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World Series Live blog: Giants-Rangers Game 5

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UPDATE: It’s all over! Brian Wilson strikes out Nelson Cruz swinging and the Giants have won it! The Giants have won their first World Series title since 1954!

Stay tuned for the postgame from Craig and all sorts of fallout. Thanks for reading HBT all season long.

10:28 PM: Make that two away. Vlad swings at the first pitch (of course) and grounds out to shortstop. It’s down to Nelson Cruz.

10:27 PM: One away, as Josh Hamilton goes down with the bat on his shoulder. 2-for-20 in the series.

10:24 PM: It’s going to be Brian Wilson in the bottom of the ninth.

10:23 PM: Feliz shuts down the Giants in the top of the ninth, including a strike out of Pat Burrell. The Rangers have three outs left. Will Bruce Bochy let Lincecum finish what he started? Let’s see…

10:16 PM: It’s almost like the Rangers just want to go home. Lincecum needed only nine pitches to get out of the bottom of the eighth inning. He has 10 strikeouts on the night. Look for Brian Wilson to come on in the bottom of the ninth.

10:09 PM: Feliz gave up a two-out infield single to Buster Posey, but was able to escape the eighth without any further damage. It’s 3-1 going into the bottom of the eighth.

10:07 PM: McCarver pushing the angle that the Rangers should have intentionally walked Renteria to get to Aaron Rowand. We’ll hear a lot about that one if the Rangers lose this game, though I’m not sure that’s fair, really.

10:03 PM: Here’s something interesting. Neftali Feliz is in to start the top of the eighth inning. Cliff Lee is done for the night after throwing 95 pitches.

10:01 PM: Ian Kinsler followed the Cruz homer with a walk, but Lincecum was able to strike out David Murphy and Bengie Molina to end the inning, leaving him stranded at first base. We’re headed to the eighth.

9:53 PM: Don’t give up just yet, Rangers fans. Nelson Cruz just hit a solo homer with out out in the bottom of the seventh. It’s 3-1 Giants.

And by the way, Neftali Feliz is up in the Rangers’ bullpen. Maybe Ron Washington finally realized that these games, you know, matter?

9:45 PM: My goodness. Edgar Renteria just hit a three-run homer that eeked over the left field wall. That ball just kept carrying and carrying and carrying…

Incredible.

9:43 PM: Burrell, of course, struck out. It’s up to Edgar Renteria with two away. I’m not a fan of either team and I’m on the edge of my seat here. Just really compelling stuff.

9:38 PM: Aubrey Huff just sacrificed Ross and Uribe over to second and third respectively. It took a great play from Cliff Lee to even get the out at first base. That was Huff’s first career sacrifice bunt. Excellent timing, I’d say. The bad news for Giants fans? Here comes Pat Burrell.

9:37 PM: Well, we finally have a runner in scoring position. Cody Ross and Juan Uribe have started the top of the seventh with back-to-back singles.

9:32 PM: Just a comparison. Through six innings, Lincecum has thrown 68 pitches and Lee has thrown 75. Insane.

9:28 PM: Tim McCarver was expecting the bunt with Elvis Andrus there, but Ron Washington went with the hit-and-run instead. I’m inclined to agree with the latter, although one run really might be enough here. We still haven’t seen anyone reach second base in this one.

9:24 PM: Oh wow. Nelson Cruz failed to make a diving catch on a ball hit by Freddy Sanchez with two outs, but he just robbed Buster Posey of extra bases with a leaping catch on the warning track in right. Redemption. This one is still scoreless going into the bottom of the sixth.

9:15 PM: Another 1-2-3 inning for Lincecum. This is truly a joy to watch. I’d love to see the comparison of commercials to actual inning-time. Seriously, I think the commercials are winning.

9:13 PM: Mitch Moreland’s drop was rendered irrelevant thanks to another scoreless inning by Cliff Lee. We already headed to the bottom of the fifth in Arlington!

9:07 PM: You guys probably aren’t going to believe this, but Pat Burrell just struck out. Film at 11.

9:02 PM: Young’s leadoff single goes for naught, as Lincecum struck out Josh Hamilton, got Vladimir Guerrero on a fielder’s choice and then fanned Nelson Cruz to end the inning. By the way, the Rangers are scoreless over their last 16 innings.

8:55 PM: And the Rangers have their first hit of the night. Michael Young just singled up the middle to lead off the bottom of the fourth.

8:53 PM: Lee sits them down 1-2-3. He’s at 51 pitches through four innings, though, really, his pitch count will probably be pretty darn close to irrelevant tonight.

