LOS ANGELES -- There were no national networks here, and you couldn't find any playoff streamers or an auxiliary press box. But this was a playoff game, unofficially. The atmosphere at Dodger Stadium was electric and the stakes mattered.

Manager Bruce Bochy said he managed the Giants' 4-3 victory over the Dodgers Tuesday night much the way he would manage a playoff game, and afterward he put his feet on his desk and talked about a big win for his boys, led by Barry Zito.

But will Bochy be doing the same a week from now? He wouldn't commit to Zito for the postseason rotation, even though he already has committed to Zito for the postseason roster. Zito was 4-0 with a 3.03 ERA in September and was sharp in his lone October start.

The Giants haven't lost a Zito start since August 2. Still, Bochy won't publicly commit. He said he would get with his staff on Thursday and make final decisions, but he is very pleased with Zito.

"What a great job he did," Bochy said. "We've got to get together, but he's done just a terrific job. This is going to be a very difficult decision. He certainly has pitched great and I'm happy for him and proud of him."

Zito finished the season with a 15-8 record and 4.15 ERA. He's been consistent, he's been brilliant at times, and he's been sharp down the stretch. As good as Zito has been, it's going to very difficult for Bochy to sit down this week and put together a postseason rotation that doesn't include No. 75.

Zito has found success this year by pitching one day at a time, so he wasn't going to worry about his NLDS fate.

"Listen, what's going to happen is going to happen," Zito said. "Bochy makes the decisions around here and we all trust him. Whatever happens, happens."

  • Zito, at least, is already guaranteed a roster spot. George Kontos is not, and he seemingly has been locked in a battle with Guillermo Mota for that final bullpen spot if the Giants go with 11 pitchers.

    That's why Tuesday became such a big night for those two: Mota gave up a homer, triple and double, and would have given up the lead if not for a crazy decision by Mark Ellis.

    Kontos entered with the tying run on third and Matt Kemp due up. Bochy wanted to see what he had. The answer: A TON. Kontos got Kemp swinging.

    "Huge, huge at-bat," Bochy said. "Kontos, I mean, he really made some great pitches to get us out of that jam. I wanted to see how he handled it and he did a terrific job."

    Kontos has a 2.53 ERA and has held opponents scoreless in 13 of his last 16 outings. Is it possible he pitched his way on to the playoff roster?

    "The way he handled himself, sure," Bochy said. "I think he helped himself. With a young pitcher, you don't know how he's going to react and he really kept his poise against one of the best hitters in the game and got him out."

    Kontos said that was the most adrenaline he has ever felt on a baseball field and called it his biggest moment. He fell behind 2-0 and wanted to stick with his slider, his go-to pitch, but Hector Sanchez called for a sinking fastball. Then another. Now 2-2 on Kemp, Sanchez and Kontos went back to the slider and Kemp was toast.

    Kemp threw his bat as Kontos went nuts.

    "I was pretty geeked up and I saw (Kemp's reaction) and it fired me up even more," Kontos said. "It was a great moment."

  • The atmosphere at Dodger Stadium was electric, and that's exactly what the Giants needed as they prepare for the postseason. They couldn't be eliminated, but they could eliminate -- and they did.

    "It was like a playoff game," Bochy said. "That was a good game for us to play in. These guys have continued to play the brand of baseball you need to play. This is a great game for them as they get ready for the playoffs."

    Bochy said he'll play most of his regulars tomorrow and the Dodgers claim Clayton Kershaw is starting. But it won't mean anything. Running away with the division AND personally eliminating the Dodgers -- it's been a hell of a stretch for the Giants.

    They wouldn't gloat afterward, but there were a lot of high fives in the clubhouse. A lot. Angel Pagan, who appeared to make a throat-slash gesture after the final out, put it best.

    "Beat L.A., that's what they say. We want to knock them out."

    And they did.

    The Dodgers likely will keep spending and keep trying to find the right mix, and they'll likely be pretty good next year. There's a ton of talent here.

  • It won't become official until Wednesay, but Buster Posey will win the batting title. He's got a 10-point lead with a day to go. Only Santiago Casilla (.333) can stop him now!

  • Keep an eye on the Nationals Wednesday. If they win, the Giants are facing the Reds in the first round.