Postseason Reaction: NL Wild Card Game
Well, that’s it for the 2016 Mets, the worst Met team to ever take the field in a postseason game.
However, for a team composed of nobodies, free agents, young rosters and others, they played awfully well, and fans should be proud of their accomplishments. However, it’s no secret that the Mets could have been on a plane to Wrigley Field if they had played their cards right. Let’s evaluate the game in-depth in the first and only edition of Postseason Reaction.
Bumgarner vs Syndergaard. The duel everyone was anticipating. Coming into the game, we learned early that it was going to be the highest priced Wild Card game in Baseball history, and it’s no secret the duel was even better than it was advertised. Syndergaard got 10 Giants batters to strikeout in his seven innings of work, and his fastball topped out at around 98 miles per hour. Bumgarner was even better, finishing off with a four hit complete game shut out, never letting a Met advance past second base.
Syndergaard, while dominant, had a high pitch count due to a few long at bats and walks. That forced him to exit the game in the seventh inning, which, is fine, considering the Mets had the man who led the National League in holds to pitch the 8th, and the flamethrower that lead the Majors in saves to pitch the 9th. The 8th, while not “un-eventful” went scoreless, but during the 9th inning, Giants backup shortstop Conor Gillespie knocked the wind out of the 44,747 fans in attendance at Citi Field. Bumgarner then locked the game down in the bottom of the ninth, and the Giants ran on to the field to celebrate a Wild Card win.
What went wrong in the top of the ninth? Well, the leadoff double was an issue, but Pagan gave you an out, and you had Joe Panik, who had looked ugly at the plate all game, with a man on second and one out. In the moment, walking him didn’t seem like a terrible idea, but in retrospect, it would have made more sense to battle with Panik, walk Gillespie, and force the Giants to pull Bumgarner from the game.
However, the walk of Panik was not an intentional walk, it was a walk that was given after a long at-bat, and, frankly, all you can do is give the Giants credit for playing better than we did. Bumgarner is a stellar, top tier pitcher, one of the best in postseason history, and they deserved the win.
Congrats Giants, good luck in Chicago, you will need it.