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SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants get an opportunity to play spoiler against the team they’d most enjoy spoiling — the Los Angeles Dodgers — when the longtime rivals close out the regular season with a three-game series that begins Friday night.Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (6-6 Francisco Cervelli Jersey , 3.20 ERA), the star of his last AT&T Park appearance with his bat, is scheduled to duel Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3, 2.00), who pitched brilliantly the last time he faced San Francisco.The Dodgers (88-71) enter the series with a chance to win the National League West, capture an NL wild card or miss the playoff entirely, all to be determined within three games against a team that has beaten them nine of 16 this season.Article continues below ...LA will take the field Friday night one game behind the Colorado Rockies (89-70) in the West, and one game ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals (87-72) in the wild-card race. The Rockies host the Washington Nationals on Friday night, and the Cardinals begin a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.The Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves have all already clinched playoff spots in the NL.“Not how we scripted it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Wednesday’s second consecutive loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, which dropped LA into second place.“We’re a very dangerous team. I know we believe in ourselves. Now our focus has to turn to the Giants.”Ryu has been the Dodgers’ hottest pitcher of late, coming off back-to-back shutout efforts covering a total of 13 innings against Colorado and San Diego. He has allowed just eight hits in those two wins.The 31-year-old has faced the Giants 14 times in his career John Jaso Jersey , going 4-6 with a 3.09 ERA. He’s 4-3 with a 3.38 ERA in eight starts in San Francisco.Evan Longoria and Brandon Crawford homered against Ryu in an earlier meeting this season at AT&T Park, a game the Giants won 6-4 in April. But Ryu got a measure of revenge in an Aug. 15 start in LA, pitching six innings of three-hit, shutout ball.He’ll be facing a Giants team that has been out of playoff contention for more than a month. They’ve lost six of their last seven, including a three-game sweep last week at the hands of the Cardinals, who gained ground on the Dodgers in the process.Joe Panik, who began the season with consecutive game-winning home runs against the Dodgers, believes the Giants still have some fight in them.“We’re all playing for pride, for the Giants name on the front of the jersey,” he said after Wednesday’s 3-2 home loss to San Diego. “The rivalry with the Dodgers, having them at home, they’ve got these games on the line … that’s going to give us a little extra incentive to lay it all out there.”Bumgarner beat the Dodgers 5-2 on Aug. 13, allowing a home run to Justin Turner among seven hits in six innings.He also lost a 3-1 decision in LA in June when Matt Kemp and Enrique Hernandez took him deep.Bumgarner has more career wins against the Dodgers (15) than any other team. He has gone 15-10 with a 2.61 ERA in 31 meetings http://www.piratesfanproshop.com/authentic-jordy-mercer-jersey , including 30 starts.The respected hitter was last seen pinch-hitting in the 12th inning against the Padres on Tuesday night. He delivered his first career walk-off hit, a single that ended a 5-4 win.Bumgarner has gone 2-for-10 with four strikeouts in his career against Ryu. ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani could have shut it down already. He could have wrapped up his singular rookie season with the Los Angeles Angels and proceeded straight to the Tommy John surgery looming for him next week.Instead, Ohtani is still slugging away in the eighth inning of a sparsely attended night game in the final days of September between two teams that won’t get anywhere near the playoffs this year.He is facing Texas’ Chris Martin, his teammate last season in Japan. Ohtani pounces on a pitch up in the zone and drives it the opposite way, flashing the all-fields power that still stuns.His shoot hits the top of the left field wall and bounds into the bullpen. The tiebreaking homer is his 22nd of the year, matching his best pro total with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters.“You’ve seen him get progressively better as the season has gone on,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “This experience is invaluable to him — to be able to finish strong, see as much pitching as he can, log it and be ready for next year to swing the bat.”Ohtani’s patient, almost ascetic approach to baseball has been evident ever since he agreed to join the Angels last winter. In doing so, he passed up untold millions that he could have made by waiting a couple of years in Japan, instead hurrying stateside to begin the long process of mastering the big leagues as a pitcher and a hitter.So it was no surprise to his teammates and coaches when he decided to keep hitting until October Corey Dickerson Jersey , even after he realized his pitching elbow would require surgery . It’s also no surprise that he plans to hit throughout next season without giving up on his long-term plan to be a two-way player.The 24-year-old is focused on the long view, but every small step along the path is vital.“I think the way I finish the season is really important to me, whether it’s good or bad,” Ohtani said. “Because I know what to work on during the offseason. This time I was able to finish strong, so it was a really good feeling.”Ohtani heads into the Angels’ final three games of 2018 batting .283 with 22 homers, 59 RBIs and a .930 OPS in just 355 plate appearances. Before he felt pain in his pitching elbow in early June, he had 63 strikeouts and a 3.31 ERA in just 10 starts of tantalizing quality.Despite the arm injury that ended his pitching efforts and kept him from batting for most of June, Ohtani is a top contender for the AL Rookie of the Year award. Voters must evaluate Ohtani’s unique talents next to the more conventional hitting prowess of New York Yankees sluggers Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres.Ohtani’s persistence has proven to be one of his greatest strengths — and that isn’t always the case with athletes of his prodigious gifts.When he took a two-month break from pitching, he struggled at the plate to start July — but then batted .328 in August with six homers and 18 RBIs. After his return to the mound in early September went poorly and left him facing the inevitability of Tommy John, Ohtani improbably racked up four homers and 10 RBIs in his first four games back at the plate.The Angels attribute that resilience to Ohtani’s mental toughness, which is a key complement to his unique skills.“He’s got a great makeup,” Scioscia said. “I think he understands the separation of pitching and hitting. He’s able to take that batting helmet off and put that pitcher’s cap on and go pitch when he’s going to pitch, and when he’s hitting Austin Meadows Jersey , he’s focused on hitting. He just wants to play baseball, whatever he can do. So I know he’s looking forward to pitching, but I think it’s an easy sideways step for him to become just a hitter. He just loves to play the game.”Away from the field, Ohtani appears to be settled smoothly in Orange County with his new club. While he doesn’t speak in public without Ippei Mazuhara, his translator and constant companion at Angel Stadium, he clearly understands much more English than he did in April — and more Spanish, as evidenced in his spirited recent rendition of “Despacito” on the team bus.Ohtani is finishing this season batting cleanup as the Angels’ designated hitter, and he’s likely to resume that role in 2019. While the Angels remain firmly committed to supporting Ohtani’s two-way skills, everyone around the club is eager to see what Ohtani can accomplish while he’s largely focused on just one side of his two-way game.“The thing about Shohei is he’s got the potential to do it all, and he’s committed to getting there,” Scioscia said. “It’s not often you see that combination in a guy, and he’s got it all.”

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