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The Battle for the 110th Win: How Long Will Giants-Dodgers Deciding Game Drag On?
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Thursday night’s playoff game at 9 pm EDT between the San Francisco Giants (109-57 on the year) and Los Angeles Dodgers (109-58) marks the third time the two venerable franchises met in a deciding game after the regularly scheduled season.

In 1951, the Giants famously won a playoff for the National League pennant 5-4 on Bobby Thomson’s two-out in the 9th three run homer. That game took 2 hours and 28 minutes.

In 1962, the Giants also came from two down in the ninth inning in brand new Dodger Stadium to beat the Dodgers 6-4. That game took 3:00. (The previous game in the 3 game playoff, an 8-7 Dodger victory, had take a then-record 4:18 for a nine-inning game.)

Tuesday’s 7-2 Dodger win over the Giants to keep the Dodgers alive in this five game playoff took 3:38 minutes. The Giants’ 1-0 win the night before was accomplished in a relatively sprightly 3:08. The Giants’ other shutout win, 4-0, in the first game took a remarkably short 2:38.

But the Dodgers’ last deciding game, a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the one-game Wild Card round last week, took an agonizing 4:15.

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  1. As average attention span falls, baseball doubles down on the long game. Review the emails, no doubt a racist in the woodpile.

    • Thanks: Charon
    • LOL: R.G. Camara
    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  2. As long as the game is competitive and great fun to watch, I don’t care.

    • Troll: R.G. Camara
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  3. You sound like Pat Buchanan,with these questions.

  4. 7:11 … oh, wait, that’s the running time of Hey Jude in minutes.

    I dunno, how about 3:42:22 … what’s the prize for closest time?

    • Replies: @Danindc
    , @Reg Cæsar
  5. theMann says:

    The correct answer is:

    Nobody cares because real fans are going to be watching the Astros-Red Sox.

    • Troll: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  6. Gamecock says:

    Mr Sailer, I was hoping you’d post another baseball thread, so I could mention my Atlanta Braves. They beat the Brewers fairly easily. (Because Gamecock Jackie Bradley Jr is out with foot problem?)

    Giants/Dodgers doesn’t matter, either should be highly favored over the Braves. And I think either would beat the AL team, so tonight’s game will likely determine the MLB 2021 champion.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  7. @Gamecock

    If the Braves hadn’t lost their amazing leadoff man Ronald Acuna, they’d be really good.

    • Replies: @Tetra
  8. Danindc says:
    @The Alarmist

    You get a coveted gold box around your comment. My guess is 3:42:23

    • LOL: The Alarmist
    • Replies: @Known Fact
  9. Tetra says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Given the circumstances of their season (losing Acuna, Ozuna, and Soroka) it’s impressive that they got this far. Making the deals for Jorge Soler, Eddie Rosario, Adam Duvall, and Joc Pederson at the trade deadline while giving up next to nothing was key.

    • Agree: Gamecock
  10. @Danindc

    Is this like The Price is Right — you have to come as close as possible but not go over?

  11. I’ve always liked the Giants, they provide some counterpoint to the Pirates’ annual shipwreck. I remember where I was on that fateful fall day in 1962 when McCovey’s line drive was caught. Hopefully no such crushing irony awaits tonight (or more likely early tomorrow AM). I summon the ghosts of Dan Gladden, Travis Ishikawa and Jeffrey (Don’t Call Me Jeff!) Leonard to provide a historic victory

  12. @Yancey Ward

    It will never end.

    It’ll be like that AE VanVogt story, Not the First — they’ll get caught in a chain-reaction time loop and keep replaying the top of the eighth, over and over again, until someone figures things out

  13. A lot longer than I’ll ever care.

  14. Dutch Boy says:

    The 1951 Giants were using a low-tech method to steal signs (a military field scope), which allowed them to make a furious late season comeback to tie the Dodgers and set up the one game playoff. Some of the Dodgers suspected what was going on but couldn’t prove anything.

  15. It all depends on the Dodgers offense. If the pattern holds the Dodgers will be shut out but hopefully that will not happen!!! It has been a great series. I have not enjoyed a series this much in a long time!

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  16. @Pincher Martin

    I don’t understand why R.G. Camara thinks I’m trolling with my comment.

    This is the deciding game of a five-game series between two historic rivals who are both having amazing seasons. Why would anyone care whether the game goes under three hours or lasts more than four?

