Legends On Deck

Bumgarner, Giants Down Mets in NL Wild Card

Many times when a game is over-hyped it doesn’t live up to expectations.  But when the calendar switches to October, and some guy named Madison Bumgarner is pitching, you can almost guarantee that it will.  And it did.

Bumgarner did his part throwing a four-hit complete game shutout, and an unlikely hero did his by belting a three-run home run in the ninth inning.  Conor Gillaspie became on of San Francisco’s favorite sons on Wednesday, because it was his blast that set up a date with the Chicago Cubs in the National League Division Series.

The game started out they way everyone pictured it would, with both pitchers setting down the opposing batters in order.  Both pitchers were going about their business in different ways.  Mets start Noah Syndergaard was just overpowering hitters hitting in the high 90’s most of the night eventually leading to 10 strikeout.  Bumgarner was sitting down Mets hitters with precision and efficiency.  He barely threw 20 pitches through his first three innings.

It wouldn’t be until the bottom of the third that we would see the first baserunner.  Mets backup catcher Rene Rivera led off the inning with the game’s first hit which was a single to center field.  He would stay on base for literally :25 seconds due to James Loney grounding into a double play.

Syndergaard was perfect through three innings, but would surrender a leadoff walk in the fourth to Giants outfielder Denard Span.  With Brandon Belt at the plate, Span attempted to steal second, but was thrown out by Rene Rivera on a very close play.  The Giants would challenge the call on the field, but it was upheld and Syndergaard would be able to work with a clean slate again.  It didn’t last that long because Belt also drew a walk.  A pop out to Buster Posey and a strikeout to Hunter Pence would end any sort of threat in the inning.

The Mets recorded their second hit of the night in their half of the fourth, but just like the innings before Bumgarner would take care of business not allowing anyone to reach second.  It wouldn’t be until the bottom of the fifth that a baserunner would reach second, when the Mets T.J. Rivera led off the inning with a double.  The threat would be short lived again as MadBum would work his way out of trouble.

With his pitch count on the rise, Syndergaard allowed his first hit in the top of the sixth inning.  Denard Span would single to center and would later successfully steal second base.  This would be the first time Syndergaard would have some trouble, but as his counterpart did the inning before, he would find a way to get out of it unharmed.

When all was said and done, Syndergaard would last seven innings striking out 10, but would have to hand the ball over to the bullpen to finish it out.

As was the case most of the season, Addison Reed took care of business in the eighth inning for New York keeping the score 0-0.  Terry Collins would summons Jeurys Familia for the ninth inning to give the Mets a chance in case it went into extra innings.


Brandon Crawford led off the top of the ninth with a double off Familia to start things off for the Giants.  After a strikeout to Angel PaganJoe Panik worked a walk setting the stage for Gillaspie.  With the count 1-1, Gillaspie took the next pitch he saw over the right field fence silencing the nearly 45,000 that were in attendance.

Bumgarner, who was going to be pinch hit for before the home run, ended up taking his at-bat which allowed him to come out to finish what he started.  That is exactly what he did.  He set down the Mets in order in the ninth earning his eighth postseason win in his career.

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Giants as they have to head to Chicago to take on baseball’s darlings of 2016.  It is hard to say how the series is going to play out, but you have to think anytime San Francisco marches out Bumgarner to the hill, the chance for yet another Giants even year World Series title is possible.

Top Performers

New York Mes
Noah Syndergaard: 7 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 0 R, 10 K
T.J. Rivera: 1-for-4, 2B

San Francisco Giants
Madison Bumgarner: 9 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 0 R, 6 K
Conor Gillaspie: 2-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI

**Featured Image Courtesy of Getty Images**

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