Bumgarner Wins Classic Duel

For the second straight season, the interlocking “NY’’ on the Mets’ caps stood for “next year.’’ After an improbable run to overcome lengthy offensive droughts and numerous injuries to reach the postseason, the Mets received a sterling performance from Noah Syndergaard.

BUMGARNER: A classic ace. (AP)

BUMGARNER: A classic ace. (AP)

However, it wasn’t enough to beat Madison Bumgarner, who again came up with a game for the ages in October, who spun a four-hitter to beat the Mets, 3-0, to send the San Francisco Giants to the NL Division Series against the Cubs.

Syndergaard throws heat all the time and showed he doesn’t just have ace potential, but that he’s already there. However, Bumgarner will go down as one of the game’s greatest playoff pitchers in history.

In three postseason win-or-go-home games, Bumgarner has thrown 23 scoreless innings. He has reached a level few could ever imagine.

In 2014, Bumgarner won Games 1 and 5 in the World Series, then came back after two days of rest to throw five scoreless innings in relief. When asked what he hoped his legacy would be, Bumgarner simply said: “A winner. That’s all anybody wants to be regarded as.”

Syndergaard outpitched Bumgarner in the early part of the game, but as his strikeouts mounted – he finished with ten – so did his pitch count. Syndergaard threw 108 in seven innings while Bumgarner threw 119 for the complete game.

“Bumgarner, he never gives in,” said Jose Reyes. “We had some chances and couldn’t do anything with them.”

Bumgarner vs. Syndergaard had baseball junkies salivating and weren’t disappointed. The Mets had their best going, but unfortunately, the Giants had one of the best of all time going for them.

The starters were the storyline of the night, with the others being Jeurys Familia and Yoenis Cespedes spitting the bit.

FAMILIA LOSES IN THE NINTH: Familia saved 51 games this season and the Mets weren’t in the playoffs without him.

Last year, Familia blew three save opportunities. Tonight wasn’t a save chance, but it hurt just the same.

The fall began with a double by Brandon Crawford. After Angel Pagan failed to get a bunt down, Joe Panik walked then Conor Gillaspie crushed a three-run homer to bring on winter.

“It was a sinker. That’s my best pitch,” said a stand-up Familia. “Every time I try to go out and do the best I can. I missed with the location. I have to move on.`I know these things are going to happen. It’s a game.”

CESPEDES SILENT: For all his talking about living for these moments, for the second straight postseason Cespedes came up empty.

As far as I’m concerned, Cespedes gave away his four at-bats by swinging from the heels at pitches out of his reach. Bumgarner toyed with him getting him to strike out twice and pop up.

Cespedes saw only 18 pitches.

True to form, Cespedes opted not to talk after the game.

Perhaps he had an early tee time.

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8 thoughts on “Bumgarner Wins Classic Duel

  1. Cespedes is a super talent but can be a super baby when he loses. Guys like Cespedes are supposed to step up to the talent level that opposes them and find a way to do something grand. Last night against Bumgarner. He looked like your average run of the mill major leaguer facing a master at his trade. We were all hanging on every pitch that left Bumgarner s hand but Cespedes was over matched and we may have seen the last of him in a Met’s uniform. No heroics, no Piazza – like legend – instead a big flop on the biggest stage. Bumgarner the hero – the Mets bummed out a rollercoaster ride of a season comes to an abrupt end.

    • I’m not sure it’s fair to call him a “super baby.” He’s obviously been playing with discomfort for the bulk of the second half. He’s frustrated. Avoiding the press is no excuse, and I’ll agree that it’s poor form on his part. And you can’t do that in New York. But let’s take it easy on the guy.

  2. Regardless of Cespedes’ lack of production down the stretch he is still a difference maker in the current Mets’ lineup. When he plays the Mets are a different team and players around him get better pitches to hit, particularly when he’s hot. If the Mets are unable to sign Yoenis for whatever reason(s) Sandy must look for a suitable middle of the lineup replacement. That will be no easy task as there just aren’t many ballplayers available in the free agency market that have Cespedes’ abilities. Further, the Walker signing becomes an absolute must if Cespedes decides not to sign with us. Next year has many, many question marks especially with respect to the pitching staff, however we still have the potential to be a very special team should Harvey, deGrom, and Wheeler return to form. I can see Gsellman as our number 4 or 5 starter with Colon going to the bullpen. He would be a perfect 7th inning guy.

