Yankees fans don’t mind watching four hour games at all, thank you very much

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I didn’t watch the Yankees-Red Sox game for a number of reasons, but I can gather from the box score and what people are saying today that it was pretty thrilling.  And no matter what I think of the length of these affairs, I should probably just put a sock in my complaints.  Why? This tweet from Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal:

Appears to be a strong chance that last night’s 4 hr+ NYY-BOS epic will be YES’ highest rated game of the year. Will know more later today.

I don’t think this stuff translates to the national broadcasts in the postseason, as non-Yankees or Red Sox fans just aren’t going to want to stay up until 1AM for an ALCS game like this. But to that we should probably just say “who cares?”  It goes back to what I always say when playoff ratings come up: baseball is a local thing. Last night’s game proved it.  If you love the Yankees and the Red Sox, that stuff is manna from heaven.  If you don’t, it ain’t.

I don’t, so it ain’t, but that’s a subjective aesthetic opinion.  And even if I’d like to see baseball do something to move these things along, I must concede that failing to do so will not represent the end of the world.

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.