    The two Giants’ victories were both fun to watch, especially the 1-0 victory in Chavez Ravine, but that’s because they were competitive, well-pitched games, with amazing defensive plays. It’s not because they were short in duration. The Dodgers’ victories were less exciting to watch because they were less competitive.

    If the game tonight goes 15 innings and lasts more than five hours, but it’s exciting and fun to watch, why would anyone care about the length of the game? Similarly, if one teams wins tonight 9-0 in under 150 minutes, few should laud the brief duration of the game given that most of the audience won’t be watching until the final out anyway.

    These discussions about the length of baseball games ought to apply only to the regular season. I can understand why no one wants to watch a nearly four-hour, nine-inning game between two middling teams in late May. But once the playoffs begin, who cares? Just give us some good baseball.

  17. @Neil Templeton

    “As average attention span falls, baseball doubles down on the long game.”

    It’s great. It’s a spit in the eye at the social media-insectoid culture to which you most certainly belong. I hope the game lasts eleven hours. The game will be especially exciting for me because Steve and I have made a bet: If the Giants lose I’ll stand at the corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura. Stark naked. If the Dodgers lose I’ll parade around Steve’s neighborhood in the nude. Either way I win.

  18. @Pincher Martin

    “I don’t understand why R.G. Camera thinks I’m trolling with my comment.”

    Look, you’re a nice guy. So here’s the scoop: R.G. Camera is 38 year old virgin. You don’t want the seat next to him on the bus to Reno. Do not expend precious brain matter on what he thinks.

    • LOL: Pincher Martin
    • Troll: R.G. Camara
  19. @Pincher Martin

    This series has seen some great baseball! I agree on the Giants’ victories and I’m a Dodgers fan! Those two games were the best especially the second game with the Giants holding on to the last batter. The Dodgers came so close time and time again to scoring but the Giants held them scoreless. I enjoyed the other two games as well! It is a series worthy of two great teams!

    • Agree: Pincher Martin
  20. @The Alarmist

    I dunno, how about 3:42:22 … what’s the prize for closest time?

    Ellenton, Fla. sounds like the dullest ZIP Code in the land:

  21. PassingBy says:

    Average time of game for the series has been 3:14, which gives you a good starting point. With Webb and Urias starting in a pitcher’s park, I predict a fair number of 1-2-3 innings and few sustained offensive rallies. So the game could well come in below the average so far.

    Sailer’s mention of the 1951 game is beside the point. That was in the infancy of television, when there were 60-75 second breaks between innings. Nowadays with monster salaries, TV breaks between innings drag on for 3-4 minutes, especially in the postseason. So it’s a big surprise that time of game has lengthened?

    And what some of the smarter commenters say is exactly right: time of game is irrelevant to the interest generated by the contest. If the score is close with both teams constantly threatening to break through, who cares about the time?

    The 4:15 wild card game that Sailer mentions was the best game of the postseason so far. The Cardinals and Dodgers continually threatened – there were 20 baserunners during the game – until Chris Taylor walked it off with the biggest home run of the entire 2021 season.

  22. EdwardM says:

    And so it begins. The Dodgers are on their third pitcher and the Giants already pinch-hit once (not for the pitcher). This is a 0-0 game through three.

    None of these particular moves slowed the game down, but the new micro-managing baseball is tiresome. (Ironically, I am a traditionalist so I opposed the new rule limiting pitching changes.)

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  23. The blogger has done a nice job of promoting the game. But I’m so sick and tired of listening to those dull, network-approved, mealy-mouthed announcers that I won’t watch. Not even muted with close captioning off. However, I will watch the game’s “Let’s Go Brandon” highlight-cheer.

  24. @SunBakedSuburb

    It’s a spit in the eye at the social media-insectoid culture to which you most certainly belong.

    Wrong on all. I do reject the ascent of authoritaricrats in professional sport. Better when the athletes played an honest game.

  25. Traditionally and historically, once the regular 162 game season ends, you don’t continue to count W’s and L’s. That’s why its called the POSTseason. For those who know better, that’s just feeding into childish ridiculousness. To be consistent, that means that all stats would have to be counted. So if someone has say, 53 HRs during the 162 game season, and hits an additional 20 HR’s during the near month long postseason, then he just tied Bonds 2001 73 HRs (hit during the regular season, not during the postseason). If someone had 290 SOs, and posts 30 SOs during the postseason, then he has 320 SOs for the 2021 “full” season. Or if someone had hit safely in 44 consecutive games during the season, and then hits safely in an additional 24 postseason games, then “obviously” Joe DiMaggio’s MLB record of 56 consecutive games falls by the wayside, and all hail the new “record”. Seriously?

