Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Winner take all and the big man was on the mound for the Giants.  Madison Bumgarner is already the stuff of post season legends.  Years, decades from now, baseball fans won't believe it until they look it up.  How could the guy improve upon 2014?  119 pitches, 9 innings, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, 4 hits, 0 runs.  In the wild card game to move the Giants into the playoffs.  You may remember 2014, Madison Bumgarner took the hill in the must-win wild card game and gave up 4 hits, struck out 10 and shut out the Pittsburg Pirates by throwing 9 innings as Sergio Romo warmed up in the bullpen but saw no action.  That 88 win Giants team went on to.......well, you know.

Remember Travis Ishikawa?  Tonight, he made a spiritual re-appearance in the body of Conor Gillaspie, another former Giant returned to the promised land as a hero.  A ninth inning 3 run home run, off of Jeurys Familia, who had given up 1 home run this year.  Unbelievable.

A word about Noah Syndergaard.  The guy is a stud.  He pretty much befuddled the Giants, or blew them away, however you choose to define it, for 7 innings.  Why take that guy out in this win-or-go-home situation?  The Mets have (had) good relief but, as soon as they got into their pen and Madbum was going strong, you had to believe that the Giants had an advantage.  I just hope he's not thor about the outcome.

The Giants have good hitters, now that they have finally (knock on wood) woken up.  They have better starting pitchers, in my estimation,than they did in 2014, but probably not as reliable of a bullpen.  They have Bochy.  And tonight at least, they had that Giant post-season magic.  Fuck yeah!


M.C. O'Connor said...

Syndergaard has only thrown 8 IP 3 times this season (one of those against the Giants)--they have a solid 'pen and that formula has worked for them. They've kept a rein on his pitches, he is after all only 24. 30 starts, 180+ IP, he's been awesome but has yet to be stretched out the way vets like Bum and Cueto have been. That was only his 55th start. Being at home, it wasn't so hard to think they could nick the Giants 'pen for the game-winner once Bum got pulled. And he was going to get pulled if they didn't score before his PA in the 9th. It was a reasonable strategy. I felt the Giants job was to work him and get his pitch count up, which they did. Strikeouts often take too many pitches! Great effort by the lineup against a truly formidable starter. I thought Belt's drive was going to be the difference-maker. He looked good against Thor--Granderson made a hell of a play.

Not much more to say about Bumgarner. What a beast! And a truly great seize-the-moment from Gillaspie. He's played well this season in his limited role and always seems to have good ABs and that nice level lefty swing has produced some big hits.

Going to be tough against the Cubs. They are so deep. No real weaknesses as far as I can tell. They've got starting, relieving, defense, and thump. Should be an epic contest.

M.C. O'Connor said...

With all our closer-angst about Santiago Casilla it is worth noting that Jeurys Familia, studly though he is, had three blown saves in the World Series last year. And of course he got the loss yesterday. Imagine having THAT closer-angst!

Barbara said...

Not bragging or anything, but I called it. Never doubt Mad Bum. And, as Jon can attest, I am the sort of fan who never gives up, never thinks our team sucks (even when they sort of do), and never stops talking about baseball. Can't wait for the game tomorrow.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Yup. You did! And I said if he kept the Mets in the yard the Giants would win. Mets can't score except by the homer. And the Giants got the rarest of birds in their arsenal, the three-run homer! I was sure they'd score on a couple of groundouts or a misplay. Never thought they'd get the big bomb.

Monday is Game Three and that's Bum's next start. Cueto tomorrow. Moore or Samardzija on Saturday?

Ron said...

Well, Joe Panik may not have had the big hit, but his channeling of Cricketer John Edrich (or Golfer Phil Mickelson, if you prefer) to keep his AB alive ahead of Gilaspie's big HR was crucial. At normal speed, I thought that he may have hit it on the bounce, but it was just about an inch above the dirt. Anyway, it was one of the greatest clutch defensive swings of all time.

It would have been interesting to see whether Parker would have actually hit for Bumgarner, if Panik had been retired, & Gilaspie had drawn the IBB. The choice was a possibly over-awed Rookie who hit .236 w/ 14 RBI's in 127 AB's v. a seasoned Veteran mauler who hit .186 w/ 9 RBI's in 86 AB's (w/ the added bonus of keeping Bumgarner in the game to pitch)? I think Bochy might have let Bumgarner hit for himself.

We match-up decently w/ the Cubs, particularly in the Starting Pitching component. If we can good performances out of those guys, we should have a good shot at this. I would go with Moore on Saturday. Moore & Samardzija have both been inconsistent, but Moore's good games have been stellar. Moore helps in match-ups with Rizzo & Heyward; Samardzija helps off-set Bryant & Russell.

M.C. O'Connor said...

Boch said he was pulling Bum if the Giants hadn't scored and I believe him. You have to score! You can't win 0-0. I saw Parker in the on-deck circle and thought he might be THAT UNSUNG GUY who gets the big hit. It was Gillaspie, but it could have been Parker. I did not get the feeling he was an overmatched rookie, I felt he could have a good AB and get off a couple of good swings. He's got serious power, I was OK with him pinch-hitting there.

Yeah, I'd probably go with Moore just because, like you say, his stellar games have been really stellar. But Samardzija can deliver a big start, too. The team has that ability to raise their game at the crucial moments, it's going to take all their VSC and championship DNA to beat Chicago.

Did you see Gillaspie's post-game interview? It's really cool. He's very calm and articulate and has a great perspective. Check it out--impressive young man. And one of Bum's post-game interviews is hilarious, he complains "why y'all askin' me such hard questions?" It's classic! I couldn't get enough of the post-game jibber-jabber as I was so stoked after that game. What a game!