If there was ever a more perfect elimination game to watch, it was the National League Wild Card matchup between LHP Madison Bumgarner and RHP Noah Syndergaard. Truly the definition of a pitchers duel. Before the matchup even started, it had to be noted that the Giants knew what position they were in coming into the Wild Card game. Since game 3 of the NLDS in 2012, the Giants have won 9 straight potential elimination games; four of those nine wins were shutout wins. While Noah Syndergaard became the youngest pitcher in postseason history with 10 strikeouts and also holding a no hitter into the 5th inning, the Giants managed to run hit pitch count up and knock him out after the 7th inning. The Giants were able to load the bases up against Addison Reed, but came up short with a Hunter Pence strikeout. Top of the 9th time and the Giants found some magic with a Brandon Crawford lead-off double, a Joe Panik walk and the hero of the game, and no not Brandon Belt or Buster Posey, but none other than Conor Gillaspie. And anyone who knows Giants baseball knows there’s always one unsung hero, and Conor Gillaspie joins Cody Ross, Marco Scutaro, and Travis Ishikawa.
Breaking Madison Bumgarner, yet again showing that it’s easier said than done. If there was any pitcher who has proved his postseason dominance, it’s Madison Bumgarner, who in his last 9 postseason starts has pitched (8 starts) 68.2 innings, 0.79 ERA, 3 shutouts, a 6-1 record and one save. Madison Bumgarner started off the game in total dominance only pitching 21 pitches the first three innings, the Mets eventually racked up a few pitches against Madison Bumgarner. Except, he’s Madison Bumgarner, he’s a workhorse. There was nothing that was going to stop him from going the full 9. Only giving up 4 hits last night, he got strikeouts when it mattered most specifically against Yoenis Cespedes and Jay Bruce.
Madison Bumgarner proved why he is the most elite postseason pitcher in MLB history lowering his road ERA to just 0.50 and a postseason career ERA of 1.94. While his ERA ranks on top, Madison Bumgarner also currently holds a scoreless streak of 23 innings and counting. There’s just something Madison Bumgarner loves about the postseason; he’s a winner and just wants to win.
The Giants fly to Chicago to take on the Cubs in the National League Division Series this Friday with Johnny Cueto facing Jon Lester.