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Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Legend of Bumgarner grows in New York

This isn't the first time we've seen Madison Bumgarner pull out all stops in an elimination game, and hopefully it won't be the last. The Giants rode a MadBum complete game shutout and a Connor Gillaspie 3-run jack in the top of the 9th inning to victory and an NLDS match-up with MLB's favorite to win it all this season, the Chicago Cubs.

First off, let's talk about the game that transpired tonight. As I suspected, it was a well pitched game, but both pitchers lasted a little longer than I was expecting. I was hoping Bum would at least get through 7, but he went 9, and I was thinking the patient Giants' bats would have Sydergaard's pitch count up and out after the 6th, but he wound up carrying them through the 7th. Fortunately, the Giants didn't have to delve into their bullpen as MadBum was so economical with his pitches for the games first three innings (21 pitches total) and that, in the end, made all the difference in the World. Not that things would have been as tight for Sergio Romo had he went out in the 9th after they just took the three-run lead, but at least we didn't need to go there this time. MadBum did it all, including almost putting the Giants on the board in the 3rd with a jack himself, knocking it to the warning track in left center only to be ran down by Yeonis Cespedes. As far as his mound work though, he was his typical "Big Game" self, allowing just 6 base runners and using 119 pitches to send the Mets home for 2016!

As amazing as he was, Bumgarner doesn't get all the spotlight for Wednesday's victory though, as perhaps the most unlikely guy in the Giants lineup came up with the biggest hit of their season. Connor Gillaspie's a guy who wasn't even on the big league roster for much of the 2016 season, but he took over for an injured Eduardo Nunez the last week of the regular season and ended up finishing the season strong at the plate and it carried over into this Wild Card game as he not only came up with the deciding big fly, but was the only Giant to collect multiple hits in Wednesday's showdown. Brandon Belt was robbed on a great play by Curtis Granderson on a ball that would have knocked in a run and put Belt in scoring position for Buster Posey and at that point I have to admit, I felt like the luck may be leaning toward the home team. Also that non-reverse on that steal by Denard Span in which it was clear he was safe and there was no hard evidence of him coming off the bag. So the Giants had to keep their heads up through a few tough breaks, but they stayed in it and Gillaspie made all the hard work pay off in the ninth. It was eerily similar to the Travis Ishikawa jack back in the 2014 postseason in the NLDS game clincher.

So, before we talk about the Cubs and what great series' both NLDS match-ups have in store, the Giants will have a couple days to figure out how they want to configure their roster for said series. The big wild card will be Eduardo Nunez. He was not well enough to make this roster, and my guess is that not much will change over the next 48 hours with his hammy to the point where Bochy and co. feel comfortable trotting him back out there. So, it wouldn't surprise me to see Gillaspie as the third basemen for the upcoming NLDS as well and Nunez once again excluded from the roster. Gillaspie may get the starting nod there (at least vs. right-handers) anyway if Nunez does make the roster as I think he's playing better than Nunez right now and is certainly more healthy.

Anyhow, I do expect there to be changes to the NLDS roster. Obviously Matt Moore will be back on there and it wouldn't surprise me to see the Giants roll with another right-handed bat off the bench like Mac Williamson, just to be ready for any potential Aroldis Chapman appearances. Other than that, I expect much of the same as we got today. One thing Boch will have to figure out is the order of his rotation. It's pretty clear Cueto will get game one and MadBum game three but it's not clear whether Samardzija or Matt Moore get that game two start in Chicago. If I were to guess I'd say Moore gets the nod with Samardzija saved for a possible home start in game four. Some food for thought for Bochy; in his one start at Wrigley this year, Samardzija went just 4 innings, giving up 3 runs and 8 base-runners while the Cubs have never faced Matt Moore.

What a game though guys, as the Giants improved to 11-0 in elimination games under Bruce Bochy in the postseason. That's pretty impressive and hopefully that streak keeps growing over the next few weeks. Not sure if I'll get a chance to do a preview post for the upcoming series as work will have me tied up through the weekend but I will check in periodically throughout the NLDS with short reaction posts. Also, if you aren't doing so, please follow us on twitter for our in-game banter and analysis.
The Giants Baseball Blog


  • At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    haha perfect tittle for the post.. Lets just hope the "Legend get's a 4th chapter completed though.. I just can't stand watching this offense right now. I get that Syndergaard and Lester are big time arms, but c'mon Giants..

