Bumgarner, Gillaspie lead Giants past Mets

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The San Francisco Giants overcame the New York Mets in their wildcard game thanks to Conor Gillaspie and Madison Bumgarner.

Gillaspie blasted a three-run homer in the ninth inning to bring in the only runs at Citi Field on Wednesday as the Giants claimed a 3-0 win.

Bumgarner, meanwhile, pitched a complete-game shutout, striking out six and giving up just four hits.

Noah Syndergaard had given the Mets a strong start, with 10 strikeouts through seven.

But Jeurys Familia was unable to follow, giving up the homer in the ninth.

With the win, the Giants move into the National League (NL) Division Series against the Chicago Cubs.



The legend of Bumgarner continues to grow. After almost missing the playoffs following a brutal second half of the campaign, the Giants won four straight games to end the regular season. Bumgarner made sure they kept the momentum going by tossing a complete-game shutout with six strikeouts and just four hits allowed. Wednesday's stunning performance marked Bumgarner's sixth career postseason start without allowing a run, tying Tom Glavine for the most all-time. Opposing batters hitting at home are now 0-for-24 against him with runners in scoring position. Bumgarner has now pitched 53.2 innings in the postseason on the road, while allowing just three runs.

Gillaspie proved unlikely heroes still exist. In a world of mass media, namely Twitter, fans usually know all the strengths and weaknesses of every hitter in every lineup. Yet, when Gillaspie came to the plate rubbing dirt on his assumedly sweaty palms after each pitch, he did not look like an imposing figure. Gillaspie entered his at bat with a strikeout and a walk in two career at-bats against Mets closer Familia, but he sent the fourth pitch he saw over the right-center field fence scoring three runs, which led to another dramatic Giants playoffs victory.

Terry Collins made the right call by taking out Syndergaard and using Familia in the ninth inning. But the execution was missing.



Mets center fielder Curtis Granderson saved a run in the top of the sixth inning with a spectacular catch against the wall:


Cole Hamels takes the mound for Texas after a shaky September. Still, he was in the American League (AL) Cy Young race most of the year and should be ready to go in the playoffs. Marco Estrada will pitch for Toronto after a breakout season. It is important he gives the Blue Jays at least five innings to help out the bullpen.

Possible AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello faces off against Trevor Bauer, who displayed electric stuff this season, but was inconsistent after the All-Star break. Led by the ageless David Ortiz and energetic outfielder Mookie Betts, the Red Sox ranked first in MLB in hitting during the regular season. Expect more runs in the playoffs.