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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.

Looking Ahead to Next Year’s Hall of Fame Ballot

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 15:  Chipper Jones #10 of the Atlanta Braves stands in the on-deck circle prior to batting against the Cincinnati Reds at Turner Field on May 15, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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We’re only a night’s sleep removed from the 2017 Hall of Fame class being announced but, hey, why not look ahead to next year’s ballot?

After yesterday’s vote there are two guys clearly banging on the door: Trevor Hoffman at 74% and Vladimir Guerrero at  71.7%. It’d be shocking if they didn’t get in.

Also back, of course, and already polling over 50%, which tends to ensure eventual election, are Edgar Martinez (58.6); Roger Clemens (54.1); Barry Bonds (53.8); and Mike Mussina (51.8). All of them are worthy and each of them should have some segment of the baseball commentariat pushing their cases.

But the new class of eligibles is formidable too. Let’s take a preliminary look at everyone we’ll be arguing about next December:

  • Chipper Jones: You have to figure he’s a first ballot guy;
  • Jim Thome: 612 homers will say a lot and, I suspect, most people believe he’s a first ballot guy too. Still, his handling will be curious. Yes, was a better hitter than Sammy Sosa. But was he so much better that it justifies Thome getting 75% in his first year while Sosa is scraping by in single digits? According to Baseball-Reference.com, Thome and Sosa are each other’s most similar comp in history. This is less a Thome point than a Sosa one, of course. I think they both belong.
  • Omar Vizquel: Every few years a defensive specialist hits the ballot and the writers go crazy. When a defensive specialist who got along really, really well with the press comes along, Katie bar the door. Vizquel is gonna cause a lot of arguments about the measurement and value of defense. He’s also going to cause a lot of people to say things like “you had to watch him play” and “it’s not the Hall of Stats!” He’s going to cause a lot of stathead types to counter with “but Scott Rolen was just as good on defense as Vizquel, but you don’t like him!” It’s gonna get ugly. It’ll be glorious.
  • Johnny Damon and Andruw Jones: Will probably be one-and-done, but way better than you remember. If we wanna talk defense, I’ll offer that I have never seen a better defensive center field in my lifetime than Jones. It’s a shame that his falling off a cliff in his 30s will taint that as his legacy.
  • Chris Carpenter and Livan Hernandez: Hall of pretty darn good pitchers who will be fun to talk about;
  • Hideki Matsui: Also one and done, but everyone loves him so I bet he gets some “good guy” votes;
  • Jamie Moyer: A first-time eligible at age 55. Sandy Koufax had been in the Hall of Fame for 18 years when he was the age Moyer will be when he hits the ballot.
  • Scott Rolen: Way better than people believe now and way better than people said at the time. As suggested above, his defense was nowhere near as raved about during his career as it would be if he played today. If his 72.7 career bWAR was heavier on offense as opposed to distributed 52.1/20.6 on offense and defense, people would’ve probably talked him up more. Career WAR for Jim Thome: 72.9. Career WAR for Derek Jeter: 71.8.
  • Johan Santana: The Hall of What Could’ve Been if Shoulders Weren’t So Dumb.
  • Kerry Wood: The Hall of What Could’ve Been if Elbows Weren’t So Dumb. Still, if Jack Morris can stick on the ballot for 15 years based on one dang game, I don’t see why Wood can’t get some support based on a better one.

There are a couple of other fun “oh my God, how has he been retired that long?” names that will appear on next year’s ballot. Check out the whole list here.

Jorge Posada highlights 16 one-and-done players on Hall of Fame ballot

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 24:  Jorge Posada addresses the media during a press conference to announces his retirement from the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on January 24, 2012 in the Bronx borough of  New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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Former Yankees catcher Jorge Posada received only 17 total votes (3.8 percent) on the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot. Unfortunately, he is one of 16 players who fell short of the five percent vote threshold and is no longer eligible on the ballot. The other players are Magglio Ordonez (three votes, 0.7 percent), Edgar Renteria (two, 0.5 percent), Jason Varitek (two, 0.5 percent), Tim Wakefield (one, 0.2 percent), Casey Blake (zero), Pat Burrell (zero), Orlando Cabrera (zero), Mike Cameron (zero), J.D. Drew (zero), Carlos Guillen (zero), Derrek Lee (zero), Melvin Mora (zero), Arthur Rhodes (zero), Freddy Sanchez (zero), and Matt Stairs (zero).

Posada, 45, helped the Yankees win four World Series championships from 1998-2000 as well as 2009. He made the American League All-Star team five times, won five Silver Sluggers, and had a top-three AL MVP Award finish. Posada also hit 20 or more homers in eight seasons, finished with a career adjusted OPS (a.k.a. OPS+) of 121, and accrued 42.7 Wins Above Replacement in his 17-year career according to Baseball Reference.

While Posada’s OPS+ and WAR are lacking compared to other Hall of Famers — he was 18th of 34 eligible players in JAWS, Jay Jaffe’s WAR-based Hall of Fame metric — catchers simply have not put up the same kind of numbers that players at other positions have. That’s likely because catching is such a physically demanding position and often results in injuries and shortened careers. It is, perhaps, not an adjustment voters have thought to make when considering Posada’s eligibility.

Furthermore, Posada’s quick ouster is somewhat due to the crowded ballot. Most voters had a hard time figuring out which 10 players to vote for. Had Posada been on the ballot in a different era, writers likely would have found it easier to justify voting for him.

Posada joins Kenny Lofton in the “unjustly one-and-done” group.