    I'll tell you what I think, and that's If they don't get at least a run or two within the first few innings for Samrdzija I don't think they'll win.

    They gotta get on the board.. They had chances tonight but just couldn't come through though.. I swear, this Giants team is making my hair fall out but Giants playoff games are the most intense sporting events for me. But when they win you literally feel like you contributed somehow with support, i'm extremely supersticous when it comes to my team.

    Just pray for a W tomorrow guys cause beating these Cubs three times in a row won't be easy, not saying impossible and it is the cubs after all, but I don't want that pressure of having to win out. Cubs are just too good this year.

    Don't hate me Giants fans, but I just don't think they have quite enough this season. They didn't get that bat they needed at the break or that releiver. Wonder what happens if they woulda landed Andrew Miller and Matt Kemp instead of Nunez and Will Smith.. 20/20 now of course, but Kemp had awesome season and would certainly helped out this offense and Andrew miller is like the best LH releiver period, not named Chapman.

  • At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Trevor, do you think Giants should have started Moore in game 2 over Samardzija? I felt like it was a bad situation for Samardzija and he does much better at AT&T, plus Moore has been crazy good his last 3-4 starts of the year. I know it's 20-20 hindsight now but I just feel like Boch isn't making the right decisions this postseason, unlike years past? I mean, why is SPan still leading off, he's been horrendous. SO has the whole lineup but I mean get Pagan back in there or something. In fact I'd like to see Parker or Willimason play left and Pagan move over to center. Lesser defense but they need some thump. So sick of this team getting 8-10 hits a night and not scoring...

    I feel like that loss in game one was the real dagger though like you mentioned on twitter i believe. I mean, if the Giants take that game, and they had a chance, all the pressure is on the Cubs at that point and the Giants would be extremely loose. After that loss I think we all had kinda bad feeling about Shark against the old team on the big stage and being over amped. I don't know, I woula liked to see Moore start Sunday night and Pagan back in leadoff and Span outta there.

    If they lose tomorrow, they'll have a long offseason ahead. They need releivers, an outfielder a third basemen and some bench depth and maybe even a 5th starter. So this team has major hols and It's not surprising they're not beating the superior Cubs.

    Just sucks we have 2 more years of Span, Wish we woulda got Dex Fowler instead. Younger faster better d and better bat plus only was $2M more than Span..

  • At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh just a comparison and Fowler missed a month too:

    Span: .266, 11 hr, 53 RBI, .331 OBP, .381 SLG, 12/19 SB attempts (143 games)
    Fowler: .277, 13 hr, 48 RBI, .394 OBP, .447 SLG, 13/17 SB (125 games)

  • At 1:21 AM, Anonymous Jason Billingsley said…

    Man Trev, that was the toughest loss I've seen em take since the 2002 world series, You remember that one? I mean, I know their pen was a weakness and it probably woulda caught up with them eventually but if they pull that out an go back to Chicago for Cueto/Lester I really think we coulda done it. And I think the Giants could take either the Nats or Dodgers in 7-gamer.. I don't know though, that pen was just so week and the offense wasn't scoring enough to give them huge cushions most nights.

    Few questions though I'm sure you'll touch on friday's post, but why not leave Matt Moore in to at least start the ninth. Then you can go to romo or Will Smith but why on earth did he only stick with Law for one batter then bring in Javy Lopez, arguably our worst releiver this season? I just don't get what his thinking was in that ninth inning but obviously he knows his players better than me and maybe saw something that we weren't seeing.

    It's just weird and kinda sad how that ended. I really think Cueto wins game 5.

    Anyway, I saw some of your "wish list" free agent options and i agree, Giants need more than just a closer. They need another reliever or 2 i think in my opinion. And I'd love to get Trumbo or Jay Bruce for outfield. I didn't know Cespedes was free agent already didn't he just sign big deal last winter? Can't wait till your next post man!


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