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Four arms throw shiver into Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — Zack Greinke asked out of Kansas City four years ago. He was in the prime of his career. He would not sign a new contract with the Royals because he wanted to win and, as he told anyone who asked, he did not believe the Royals could win.

Short series, classic finishes, and an October weekend without baseball

SAN FRANCISCO — A decade from now, even a year from now, this National League Championship Series may seem like a blowout. The San Francisco Giants, in the midst of a five-year run that can be characterized as either impressive or unlikely, put away the St. Louis Cardinals in five games. Busch Stadium waited to welcome all those fans in red this weekend, the Cardinals still alive. Alas, it will sit quiet and empty.

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Giants beat Pirates 8-0 in NL Wild Card to advance

PITTSBURGH — The streets here Wednesday afternoon were crawling with black T-shirts and Pirate caps. The Roberto Clemente Bridge, over the Allegheny River connecting downtown to PNC Park, filled with equal parts beer and hope, which have an interesting relationship to begin with. The novelty of playoff baseball came a year ago, when a two-decade postseason drought was broken. These fans who packed the yard to back their Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t blindly delirious, delivering a civic exhale. They expected more.

Oakland Raiders fire Dennis Allen

OAKLAND — Raiders owner Mark Davis on Monday fired head coach Dennis Allen, according to a Fox Sports report, on the heels of his team’s 0-4 start and no obvious signs of the progress Davis expected this season.

New-look New York Giants offense suddenly clicks

WASHINGTON, D.C. — They had spent the first three games of the season building confidence in the new offense and here, as halftime approached at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, the new-look New York Giants, suddenly high-speed and no-huddle, reached their most dangerous iteration.