2016 National League Wild Card Game
(Redirected from 2016 NLWC)
|2016 National League Wild Card Game|
|San Francisco Giants
87 - 75 in the NL
|1 - 0
|New York Mets|
87 - 75 in the NL
|1||San Francisco Giants 3 New York Mets 0||October 5||Madison Bumgarner (1-0) Noah Syndergaard (0-0)||8:08 pm|
Game 1 @ Citi Field
|WP: Madison Bumgarner (1-0), LP: Jeurys Familia (0-1)|
|Home Runs: Conor Gillaspie (1)|
- Attendance: 44,747
The game went exactly as anticipated: with two of the top five pitchers in the majors in terms of ERA facing off against one another, no one expected a high-scoring game, and that is exactly what happened. Both Noah Syndergaard for the Mets and Madison Bumgarner for the Giants were brilliant, giving batters almost nothing to work with while they were on the mound. The big difference was that Syndergaard needed more pitches, as he got ten batters to strike out in addition to issuing two walks, while Bumgarner was surgically efficient: he needed only 7 pitches to get through each of the first three innings, and was barely above 100 pitches by the end of the 8th, when the game was still scoreless, but Syndergaard had reached his pitch limit. Once the game got into the hands of the Mets' relievers, the Giants batters began to threaten.
The first three innings were perfect for both pitchers, with hardly any solid contact made on any pitch either. Syndergaard was throwing heat, regularly topping 97 mph with his fastball, while Bumgarner was getting opponents to swing on breaking pitches, often outside the strike zone, and make weak contact. The first baserunner came in the top of the 4th when Denard Span drew a lead-off walk. He tried to take advantage of Syndergaard's one flaw, his inability to shut down the running game, but he was thrown by Rene Rivera out on a very close play that required a video review. Brandon Belt then drew another walk, but Syndergaard retired the next two batters. For the Mets, Asdrubal Cabrera got the first hit with one out in the 4th, but he did not advance further. The first threat came in the bottom of the 5th, when T.J. Rivera led off with a double. After Jay Bruce struck out, Rene Rivera hit a ground ball to shortstop, and T.J. made a baserunning blunder, being caght in a rundown between second and third. He managed to make the pickle last long enough before being tagged out for his namesake Rene to reach second base, but Bumgarner, who had not issued a single intentional walk all season, gave one to James Loney, and then struck out his mound opponent Syndergaard to end the inning.
The Giants had their best chance up to that point in the 6th when Span singled after two outs, and undaunted by his caught stealing in the 4th, swiped second base. Belt followed by driving a ball to deep center, but Curtis Granderson made an excellent play, running down the ball while crashing into the wall to end the inning. Span would have scored easily if Granderson had not been able to hang onto the ball. The Giants put a couple more men on base with two outs in the 7th, but Joe Panik hit a ball that deflected off Syndergaard towards short for the final out. After the Mets went down in order again in the bottom of the 7th, Mets manager Terry Collins had to call to his buillpen, summoning set-up man Addison Reed, as Syndergaard was done.
Reed had a tough 8th inning, but escaped without giving up a run. He gave up a lead-off single to Conor Gillaspie, who was then bunted over to second by Bumgarner (who, incidentally had not laid down a singe sacrifice bunt all season). Up next was Span, but he popped up to second. Belt followed by drawing a walk, then Rene Rivera allowed a passed ball, putting men on second and third. Collins then called for an intentional walk to Buster Posey, but Hunter Pence struck out against Reed. The Giants had wasted a second golden opportunity. Collins turned to his bench in the bottom of the 8th, but pinch-hitter Eric Campbell struck out. Another pinch-hitter, Ty Kelly, did manage a single off Bumgarner, and he moved to second on a ground out by Jose Reyes. Cabrera was up next, but he lined a ball right into Bumgarner's glove to end the inning. Next to pitch for New York was closer Jeurys Familia, he who had been charged with three blown saves in the 2015 World Series. Mets fans prefered to think that he had led the majors with 51 saves during the season, but in any case, he put himself in immediate trouble when he allowed a lead-off double to Brandon Crawford, a ball that rolled to the wall in left-center. Familia struck out Angel Pagan for the first out, but Joe Panik then worked a walk to put a second runner on base. The unheralded Gillaspie, only starting at third base because of a hamstring injury to Eduardo Nunez, then became the unlikely hero for the Giants by blasting a pitch over the right-field fence for a three-run homer. Citi Field immediately fell eerily quiet. The next two Giants batters flied out, then Bumgarner came out to close his own victory. He got the Mets to hit three routine fly balls, and the game was over, with Bumgarner once again having demonstrated his mastery of the postseason.
- David Adler: "Tale of the Tape: Aces battle in NL Wild Card Game: Bumgarner, Syndergaard set to face off in New York", mlb.com, October 5, 2016. 
- David Adler, Matt Kelly and Andrew Simon: "Did you know? Key facts from the NL Wild Card Game", mlb.com, October 6, 2016. 
- Anthony DiComo and Chris Haft: "Mad skills: Bumgarner pitches Giants to NLDS", mlb.com October 6, 2016. 
|Major League Baseball Wild Card Game|