Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Game Wrap 2016 NL Wild Card Game: Giants 3 Mets 0
The Legend of Madison Bumgarner and Giants Even Year Magic went to a new level with one of the most dramatic games and finishes of this unbelievable 7 year run. Bumgarner went mano-a-mano with Noah Syndergaard with Syndergaard appearing to be the more dominant pitcher, but Bumgarner matching him goose egg for goose egg. Then Syndergaard dropped out after 7 innings and Bumgarner just kept on going to serve as his own closer after Conor Gillaspie hit a 3-run HR off Jeurys Familia in the top of the 9'th inning. Key Lines:
Brandon Crawford- 1 for 3, BB. Crawford opened the 9'th with a double to left-CF off Familia.
Conor Gillaspie- 2 for 4, HR. Gillaspie was the only player in the game with more than 1 hit. When he came up with runners at first and second and 1 out in the 9'th, I thought there was a good chance he would get a hit and possibly drive in the first run of the game, but I never dreamed he would hit it out. Yet another Giants draft pick and prospect who gets traded or released only to come back a hero years later. What a story! Ha! And what about Madison Bumgarner calmly walking up to him after he got back to the dugout and saying, "Conor, I appreciate the hell out of that!" LOL Madison Bumgarner!
Madison Bumgarner- 9 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K's. So, Madison Bumgarner is suddenly a curveball pitcher? I don't think I've ever seen him throw that many in one game before. Not that he didn't also have his FB/Cutter combo, but he was able to keep the Mets off balance by using a pitch they had probably not seen much of before. Also, the legend just keeps on growing. What is it? 26 IP over 3 elimination game starts without allowing a run?
Just an aside, I am not sure Bumgarner didn't intimidate the home plate umpire. He and the ump had some words somewhere around mid game over the ump's, ahem, creative strike zone. From that point on, I thought almost all the borderline pitches were called strikes for Bumgarner and almost all balls for the Mets.
Noah Syndergaard- 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 K's. Ironically, it was Syndergaard who appeared to be the more dominant pitcher through most of the game racking up an impressive strikeout total and allowing just 2 hits. Maybe the K's ran up the pitch count too much? Maybe Thor just doesn't have the stamina that Bumgarner has, but his failure to go as deep as Bumgarner just might have been the difference in the game. Oh, and he also reportedly told someone before the game that he was already looking forward to the Mets-Cubs series. Uh, maybe next year?
Jeurys Familia- 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Familia had 51 Saves in 56 opportunities in the season. I honestly thought the Giants only chance was to hang on until Reed and Familia were used up. I think Syndergaard's velocity was a factor in the relative ineffectiveness of Reed and Familia. After seeing Thor's 99 MPH heat all night, Familia's mere 97 looked like batting practice pitches in comparison!
The Giants are the NL Wild Card Winners for the second time in 3 seasons. They did it on the road both times. They now move on to the NLDS facing the team with the NL's top W-L record, the Cubs. With 4 SP's who can shut down a good team on any given day, I think the Giants have a great shot at this one. Remember they only lost the season series 3-4 and 3 of those losses were by 1 run. But more on that later.