Adam Kilgore has the breakdown of the up-to-the-deadline Bryce Harper negotiations that resulted in his signing last night.
It’s a good read because Kilgore is a good reporter. Still, I can’t help but think that Stan Kasten and Mike Rizzo are milking this a bit. I’d really like to catch Boras or those guys in an unguarded moment and find out what, exactly, was left to negotiate at 11:59 or whatever it was.
My skepticism is just that — skepticism — not doubt based on some concrete information of any kind. I just can’t help but feel that these things are 99% done and that each side has an incentive to push things up to the deadline even if everyone at the table knows that a deal is in place.
A bit of a detail that adds to my skepticism: Kasten and Rizzo had the whole pie-in-the-face and silver Elvis wig thing ready in the conference room when the deal was announced (pic). If the outcome of the negotiations was in doubt would they have that routine ready?
And yes, I realize I’m being a bit of a killjoy here. I just don’t take much of a shine to midnight deadlines and all of the drama — some real, much of it manufactured — they often entail.
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.
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.