NEW YORK – (Wire Service Report) – Madison Bumgarner has etched his name into history as a big-game pitcher and gets another opportunity to prove it when the San Francisco Giants visit the New York Mets in the National League wild-card game Wednesday. The left-hander is 7-3 with a 2.14 ERA in 14 postseason appearances (12 starts) and was MVP of the 2014 World Series.
Bumgarner has also excelled against the Mets in his career, going 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA and .189 batting average against in six career starts. New York right-hander Noah Syndergaard opposes Bumgarner and represented himself fine in his first postseason last year when he went 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA and struck out 26 in 19 innings. The two aces squared off against one another May 1 with Bumgarner pitching six shutout innings in San Francisco’s 6-1 victory while Syndergaard gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings. The Mets were a MLB-best 27-13 over the final quarter of the season and look to reach the World Series for the second straight season, while the Giants were 30-42 after the All-Star Game and hope to stage a turnaround as they pursue their fourth straight World Series title in even-numbered years (2010, 2012, 2014).
TV: 8:09 p.m. ET, ESPN
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Madison Bumgarner (15-9, 2.74 ERA) vs. Mets RH Noah Syndergaard (14-9, 2.60)
Bumgarner won at least 15 games for the fourth time in his career and posted his fourth consecutive sub-3.00 ERA. He wasn’t always sharp down the stretch as he gave up four or more runs in four of his last nine starts and is well aware he’ll need to be in top form in the wild-card game. “It is a winner-take-all game. It’s not a series, so that’s really all there is to know about it,” Bumgarner said at Tuesday’s press conference. “You’ve got to get up there and you’ve got to have your stuff that day. You’ve got to have your command. You’ve got to be on. And that’s it.”
Syndergaard finished third in the NL in ERA (Bumgarner was fourth) and fourth in strikeouts (Bumgarner was third) while putting together one of the top all-around seasons in the league. He is 1-2 with a 3.66 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in three career starts against the Giants and said he isn’t concerned about facing Bumgarner. “That’s really outside of my control,” Syndergaard said during Tuesday’s press conference. “I can’t control who I’m facing out there. That’s not going to take away from my game or how I’m going to approach their hitters.”
1. The Mets won four of the seven regular-season meetings to earn homefield advantage.
2. San Francisco INF Eduardo Nunez (hamstring) will be tested prior to Wednesday’s game before his availability is determined.
3. New York slugged a franchise-record 218 homers, which ranked second in the NL.
PREDICTION: Mets 2, Giants 1