The Dodgers’ offense did its familiar disappearing act against a left-handed pitcher. Matt Moore didn’t give up a hit until the fourth inning when singles by Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal produced the Dodgers’ only run.“There should be no carryover,” Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager said of the poor finish. “It’s just one of those weird times where you go from being so high after clinching. You can’t read anything into it. Just reset, regroup.”The game ended Vin Scully’s 67-year Hall of Fame broadcasting career. The iconic broadcaster traveled to San Francisco to call the final three games of the regular season. Sunday’s finale came 80 years to the day after a lopsided World Series defeat (18-4) of the New York Giants had made Scully a baseball — and Giants — fan.It’s a familiar story that Scully recounted once more as part of multiple tributes to the retiring legend during his final broadcast Sunday which was punctuated with several standing ovations, a visit from Willie Mays in the booth and a plaque placed there by the Giants honoring Scully.“It has been a party,” Scully said during the broadcast of his last game.“Don’t be sad that it’s over. Smile because it happened.” SAN FRANCISCO >> The Dodgers couldn’t knock the St. Louis Cardinals out of the postseason in 2013 or 2014. But they did Sunday.The San Francisco Giants scored five times in the first two innings against Kenta Maeda and collected 16 hits in all on their way to handing the Dodgers a 7-1 defeat Sunday afternoon, completing a three-game sweep on the final weekend of the regular season at AT&T Park.That means the Giants have qualified for the postseason as the National League’s second wild-card team — the same door they used on the way to winning the 2014 World Series — and will play the New York Mets on Wednesday. The Cardinals were eliminated with the Giants’ victory.The Dodgers, meanwhile, lost five of their six games after clinching their fourth consecutive NL West title a week ago. They will open the playoffs at Washington on Friday. “In talking to a couple coaches, that’s what we’re going to have to do — we’re going to have to hit the ‘reset’ button,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “It was a crazy week. Some highs and obviously some lows. To come in here and play a team that had their backs against the wall — they played like it. They won three games here, three games that they needed to win.“When you’re trying to play the middle — get guys rested, set your rotation, things like that — it’s really kind of against what we’ve done all year. No excuse. We’ll be ready go go on Friday.”Matters were settled early Sunday.Maeda earned a $1.5 million bonus by making his 32nd start of the season Sunday. It was not the best money the Dodgers ever spent. He gave up hits to seven of the first 12 Giants batters, walked another and didn’t make it out of the third inning.“My command was off. I didn’t have any sharpness to any of my pitches,” Maeda said through his interpreter. “It’s too bad that my season ended on a bad note. But I’m going to go through my usual adjustments and get ready for my next start.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
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Used to relying heavily on one key player for their European glory in the past – Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane in the 1984 and 2000 tournaments respectively – French fans have two talented players on whom to pin their hopes at Euro 2016.Some suggested one was exhausted after a gruelling season and the other might be overrated but France’s Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba have started to prove the critics wrong. (FULL EURO 2016 COVERAGE)After recovering from sluggish starts, the speedy striker and the gifted midfielder are expected to be France’s trump cards when the hosts take on world champions Germany in their semi-final on Thursday.The form of the two players has gone hand in hand with that of the host nation, both improving to silence their critics and reassure their fans.They each scored in a comfortable 5-2 quarter-final victory over Iceland in the quarter-finals and Griezmann now tops the scorers’ table with four goals.The picture looked different a few weeks ago, when France coach Didier Deschamps dropped both men to the bench for his side’s second group game against Albania after they had failed to convince in a laboured 2-1 win over Romania.They came on for the second half and Griezmann scored the first of France’s two last-gasp goals in a 2-0 win.Pogba needed more time, however.”Is Pogba the world’s most overrated player?” former England striker-turned-broadcaster Gary Lineker tweeted after the midfielder looked ordinary in a 2-1 win over Ireland in the second round.advertisement”I’m not worried,” was the answer of France goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris. “Great players often wait for important moments to show their class.”Pogba did just that against Iceland, using his rare blend of athleticism and skills to the full and crowning a fine display with a superb headed goal.LONG SLEEVESGriezmann was already the fans’ favourite.The image of midfielder Dimitri Payet kneeling down to kiss his left boot after his goals has been compared with the head-kissing ritual between defender Laurent Blanc and keeper Fabien Barthez during France’s successful 1998 World Cup campaign.The 25-year-old Griezmann reached new heights this season as his goalscoring steered Atletico Madrid to the Champions League final. Atletico coach Diego Simeone described the disciplined, hard-working striker as one of the world’s top three players. (Also read: Euro 2016: Germany are not afraid of France, says Thomas Muller)Griezmann often walks around sipping yerba mate — an infused drink popular in parts of South America — and always wears long sleeves, following the habit of his childhood hero David Beckham.He also knows how to beat Germany’s influential goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, having done so in Atletico’s 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals, when he finished a great run with a clever finish inside the box.The Germany players will also have to keep a close eye on Pogba.Highly successful at club level with Juventus, having helped them to four Serie A titles, the 23-year-old has often frustrated fans with below-par performances on the international stage.Some believe Pogba has shown only glimpses of his obvious talent. French fans hope that now is the time for him to shake off his tag as a gifted but erratic player.