Even year Giants strike again.
As we’re so accustomed by now, the San Francisco Giants, somehow someway, won a CRUCIAL game in October thanks to an unlikely hero. This time around, the victims of the “Giants’ luck” were Noah Syndergaard and the Mets. The illustrious match-up between two of the best pitchers in the majors had the world of sports hyped up. And it delivered…
Both Syndergaard and Madison Bumgarner were completely lights out to open up the NL Wild Card game. Syndergaard in my opinion, out pitched Bumgarner during his time in the game. The 24 year old pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out 10. However, it was the Giants’ ability to keep an at-bat going as long as possible that made Syndergaard reach 100 pitches earlier than expected. Granted, a lot of those times the batter didn’t have a succesfull at-bat, but it slowly wore off the youngster.
Bumgarner on the other hand, well, what else can we say about Madison Bumgarner. The man lives for October. He operates with such a confidence and fluidity to his game under the worst type of pressure. Aside from a rocky 4th inning, Bum coasted through the entire game. As accustomed in October, he pitched the complete game allowing just four hits and striking out six. That is now 23 shutout innings in the playoffs for Bumgarner who’s 0.50 ERA on the road is simply breathtaking. A complete beast not only in the playoffs but especially in winner-take-all games. Wednesday’s Wild Card game was the third time he’s pitched in a decisive game (2014 Wild Card Game and Game 7 of 2014 World Series). Of those three games, he’s pitched two complete shoutout games and another five scoreless innings as a reliever to win the title.
Had Syndergaard not reached such a high pitch count early in the game, I genuinely don’t see how the Giants could’ve scored. His fastball was simply uncatchable. According to @InsideEdgeScout, Syndergaard threw 42 pitches that exceed 98 mph. More than the Phillies (41) and Indians (35) had all year. But alas, his arm got tired. Mets’ manager Terry Collins did the right thing by taking him out when he did. He did the right thing by bringing in his closer during the ninth inning. Jeurys Familia, the leader in saves. The man who gave up ONE home run all year. It wasn’t their fault. It’s just an even year.
Somehow someway. The 2014 pennant was won by a walk off home run by Travis Ishikawa. A first baseman-turned-left fielder was only in the starting lineup because Angel Pagan was out for the season. Now fast forward to 2016. Conor Gillaspie. Backup third baseman came in for an injured Eduardo Nunez. Stepped in and provided his team an unexpected three-run blast to keep the “Orange October” hopes alive.
Unfortunate loss for the Mets who played great. Noah Syndergaard pitched a gem of a game and was flat out unlucky to come out without the W. I’m not sure how else to comfort the Mets and their fans. You had it. But it’s an even year and it’s officially october. The Giants have a knack for finding a way to win the games. It also helps that they have the best pitcher in postseason history. All that’s left to do is trade in those Mets jerseys for Cubs jerseys and pray that the Giants luck somehow dries up. But then again, I wouldn’t count on it.