    Is this really what Sabernetics has wrought? Extending season stats and records with postseasons or PEDS, it amounts to the same thing: cheating.

    LA & SF did NOT win 110 games in 2021. They won 106 games, and that’s it.

    Come on, Steve. Dodger Blue never has to stoop to such nonsense.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Troll: ScarletNumber
  26. PassingBy says:

    Terrific game so far. 1-1 in the middle of the seventh but there have been plenty of baserunners and offensive threats. Pace of play has been excellent despite the 120 commercials (only a slight exaggeration). The crowd’s been in it with the constant Beat L.A. chant And Ruf’s home run was a monstrous thing of beauty.

    Even Sailer would have a tough time finding something to complain about in this contest. Well, gotta run. I want to see how it comes out.

    • Replies: @Robert Palmer
  27. Another magnificent game!!! What a pitching duel between the Dodgers and Giants so far.

    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  28. PassingBy says:

    What a game! Too bad it ended on a horrendously bad call. To be fair, though, the Dodgers deserved to win the series. They outscored the Giants 18-10.

    Tough for the kid Doval. But he dug his own grave by hitting Turner, who was ice-cold. Nice that Bellinger is getting a little redemption after a horrendous year.

    Time of game was 3:26. In the old days of many fewer commercials, it would have been maybe 2:35. For all you folks who obsess about time of game.

  29. @PassingBy

    First, Dodgers win!!! Second, that check swing did not cross the plate! What a great baseball game!

  30. Ragno says:

    To a specific sort of fan, it was one of the most thrilling games ever played.

    On the other hand, if you can’t stand the Dodgers, it was like waiting on the edge of your seat for the phone to ring and the Governor to call off your brother’s execution. Then the streetlamp outside starts flickering: guess not. Addio, bro.

  31. @Robert Palmer

    Tremendous game. Logan Webb pitched an amazing seven innings. Mookie Betts was the only Dodger who had his number tonight. But the Giants’ strategy of swinging for homers failed to deliver more than one run tonight.

    Great game; great series.

  32. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    LA & SF did NOT win 110 games in 2021. They won 106 games, and that’s it.

    Well, if you are going to quibble, then someone needs to let you know that the Giants won 107 games in the regular season.

    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
  33. @Pincher Martin

    Webb was incredible both games he started! I hated the way the game ended but am happy with the result. A great series in a great season for both teams! It was great baseball to watch. At this point if the Dodgers don’t win another game I’ll still be happy because they beat the Giants!!!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  34. @Robert Palmer

    Did Logan Webb get the series MVP award in a losing cause? He deserved it.

  35. 3 hours and 26 minutes.

  36. PassingBy says:
    @Steve Sailer

    No MVP awards in the division series. Only in the LCS and World Series. But Webb would deserve it if they gave one out.

    • Agree: Robert Palmer
  37. CW Acumen says:

    Flores, whose check swing ended the series, has faced 735 mlb pitchers, only 4 of them more times than M. Scherzer.

    In 18 PA’s he has 0 hits, 1 BB and 8 SO’s.

    The ump gave Flores the Old Yeller treatment. Which brought a nostalgic tear to my eye.

    At least this time the Dodgers didn’t break his leg.

  38. @Pincher Martin

    And in the words of Archie (Bunker):

    Yeah, whatever.

    • Troll: ScarletNumber
    • Replies: @Pincher Martin
  39. Gamecock says:

    Look, you whiner Boomers, it’s the damn 21st century! Get yourselves a DVR, like everyone else.

    All models come with a Fast Forward button. Watching a Braves game takes me less than a half hour. Whining about how long the game takes tells us about you, not the game.

  40. Gamecock says:

    I’m surprised the Braves get the first two games at home, 4 of the 7*. Anyone know how they pulled that off?

    Will Gavin Newsom allow the Dodgers to travel to Atlanta?

    *If needed (starting to see the asterick on everything)

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  41. @Yancey Ward

    We’re not talking about a Raches column, we’re talking about baseball. Please pay attention 😉

  42. @theMann

    In times like these, we should put our trust in the eternal:
    Let go, Let God, Let’s Go Dodgers.

  43. @SunBakedSuburb

    From the late comedian John Pinette discussing his new house: “Have you seen how much blinds cost? I figure if I walk around the house naked long enough, the neighbors will chip in. (Shaking his ample girth) ‘HI, MRS. LIPINSKI!!!’”

    RIP, John.

