Giants walk off in the 13th inning to keep playoff hopes alive

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Game 3 between the Cubs and Giants was a wild one. And a long one. It was a 13-inning affair that ultimately ended in a 6-5 walk-off victory for the Giants, helping stave off elimination in the NLDS.

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta got the action started early, blasting a three-run home run off of Giants starter Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner had never, in his career entering Monday night, allowed the opposing pitcher to homer. And he’d homered 14 times off of pitchers himself. But Arrieta changed that right quick, putting the Cubs up 3-0 in the second inning.

The Giants fought back for a run against Arrieta in the bottom of the third thanks to a Buster Posey RBI single. They tacked on one more in the fifth on a Brandon Belt sacrifice fly. It would remain a 3-2 game until the bottom of the eighth inning.

Cubs reliever Hector Rondon started the bottom of the eighth, but allowed a leadoff single to Brandon Belt followed by a walk to Buster Posey, prompting manager Joe Maddon to call on closer Aroldis Chapman for a six-out save. Chapman struck out Pence, seeming like he’d have no trouble escaping the jam. But Conor Gillaspie strode to the plate, the hero of the NL Wild Card game against the Mets. Gillaspie, you may recall, hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning to break a scoreless tie in that one.

Here’s what seemed to be the problem for the Giants: Chapman, historically, owned left-handed hitters, holding them to a .393 OPS (!) over his career. Gillaspie, historically, struggled against lefty pitchers, mustering a .523 OPS over his career. The odds were certainly in Chapman’s favor. And yet, Gillaspie laced a line drive to the gap in right-center field, a foot out of the reach of a diving Albert Almora, Jr., allowing Belt and Posey to score, giving the Giants a 4-3 lead. According to FanGraphs, the Giants’ probability of winning jumped from 26 percent entering the inning to 92 percent after Gillaspie’s triple.

Chapman continued to struggle, as Brandon Crawford singled up the middle to bring Gillaspie home to make it a 5-3 game. Crawford then stole second base and advanced to third base on a throwing error by catcher Willson Contreras. Chapman finished off the at-bat by walking Joe Panik before Maddon came out to the mound to bring in Justin Grimm. To recap: against Chapman, a feared lefty-killer, lefty Gillaspie hits a two-run triple, lefty Crawford hits an RBI single, lefty Panik walks. Baseball. Grimm escaped the inning, inducing consecutive ground outs from Gregor Blanco and Gorkys Hernandez.

The Giants were three outs from moving onto Game 4 with their NLCS hopes still alive, but that meant trusting their infamous bullpen. As ESPN’s David Schoenfield notes, the Giants’ 30 blown saves in 2016 were the most by any playoff team since saves became official in 1969. So in the top of the ninth, Sergio Romo walked leadoff batter Dexter Fowler. Kris Bryant then yanked a slider out to left field that just barely went over the fence, tying the game at five apiece. Romo was able to get through the rest of the ninth with no further damage. He worked a scoreless 10th as well.

The game would remain 5-5 until the bottom of the 13th inning. Lefty Mike Montgomery, entering his fifth inning of work, allowed a leadoff double to Brandon Crawford. That was followed by another double by Joe Panik to plate the winning run.

Game 4 of the NLDS between these two teams begins at 8:30 PM on Tuesday evening. The Cubs’ John Lackey will oppose the Giants’ Matt Moore at AT&T Park.

New bill to build Athletics stadium on Las Vegas Strip caps Nevada’s cost at $380 million

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

CARSON CITY, Nev. — A bill introduced in the Nevada Legislature would give the Oakland Athletics up to $380 million for a potential 30,000 seat, $1.5 billion retractable roof stadium on the Las Vegas Strip.

The bulk of the public funding would come from $180 million in transferable tax credits from the state and $120 million in county bonds, which can vary based on interest rate returns. Clark County also would contribute $25 million in credit toward infrastructure costs.

The A’s have been looking for a home to replace Oakland Coliseum, where the team has played since arriving from Kansas City for the 1968 season. The team had sought to build a stadium in Fremont, San Jose and finally the Oakland waterfront, all ideas that never materialized.

The plan in the Nevada Legislature won’t directly raise taxes. It can move forward with a simply majority vote in the Senate and Assembly. Lawmakers have a little more than a week to consider the proposal before they adjourn June 5, though it could be voted on if a special session is called.

The Athletics have agreed to use land on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip, where the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort sits. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has said he is disappointed the team didn’t negotiate with Oakland as a “true partner.”

Las Vegas would be the fourth home for a franchise that started as the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901-54. It would become the smallest TV market in Major League Baseball and the smallest market to be home to three major professional sports franchises.

The team and Las Vegas are hoping to draw from the nearly 40 million tourists who visit the city annually to help fill the stadium. The 30,000-seat capacity would make it the smallest MLB stadium.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said a vote on the Oakland Athletics’ prospective move to Las Vegas could take place when owners meet June 13-15 in New York.

The plan faces an uncertain path in the Nevada Legislature. Democratic leaders said financing bills, including for the A’s, may not go through if Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo vetoes the five budget bills, which he has threatened to do as many of his priorities have stalled or faded in the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

Under the bill, the Clark County Board of Commissioners would create a homelessness prevention and assistance fund along the stadium’s area in coordination with MLB and the Nevada Resort Association. There, they would manage funds for services, including emergency rental and utility assistance, job training, rehabilitation and counseling services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

The lease agreement with the Las Vegas Stadium Authority would be up for renewal after 30 years.

Nevada’s legislative leadership is reviewing the proposal, Democratic state Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager said in a statement.

“No commitment will be made until we have both evaluated the official proposal and received input from interested parties, including impacted community members,” Yeager said.