HBT Weekend Wrapup

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The trade deadline was redonkulous — we here at HBT had over 100 posts between Friday and Saturday — but you can at least begin to scratch the surface by checking out a handy dandy rundown of all the deals as well as our take on the deadline’s winners and losers.

Beyond trade deadline insanity:

  • What they’re saying about the Lance Berkman trade. You’ll be shocked to learn that Lupica is angry that the Yankees didn’t make a deal that would be easier for him to write about.
  • Alex Rodriguez got a day off from the chase for home run number 600 (well, he pinch hit). I continue to find it delicious that New York writers who did nothing but complain about A-Rod’s alleged me-first attitude for years are now growing increasingly annoyed that A-Rod has not achieved a purely personal statistical milestone as fast as they’d like him to.
  • 400 career stolen bases for Carl Crawford. His more valuable contribution to society: he’ll one day be the guy that those filming documentaries about the Tampa Bay Rays dynasty go to in order to talk about the “Devil Rays” era.
  • History is not on the Red Sox’ side. Which, if form holds, will just be the latest excuse Red Sox fans will use to justify launching into their patented “nobody believes in us” claptrap.

And now, without further ado, let us begin the week.

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.