DiComo beats Bastian in historic 'Dot Com Dash'

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I wrote yesterday about MLB.com beat writers Jordan Bastian and Anthony DiComo challenging each other to a half-mile race and the “Dot Com Dash” gained lots of attention as colleagues and fans picked sides.
Bastian emerged as the favorite because of his experience as a marathoner, but DiComo pulled off the upset yesterday afternoon on a high school track in Florida by finishing three seconds ahead of Bastian at two minutes, 32 seconds.
Here’s video of the race, although because there was no cameraman a big chunk occurs off screen:


Bastian was gracious in defeat, recapping the event in a lengthy blog entry and promising to train for a rematch next spring, and both guys were able to raise some money for charity. And most importantly (since we are talking about writers, after all) no one was injured in the process, although rumors are swirling that Bastian lost his car keys at the track and was heckled by his wife afterward.
Inspired by the thrilling “Dot Com Cash” and in the spirit of competition amongst baseball scribes, I would like to officially challenge Craig Calcaterra to a “who can write the most words about baseball without getting out of bed” contest, to be conducted every day from now until the final out of the World Series. And luckily for everyone, we promise not to shoot any video.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.