  3. No one really came thru tonight offensively; i dont think Yoenis needs to be called out; we just got beat….
    Time to start preparing for next year… only difference now, vs. when i posted projected roster 6 weeks ago is that TJ has shown he deserves strong consideration for 2b… if we let NL’s mvp or runner up mvp leave b/c $12m a year was too outrageous, i am not sure we dole out an even higher annual salary to NW. i cant imagine the impact of getting an extra 45 rbi’s this year from 2b…. with DM on base as often as he would have been, every one else would have been getting more rbi opportunites, better pitches, etc… less pressure to produce more with DM around
    still have several positions by committee: C, 2b, 3b, 1b;
    no to YC in CF
    can MC play 1b?
    bet we finally move a catching prospect if we get something for TD or KP
    I guess we continue to live with:
    C: (TD/RR) or (RR/TD) if TD continues to struggle at the plate.
    1b: (JL/LD) or (LD/JL) if LD hits
    2b (TJR, WF)
    SS – AC
    3b – (WF, JR or JR/WF)
    LF – YC
    CF – JL
    RF – JB or MC?
    utility guys: MR, GC, WF how Nimmo fit in?? – 5th OF’r?

  4. This is an excellent analysis. As a long-time Giants fan ( it started when my Dad took me to see my first game – Mays was in the lineup that day), I can mention 3 things that stuck out to me:

    1) While Noah Syndergaard was dominant, I question the consensus that dominance is enough. Yes, Syndergaard struck out 10 Giants. But they fought Syndergaard all the way. He walked 3, in 7 innings, and only a great catch by Curtis Granderson prevented one of them from scoring. Also, the Giants fouled off a bunch of Syndergaard’s pitches, making him work that much harder. Contrast that to what MadBum did. After the first time through the order, MadBum pitched to contact – getting those Mets that would chase (Yoenes Cespedes comes to mind) to get themselves out. And, as John Delcos said, this approach got Syndergaard through the 7th inning, while MadBum went the whole 9. Perhaps the difference is approach? The Giants so have guys who can strike you out (MadBum, Cueto, Samardzija, even Matt Moore) but to me, the key stat on this staff is the following: In a season when the NL had just six pitchers throw 200+ innings, the Giants had 3 of those 6 (MadBum, Cueto, Samardzija). The Mets have the making of a great staff – and they are still young. Perhaps the Giant’s approach is one they should consider.

    2) The Giants hitters will not get the attention that the big bats get (Yoenes Cespedes again comes to mind, and not without good reason), but the do the little things that create problems for opposing pitchers (and managers). They don’t strike out much (unless they are facing a pitcher as great as Syndergaard). And when they do strike out, they take 8 or 9 pitches to do it. Look at how the Joe Panik at bat in the 9th changed the game. If he does not foul off a tough Familia sinker on that 2-2 count, he does not walk. Which means that Gillaspie gets walked and Bumgarner gets lifted for a PH. And the whole night, the Giants fought off Syndergaard, by fouling off good pitches, contributing to Syndergaard haveing to be lifted in the 7th, It seems like the Mets live for the HR, while the Giants live for the big hit (which may be an HR, but more often is not). Again, 2 teams, 2 different approaches.

    3) Conor Gillaspie. I know, you never heard of him, but Conor Gillaspie was a stellar college player: .325 6 63, in 73 games. His junior year at Wichita State, he went .419 11 82, in 60 games. He was also batting champion (he hit .325) and MVP of the Cape Cod League in 2007. He was a first round supplemental in the 2008 draft (Posey went #5 to that year), and was called up to the majors that September. He has talent, and the Giants liked him, but an unknown catcher from Venezuela had designs on 3b, and Pablo Sandoval took his spot. I guess, there is a reason why many great baseball players don’t have great careers – baseball is not easy.

    Once again, this is an excellent analysis by Mr. Delcos. And one more thing: the Mets have a very good team – their future is a bright one.

