The San Francisco Giants have been toying with fans’ emotions since the All-Star break. After losing the NL West to the Los Angeles Dodgers and becoming the worst team in the league, the Giants have been grasping at straws to make the playoffs. Their random sweep of the Dodgers to conclude regular season delivered them to wild card round against the New York Mets, and the Giants ran away with the opportunity.
In a nail-biting bout against Noah Syndergaard, the Giants managed a 3-0 shutout win to keep their even-year postseason streak alive.
Madison Bumgarner and Conor Gillaspie are undeniably the MVPs of the wild card match. Bumgarner, who has a .6 ERA in postseason, managed a complete game. He gave up four hits, walked two, and struck out six for no runs and a .67 WHIP in nine innings.
“[I’m] ready to move on and get ready for Chicago,” said Bumgarner. “That was a big game for us out there and we were fortunate enough to get some late runs and I got the win.”
And Gillaspie – man there are just no words. The Giants have shown streaks of offensive excellence post-All-Star break, but Gillaspie has been a consistent run producer this season. His go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the 9th was possibly the most spectacular thing that’s happened to the Giants since the break. He singlehandedly managed to keep the Giants’ playoff hopes alive, after what was shaping up to be a game headed to extra innings.
“It’s hard to put into words what he did for us tonight and what he’s done for us,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy on Gillaspie, postgame. “We won the game because of him.”
The Giants move on to face the Chicago Cubs in the five-game National League Division Series, in a battle of even-year blessings, versus a 108-year-old curse.