Nats' win means Giants will face Dusty's Reds in NLDS

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Nats' win means Giants will face Dusty's Reds in NLDS

LOS ANGELES -- The Washington Nationals were kind enough to win Wednesday afternoon, clinch the top seed and make the playoff pairings official:

The Giants will play the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Division Series, beginning Saturday at 6:37 p.m. at AT&T Park. The Giants will send Matt Cain against right-hander Johnny Cueto. The Reds are expected to pitch right-hander Bronson Arroyo in Game 2 on Sunday and right-hander Mat Latos when the series shifts to Cincinnati for Game 3 on Tuesday.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy still hasn't announced his rotation past Cain, but Madison Bumgarner remains the odds-on favorite to start Game 2, with a tough choice between Tim Lincecum's past success and Barry Zito's present success in Game 3.

This is setting up to be a heavy weekend for Reds manager Dusty Baker, who has been away from the team after suffering a minor stroke. He's expected to return to the bench for the postseason, and now his club will open at AT&T Park -- a place where he has a lot of memories.

Giants fans might have scratched that World Series itch in 2010, but Baker is still seeking his first as a manager.

Heading down to the clubhouse now to collect some thoughts about the Reds. The Giants have their usual lineup against a lefty as they try to beat Clayton Kershaw for the fourth (!!) time this season and finish up with 95 wins overall.

Pagan CF, Scutaro 2B, Sandoval 3B, Posey C, Pence RF, Nady LF, Belt 1B, Arias SS, Vogelsong RHP.

Krukow: Melancon can help develop Law, Strickland into closers

Krukow: Melancon can help develop Law, Strickland into closers

Mark Melancon is the Giants' new closer.

On Tuesday morning, Mike Krukow broke down San Francisco's latest acquisition.

"Number one, he's gonna fit in beautifully," Krukow said on KNBR 680. "He's gonna anchor down that bullpen ... that solves a lot ... when you have a guy that anchors the ninth, everybody else settles into a role. And they think that they have enough talent down there to have a good bullpen. And I agree with them.

"A strike-thrower that puts the ball on the ground that can get a strikeout and basically keeps the ball off the barrel of the bat, that's a commodity. And he's just a bull. He works quick. You're gonna see some quick ninth innings. He doesn't jimmy-jack around.

"And I think he's gonna be very appreciative of the gloves that are behind him in that infield. When you're a guy that puts the ball on the ground, you really rely on your defense ... you got Gold Glovers everywhere."

How will Melancon's presence impact other guys in the bullpen, such as Derek Law and Hunter Strickland?

"It allows guys a chance to develop," Krukow said. "You can't hide in that ninth inning. If you're a guy like Strickland right now -- who we all think has great stuff but he doesn't have the dimension of movement on his fastball that Melancon has -- when Melancon comes into that bullpen he's gonna help guys like Law, like Strickland. He's gonna show them how he throws his cutter and then perhaps they may apply that type of particular movement to their arm angle.

"And lo and behold, all of a sudden, you may have a guy become another pitcher in the bullpen to be responsible for a whole inning -- to get both righties and lefties out. This was the path that Melancon was on when he first got to big leagues. He was not really a guy looked at as being capable to pitch a full inning, but he learned how to do it.

"And that's what you do at the big league level when you have great talent like Strickland or Law -- you have a guy come in and show you how to get to that next level."

Law, 26, went 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA over 61 appearances last season.

Strickland, 28, went 3-3 with a 3.10 ERA over 72 games in 2016.

Melancon, who will turn 32 in March, has racked up 131 saves in 141 opportunities over the last three seasons.

"Then you talk about the guy in the clubhouse -- very solid citizen," Krukow added.
 

MLB announces 2016 postseason shares: Giants get close to $2.5 million

MLB announces 2016 postseason shares: Giants get close to $2.5 million

A full Postseason share for the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs was worth $368,871.59, while a full share for the American League Champion Cleveland Indians totaled $261,804.65, Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday.

Last year’s share amounts were $370,069.03 for the 2015 World Champion Kansas City Royals and $300,757.78 for the 2015 National League Champion New York Mets.

The players’ pool is formed from 50 percent of the gate receipts from the Wild Card Games; 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first three games of the Division Series; 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first four games of the League Championship Series; and 60 percent of the gate receipts from the first four games of the World Series.  The players’ pool was divided among the 10 Postseason Clubs: the two World Series participants, the two League Championship Series runners-up, the four Division Series runners-up and the two runners-up in the Wild Card Games.  The 2016 players’ pool was a record total of $76,627,827.09, eclipsing last year’s $69,882,149.26.

World Series Champions

Chicago Cubs (Share of Players’ Pool: $27,586,017.75; value of each of full share: $368,871.59) – The Cubs issued 66 full shares, a total of 8.7 partial shares and four cash awards.

American League Champions

Cleveland Indians (Share of Players’ Pool: $18,390,678.50; value of each of full share: $261,804.65) – The Indians issued 60 full shares, a total of 8.75 partial shares and 16 cash awards.

League Championship Series Runners-Up

Los Angeles Dodgers (Share of Players’ Pool: $9,195,339.25; value of each of full share: $123,741.24) – The Dodgers issued 65 full shares, a total of 8.285 partial shares and 20 cash awards.

Toronto Blue Jays (Share of Players’ Pool: $9,195,339.25; value of each of full share: $123,045.09) – The Blue Jays issued 66 full shares, a total of 7.75 partial shares and 15 cash awards.

Division Series Runners-Up

Boston Red Sox (Share of Players’ Pool: $2,490,404.38; value of each of full share: $33,761.22) – The Red Sox issued 61 full shares, a total of 10.686 partial shares and 14 cash awards.

San Francisco Giants (Share of Players’ Pool: $2,490,404.38; value of each of full share: $36,443.03) – The Giants issued 57 full shares, a total of 10.5 partial shares and nine cash awards.

Texas Rangers (Share of Players’ Pool: $2,490,404.38; value of each of full share: $38,422.69) – The Rangers issued 54 full shares, a total of 10.19 partial shares and seven cash awards.

Washington Nationals (Share of Players’ Pool: $2,490,404.38; value of each of full share: $35,442.68) – The Nationals issued 60 full shares, a total of 10.209 partial shares and one cash award.

Wild Card Game Runners-Up

Baltimore Orioles (Share of Players’ Pool: $1,149,417.41; value of each of full share: $18,351.02) – The Orioles issued 52 full shares, a total of 8.36 partial shares and 30 cash awards.

New York Mets (Share of Players’ Pool: $1,149,417.41; value of each of full share: $17,951.65) – The Mets issued 51 full shares, a total of 12.75 partial shares and five cash awards.

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