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.
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.
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.
“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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