Madison Bumgarner Outduels Noah Syndergaard as Giants Advance

The National League Wild Card Game featured a great pitching matchup that did not disappoint. Unless you are a New York Mets fan, that is.

Perennial post season star Madison Bumgarner took the hill for the San Francisco Giants against Noah Syndergaad for the New York Mets at Citi Field on October 5th. Syndergaard did his thing well, allowing just two hits and three walks while striking out 10 in seven innings pitched. Addison Reed followed that with a scoreless inning. Meanwhile, Bumgarner pitched eight scoreless innings, and the game was scoreless entering the ninth.

The Mets brought closer Jeurys Familia in to pitch in the ninth. It wasn’t a save situation by definition, but in reality it was; Familia was to keep the Giants from scoring so the Mets bats could try to get a run in the bottom of the inning. In the Wild Card winner take all one game elimination format, all the stops have to be pulled out. Familia had 51 saves this season, and had allowed just one home run in 77 2/3 innings pitched. If the Mets could hold on until Bumgarner was lifted for a pinch hitter or was otherwise relieved, there could be better opportunity to hit against the Giants bullpen.

Well, so much for that. Brandon Crawford led off the top of the ninth with a double. Familia struck out Angel Pagan, but then walked Joe Panik. That brought up third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who was playing in place of the injured Edward Nunez. Gillaspie hit a three run homer to put the Giants up 3-0. With that, the next batter was Bumgarner who hit for himself and stayed in the game. He was retired, as was Denard Span to end the Giants ninth. Bumgarner came in and the shocked Mets went down in order in the bottom of the ninth, and the Giants advanced to play the Chicago Cubs in one of the National League Division Series starting on October 7th.

The Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014. There’s still a chance the pattern may hold.

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