  5. SO SORRY – I NOTICED A FEW TYPOS.

    CORRECTED VERSION…

    This is an excellent analysis. As a long-time Giants fan ( it started when my Dad took me to see my first game – Mays was in the lineup that day), I can mention 3 things that stuck out to me:

    1) While Noah Syndergaard was dominant, I question the consensus that dominance is enough. Yes, Syndergaard struck out 10 Giants. But they fought Syndergaard all the way. He walked 3, in 7 innings, and only a great catch by Curtis Granderson prevented one of them from scoring. Also, the Giants fouled off a bunch of Syndergaard’s pitches, making him work that much harder. Contrast that to what MadBum did. After the first time through the order, MadBum pitched to contact – getting those Mets that would chase (Yoenes Cespedes comes to mind) to get themselves out. And, as John Delcos said, this approach got Syndergaard through the 7th inning, while MadBum went the whole 9. Perhaps the difference is approach? The Giants do have guys who can strike you out (MadBum, Cueto, Samardzija, even Matt Moore) but to me, the key stat on this staff is the following: In a season when the NL had just six pitchers throw 200+ innings, the Giants had 3 of those 6 (MadBum, Cueto, Samardzija). The Mets have the making of a great staff – and they are still young. Perhaps the Giant’s approach is one they should consider.

    2) The Giants hitters will not get the attention that the big bats get (Yoenes Cespedes again comes to mind, and not without good reason), but the do the little things that create problems for opposing pitchers (and managers). They don’t strike out much (unless they are facing a pitcher as great as Syndergaard). And when they do strike out, they take 8 or 9 pitches to do it. Look at how the Joe Panik at bat in the 9th changed the game. If he does not foul off a tough Familia sinker on that 2-2 count, he does not walk. Which means that Gillaspie gets walked and Bumgarner gets lifted for a PH. And the whole night, the Giants fought off Syndergaard, by fouling off good pitches, contributing to Syndergaard haveing to be lifted in the 7th, It seems like the Mets live for the HR, while the Giants live for the big hit (which may be an HR, but more often is not). Again, 2 teams, 2 different approaches.

    3) Conor Gillaspie. I know, you never heard of him, but Conor Gillaspie was a stellar college player: As a sophmore at Wichita State, he hit .325/6/63, in 73 games. His junior year, he went .419/11/82, in just 60 games. He was also batting champion (he hit .325) and MVP of the Cape Cod League in 2007. He was a first round supplemental in the 2008 draft (Posey went #5 to that year), and was called up to the majors that September. He has talent, and the Giants liked him, but an unknown catcher from Venezuela had designs on 3b, and Pablo Sandoval took his spot. I guess, there is a reason why many great baseball players don’t have great careers – baseball is not easy.

    Once again, this is an excellent analysis by Mr. Delcos. And one more thing: the Mets have a very good team – their future is a bright one.

  6. Piazza had plenty of critics during his career that he couldn’t get big hits in the post season with the Mets or Dodgers. Ted Williams was tagged with a “only hit .200 in the 10 biggest games of his career”. Cespedes can be frustrating at times but he is an elite player and the Mets have to get him back.

    In April I would have said a wild card loss is disappointing. But after all the injuries and great stretch run, I feel good about the year.

    Conor Gillespie??? Beaten by a utility player who was only in because of an injury…the Giants didn’t play him 2 out of 3 games over the weekend. But even that, there was the walk to Panik. ” Oh, them bases on balls…they’ll get you every time” (Joe Garagiola quoting the late, great Frankie Frisch).

  7. Great quote from Garagiola quoting Frisch!! Familia and his cardiac form was unbearable in too many of those 51 saves. Sure the list is long of superstars that have failed miserably in post season baseball. (David Price is the complete opposite of a Bumgarner going 0 – 8 in his playoff career). And that’s why it hurts so much when your teams superstar takes it on the chin. Last year our post season superstar, David Murphy, was a thing of beauty to watch (until he ran out of gas against the Royals). I guess we were hoping Cespedes would’ve been our Daniel Murphy this post season. Instead, he went down quietly and Familia is heading down the same path as Mr. Price