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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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N.Y. Red Bulls thump Sounders FC, 4-1

HARRISON, N.J. — New York forward Bradley Wright-Phillips scored his third hat trick of the season as the Red Bulls pulled away from the Sounders — a Sounders team with a host of lineup changes from its U.S. Open Cup triumph earlier this week — for a resounding 4-1 victory Saturday night at Red Bull Arena.

M’s trounced by Angels, 8-1

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Perhaps words like catastrophe and disaster are a bit much in describing all that went wrong on Monday night at Angels Stadium and all that has gone awry in the last eight games.