San Francisco Off to Giant Start in 2016 Playoffs

Andrew Colletti '17, Writer

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The Men of October are back at it. The Giants kept their playoff hopes alive with a huge do-or-die 3-0 win over the Mets in the NL Wild Card game last Wednesday. The Giants pulled off the victory in dramatic yet familiar fashion when Conor Gillaspie took all-star Mets closer Jeurys Familia deep for the eventual game-winning, 3-run-home-run in the top of the 9th inning. Gillaspie, who is filling in at 3rd base for the injured Eduardo Nuñez, broke the silence in what was a highly anticipated pitching duel between the Giants’ Madison Bumgarner and the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard. That’s what Giants baseball has been all about during their playoff success in recent years: excellent pitching paired with timely hitting from unexpected heroes, Giants’ baseball torture at its finest. It took yet another special playoff performance from an especially sharp Madison Bumgarner in order to outshine the dominant Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard recorded 10 strikeouts and took a no-hitter into the 7th inning before Denard Span put an end to the no hit performance with a single into leftfield. Nevertheless, Syndergaard held the Giants scoreless in the 7th. However, with his pitch count at 108, Syndergaard was pulled by the Mets’ manager, Terry Collins. Meanwhile, Bumgarner rolled on, eventually capping off his 3rd career complete game-postseason shutout in order to preserve an 8-3 postseason record. This makes Bumgarner the only person in post-history with multiple shut outs in winner-take-all games.

With tonight’s victory under their belts, the Giants will travel to Chicago to play the regular season’s best Chicago Cubs (103-58) in a 5 game NLDS series. This game is another premier pitching showdown, this time between the Giants’ Johnny Cueto and the Cubs’ Jon Lester. Just about everybody has had trouble beating the fearsome Cubs this season, who are starving for their first World Series title since 1908. But hey, it’s October of an even year and the Giants are in the playoffs … anything can happen.

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