Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bumgarner shutout gives Giants Wild Card win

The best big game pitcher of this era continued to dominate when the chips are down and when an unlikely hero (Conor Gillaspie?) crushed a ball into the seats in the ninth inning to give the San Francisco Giants a 3-0 win over the New York Mets in the wild card game in Flushing Meadow...

The Giants will travel to Chicago for game one of the NLDS Friday night..
Between the Giants advancing and the Indians in the American League,I'm looking forward to having some game coverage from baseball for a change!

Giant Steps

1) I posted this on Twitter,but I think it's worth repeating-there are quite a few pitchers that can be tossed into any debate for best pitcher in the game,but when your season is on the line-there is no pitcher better than Madison Bumgarner.

2) Another shutout in a big game and the Mets really didn't seriously threaten to score other than an leadoff double for the Mets in the bottom of the fifth by T.J.Rivera.
Rivera would be erased breaking to third on a grounder to Brandon Crawford and the Mets were never able to get a runner to third-let alone score..

3) Denard Span was thrown out stealing in the fourth inning on a throw that resulted in a high tag that I thought replays showed Span reached the bag before being touched.
If replay isn't going to correct things that were called wrong-I'll live with the old days of human error.

4) The Giants have had a history of late of unusual heroes in postseason play-Cody Ross,Marco Scutaro,Travis Ishikawa and now Conor Gillespie.
The original Giant farmhand had left the team in 2015 to the White Sox,but returned (Like Ishikawa) to play a utility role.
The Giants have used several players at third base this season,considering that and that Gillespie only once has hit double digits in homers,Conor Gillespie might have been pretty low on the non-Bumgarner list of potential heroes entering this game...

5) Quite impressed with the Mets young starter Noah Syndergaard in this one.
Syndergaard allowed two hits in seven innings,but walked three and showed a lack of command when pitching from the stretch,
After seven innings and 108 pitches later,the Mets pulled him,which leads to....

6) Pitch counts.I know I've occasionally made some scoffs at the number before,but if there is ever a time to let the horse run,wouldn't the playoffs be the time?
Syndergaard didn't seem to be struggling or tiring and yet Terry Collins stopped him at seven innings and 108 pitches.
One team believed in the numbers,the other in the player....

7) I still hate the wild card one game format.
This is the second time that the Giants won this game and there is little doubt that these games can be quite thrilling as both this one and the Baltimore-Toronto AL version was.
However,it still doesn't make them "fair",so lets offer a way to make it that way and do it that it still benefits you to win your division and avoid this altogether.
What about a best of three with the 4th seed having the option to host game one or games two and three?
Oh,time becomes an option,you say-with the playoffs already running into November.
Instead of skipping Monday,both leagues game ones are on that Monday,added wear and tear from travel.
Want to really add more,you could have game two the next day (more wear and tear) or (this will never fly) the possibility of a doubleheader on Wednesday (if needed) to decide the series.
Imagine the strategy and the wild card team would enter the postseason weakened as they should-winning your division would finally give you a tangible advantage....

8) Finally,as Robert Kennedy once uttered "it's on to Chicago and let's win there".
The Cubs with the best record in the league,but keep in mind the Giants had the best record in the league for the first half and might be one of the rare teams with Bumgarner,Cueto and Samardjza that can compete with the Cubs Jake Arrieta,Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks in the starting rotation.
The Cubs are the better hitting team and deserve to be the favorite in this one,but don't count the Giants out.

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