  44. @Steve Sailer

    Do they give out MVPs in the division series? He was definitely the best starting pitcher in the series!

  45. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    Archie Bunker wouldn’t have whined about playoff wins being added to regular season wins.

  46. @Gamecock

    The Braves won their regional division, while the Dodgers did not, so the Braves get (the slight) home field advantage. Lots of people are saying the post-season seedings (e.g., the scary Wild Card Game) should be on overall wins rather than winning your division, but … then the Dodgers would have coasted thru September knowing they at least had #2 seed locked up and wouldn’t have to risk their year in a one-game first round. Instead the advantages of winning your division are large enough that the Dodgers and Giants played a great September stretch drive all the way through the 162nd game.

    • Thanks: Gamecock
  47. Hibernian says:

    Game 3 of the 4 game Chisox/Astros ALDS was about 4 hrs., 7:07 pm to about 11. It was the only game the Sox won, 12-6 I believe. It was very slow for about the first 3 innings. I left at the 7th inning stretch, and listened to the game on the radio in the car going home. It ended right after I got home.

  48. @Steve Sailer

    I think that once the Dodgers got past the Cardinals, I think they should have been forced to play the Brewers in the NLDS. If the Giants were the better team over 162, they shouldn’t have had to play a best-of-5 with that very team.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  49. The general consensus is that the final strike of the game was not actually a swing. However, once the batter starts his motion, he is always at risk at getting punched out, since “swing” is a vaguely defined term in the rule book.

    Also, it was an 0-2 pitch, not a 3-2 pitch.

    • Replies: @Gamecock
    , @Steve Sailer
  50. Gamecock says:

    Youtube has it (3:45):

    Agreed, SN, that final strike was not a swing. Umps got it wrong.

    Defund the umps.

  51. @ScarletNumber

    The odds that Wilmer Flores, who came in 0-17 lifetime vs. future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer, would have rallied from a 1-2 count to lead the Giants to victory is small. Managing to not quite go around on the last pitch was his greatest accomplishment in the three pitches he saw from Scherzer.

    On the other hand, the Giants had a helluva season and their fans deserve to have an argument for why they didn’t deserve to lose.

  52. @ScarletNumber

    The playoffs were unfair to the Giants in pitting them against the Dodgers in the quarterfinals rather than the semifinals.

    On the other hand, the extremely hard row the Dodgers have had to hoe wasn’t unfair to them because, unlike the Giants, they didn’t win their division. It made for one of the best 6 weeks of competition in baseball history, between two outstanding teams, comparable to the Yankees-Red Sox in 1978 and 1949, the Giants-Dodgers in 1951 and 1962, the Braves-Giants in 1993, the Dodgers-Cardinals in the 1940s, and multiple teams in both leagues in 1908.

  53. @Steve Sailer

    How many times has a losing player in a postseason series won the MVP award?

    Jerry West won the first NBA Finals MVP in 1970 against the New York Knicks, the year he sank the 63 foot buzzer beater. But not too many since then.

    LeBron was pretty awesome a few years ago in the initial defeats before getting hurt and being bearied by Durant’s Warriors.

    • Replies: @Danindc
  54. @Pincher Martin

    It was fun that the Dodgers won the Big Game without hitting a homer. Bellinger’s 9th inning game-winning single by choking up on the bat like Eddie Collins in 1911 (and still hitting it 101 mph) was more gorgeous than almost any homer.

    • Agree: Pincher Martin
  55. @EdwardM

    The big game went reasonably fast in part because there weren’t many pitching changes in the middle of an inning. The Dodgers used 6 pitchers, but none of them were brought in during the middle of an inning.

    They used to use a golf cart to hurry in the relief pitchers, but that was phased out many decades ago.

  56. @Yojimbo/Zatoichi

    If somebody hit 20 homers in, say, a 22 game postseason, that would be the greatest event in baseball history.

    The record for one post-season was set during the 4-round 2020 postseason by Randy Arozarena (2020 Rays): 10, with Corey Seager tied for second with 8 last year.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  57. @SunBakedSuburb

    “If the Giants lose I’ll stand at the corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura. Stark naked.”

    Eh, no need.

  58. MEH 0910 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  59. Danindc says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Chuck Howley in Super Bowl 5
    Albert King in 1980 ACC championship (I was crying)

  60. @Steve Sailer

    At least home-field advantage for the World Series is still based on regular-season record, as it should be in all rounds of the playoffs.

  61. Gamecock says:
    @Steve Sailer

    so the Braves get (the slight) home field advantage


  62. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  63. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

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