have some interesting baseball things a goin' on in Arizona, too! Tim Tebow is down there, did ya hear? He went 0 for 3 with 3 infield groundouts. Credit to Tebow for putting wood on the ball in live competition. And, sure enough, a fan in the stands collapsed with a seizure and Tebow was there to comfort him. Say what you will, but the headline stories do have a way of tracking this dude down...But, hey, he also has a way of giving us great photo opps! Into a beer ad, no less!!........But our kids did much better. Taylor Ward went 2 for 2 with 3 RBI's, and Mike Mermosillo was 2 for 3 and 2 runs scored...........

Big Red: Kole Calhoun underwent some off season surgery, repairing a "bilateral core muscle injury". Folks, there really is no need to to be so circumspect. It's a hernia. It happens. It's over. He'll be ready to go in plenty of time..........

Tal's Hill coming down..........

The Dodgers are getting absolutely hosed in home game scheduling. Not that I weep for them, but if anyone truly needs specific evidence of east coast bias, this would be it...........

We Angels fans need not be foolish about all this, public money is still being stolen to buy billionaires their business playgrounds...........

Why would a Noah Syndergaard not do a simple cleanup of his throwing elbow while he still has a functioning arm and a lot of time to recuperate? It's not it's going to heal itself..........

We all have our methods of creating mojo. Yours probably don't work. Mine don't, either. That's why I use #3..............

Oooh. This could be a great winter read. Baseball's Most Baffling MVP Ballots. I found this review up on The Mothership. I'm ordering mine tonight. Or maybe I should wait and give my family something to get exited about on a Christmas list..........

For some rookies, next year will be Groundhog Day. They didn't exceed their game limit and get to be rookies all over again in 2017..........

Bud Black, not making the final cut in Atlanta, has set his sights on Colorado. Given the same choice, I'd choose a life in Colorado, too..........

Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody gets to do it by showboating on national TV, like Joc Pederson did yesterday..........

Here we go, with the Indians reaching the ALCS in this millennium, we are now entering into the larger dialog about mascots. We start with a call to eliminate Chief Wahoo..............Cleveland has already started to have issues with the media, being Cleveland and all, but things started with Pedro Martinez and his war whoop.............The primary Toronto Blue Jays broadcast play-by-play announcer, Jerry Howarth, won't be using the team name "Indians" during his coverage...........

Mark Trumbo is finding out that having one brilliant skill might not be sufficient to find a permanent home in Major League Baseball............

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