8:48 PM: Cliff Lee just needed 11 pitches to put Buster Posey away there. The Rangers could learn a lesson from this rookie.

8:40 PM: Anyway, back to the game at hand. Lincecum issued a two-out walk to Mitch Moreland, but managed to strike out the side in the bottom of the third. Maybe this is the classic pitchers’ duel everyone expected to see back in Game 1? I sure hope so.

8:38 PM: And there’s the black bowtie on Lincecum!

8:32 PM: Cliff Lee just made a pretty nifty snag of a liner off the bat of Freddy Sanchez to end the top of the third inning. He’s a pretty cool customer.

8:25 PM: Lincecum just made easy work of the Rangers in the bottom of the second. Or, rather, the Rangers made it easy for Lincecum. He needed just six pitches there.

8:23 PM: Ken Rosenthal sporting the blue bowtie this evening. Nice. There were rumors that Lincecum wore a bowtie to the ballpark today. Anybody have photographic proof of this?

8:19 PM: After that flyout, Pat Burrell is 0-for-10 during the World Series. But hey, at least he made pretty solid contact this time. Tiny victories. We’re scoreless going into the bottom of the second.

8:12 PM: Tim Lincecum threw 13 pitches in a 1-2-3 bottom of the first inning. You know, this whole Freaky Freaks thing has me thinking about the David Bowie episode of “Flight of the Conchords.” Resist. Temptation. To. YouTube.

8:04 PM: Buster Posey mustered a two-out single, but newly-installed cleanup man Cody Ross popped out to Elvis Andrus to end of the top of the first. Cliff Lee needed just 10 pitches to get out of the inning. Yeah, this guy might still be pretty good.

7:59 PM: And we’re off and running. Cliff Lee strikes out Andres Torres swinging.

7:45 PM: Ah, baseball in November. Just the way the baseball gods intended.

Thanks to eight innings of shutout ball from 21-year-old left-hander Madison Bumgarner last night, the Giants are just one win away from their first World Series title since 1954 and their first since moving to San Francisco in 1958. Cliff Lee’s mission tonight is clear: get the series back to San Francisco for Game 6.

I’ll be dropping some of my random thoughts and observations here throughout the ballgame. Feel free to join the conversation in our comments section.

Looking for lineups? Aaron has you covered right here.

Bobby Valentine on short list to be U.S. Ambassador to Japan

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Former MLB player Bobby Valentine attends Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at BGC Partners, INC on September 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)
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There is literally nothing you could tell me that the incoming administration is considering which would shock me anymore. As such, I saw this story when I woke up this morning, blinked once, took a sip of coffee, closed the browser window and just went on with my morning, as desensitized as a wisdom tooth about to be yanked.

Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that Former Red Sox, Mets and Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is on a short-list of candidates for the job of United States Ambassador to Japan:

The 66-year-old, who currently serves as Sacred Heart University’s athletics director, has engaged in preliminary discussions with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team regarding the position.

When contacted Thursday night, Valentine refused comment.

Huh. Given his history, I’d have assumed Valentine would be a better choice for the CIA, but what do I know?

Valentine managed the Chiba Lotte Marines of Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons, leading the team to a championship in 2005. He also knows the current prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, as both went to USC. Assuming championship teams meet the country’s leader in Japan like they do in the United States, Valentine has at least twice the amount of experience with top political leaders than does, say, Ned Yost, so that’s something.

The former manager, more importantly, is friends with Donald Trump’s brother, with the two of them going way back. Which, given how this transition is going, seems like a far more important set of qualifications than anything else on this list.

Report: Dexter Fowler will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Update (8:51 PM EST): The deal is in place, according to Heyman.

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Update (8:27 PM EST): Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Cardinals made an “over-the-top offer” to Fowler to ensure he’d sign.

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Frank Cusumano of KSDK Sports reports that free agent outfielder will take a physical in St. Louis on Friday. Presumably, that means that Fowler and the Cardinals have gotten pretty far along in negotiations.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports recently reported that Fowler was looking for $18 million per year. The Blue Jays reportedly made an offer to Fowler in the four-year, $16 million range several days ago. The Cardinals’ offer to Fowler, if there is indeed one, is likely somewhere between the two figures.

Fowler, 30, is coming off of a fantastic year in which he helped the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the regular season, he hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 home runs, 48 RBI, 84 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 551 plate appearances.

Fowler rejected the Cubs’ $17.2 million qualifying offer last month. While the QO compensation negatively affected Fowler’s experience in free agency last offseason — he didn’t sign until late February with the Cubs — his strong season is expected to make QO compensation much less of an issue.