The ghosts of 2015 were stilling haunting Citi Field Wednesday night.
Jeurys Familia, who blew three saves in last year’s World Series, gave up a three-run home run to Conor Gillaspie in the top of the ninth as the Giants beat the Mets 3-0 in the National League wild card game.
The Mets’ unlikely postseason run was ended with that one swing, spoiling seven brilliant scoreless innings by Noah Syndergaard and a year of over-coming injuries. Behind a four-hit shutout by postseason hero Madison Bumgarner, the Giants advance to play the Cubs in the National league Division Series beginning Friday at Wrigley Field.
The Mets overcame injuries to three of their starting five pitchers and season-ending injuries to two of their Opening Day starting infielders.
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“The job our guys did to get to this point, to be in this game is unbelievable,” Terry Collins had said before the game. “You put the pieces down, yeah we got them back. We got (Yoenis Cespedes) back (from the disabled list), we got (Asdrubal) back, but when you lose three-fifths of obviously one of the best rotations in the game, you lose two guys, or three guys out of the middle of your lineup for a long period of a time. . .
“Whatever happens tonight, these guys deserve to be in this game, no matter what happens tonight.”
So did the Giants and Bumgarner.
He struck out six and walked two. In elimination games, the Giants lefty ace has now pitched 23 scoreless innings in three games.
Syndergaard almost matched him, going seven scoreless, but the Mets went to their bullpen as planned. Addison Reed had worked out of a big jam in the eighth before Familia got into trouble almost immediately in the ninth.
The Mets closer, who set a club record with 51 saves this season, walked off the Citi Field mound Wednesday night to boos. It was the sixth blown save of the season for Familia.
He had given up a leadoff double to Brandon Crawford in the top of the ninth. He struck out Angel Pagan before walking Joe Panik. Gillaspie, in the lineup for an injured Eduardo Nunez, had only hit six home runs this season when he launched a ball into the right field bullpen.
Syndergaard became the first Mets pitcher to open a playoff game with five hitless innings since Jerry Koosman in Game 2 of the 1969 World Series. His 10 strikeouts were the fifth time a Mets pitcher struck out at least 10 in a playoff game and the first time since Jacob deGrom struck out 13 Dodgers in Game 1 of last year’s NL Division Series.
Curtis Granderson makes an incredible catch in center field to keep the game scoreless in the sixth inning.
(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
With deGrom, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz all out with season-ending injuries, Syndergaard was really the only man the Mets had who could go toe to toe with Bumgarner.
He proved he was up to the challenge.
Syndergaard held the Giants scoreless for seven innings. They managed two hits off him and he walked three to go along with the 10 Ks.
Denard Span broke up Syndergaard’s no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth with a sharp ground ball to center.
The Giants center fielder, who had been caught stealing in the fourth on a controversial video review, took a huge jump on Syndergaard and stole second. It was the Giants’ first runner in scoring position. Brandon Belt followed with a long fly ball to center that had Curtis Granderson running full out before he made the run-saving catch at the warning track and crashed into the wall, falling to the ground. As he caught his breath, Syndergaard raised his clenched fist in the air, and Citi Field went wild.
Syndergaard had gotten a break in the fourth when Span was called out at second. Syndergaard, showed better delivery time to homeplate, and Rene Rivera made a good throw to second. Replays still appeared to show Span had safely slid in before Jose Reyes’ tagged him. The Giants challenged the initial out call, but the MLB replay booth ruled the “call stands,” meaning there was not enough evidence to overturn it.
Syndergaard ended up walking Belt, but sat down the heart of the Giants order to get out of the inning.
The Mets wasted a Rene Rivera leadoff single in the third and Asdrubal Cabrera’s one-out single in the fourth. They were, however, starting to run up Bumgarner’s pitch count. In the fifth, T.J. Rivera led off with a double to the left-field corner, but got caught in a rundown on Rene Rivera’s groundball to short. T.J. Rivera was tagged out but Rene Rivera was able to reach second on the play.
Bumgarner intentionally walked Loney to face Syndergaard, who struck out.
Source: NY Daily News Headlines Sports News