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Giants vs. Mets 2016 final score: Madison Bumgarner shuts out New York to advance to NLDS

Plenty went right for the Mets until Noah Syndergaard left the game, and now the Giants have advanced.

Wild Card Game - San Francisco Giants v New York Mets Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

The Giants and Mets are both flawed teams for very different reasons, but the beauty of that — and the Wild Card Round — is that a flawed team only needs to win a single game to advance and send the other home. And in this particular instance, each team’s flaws were hidden at first by brilliant pitching performances from Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard. While the Giants’ weaknesses were never truly exposed thanks to Bumgarner going the distance and throwing a shutout, the Mets unraveled in the ninth, and there are no games left to make up for it.

Syndergaard looked unhittable for much of his outing and became the third pitcher to record 10 strikeouts in a Wild Card Game, but he exited before the eighth inning. The Giants threatened in that frame, with Addison Reed loading the bases before escaping the jam, but San Francisco came back again against closer Jeurys Familia. That time they scored, courtesy of a three-run homer by Conor Gillaspie.

Madison Bumgarner remains untouchable in winner-take-all games

Madison Bumgarner hasn’t allowed a run in his last 23 innings in the playoffs. He's started the Wild Card Game twice and thrown a shutout each time, with the previous one coming in 2014.

Since the Giants had to use Bumgarner for the Wild Card Game, he won’t be able to get two starts against the Cubs if the NLDS goes a full five games. However, Johnny Cueto exists and the two of them should be able to start three of the games combined. That’s not a bad consolation prize, as now Bumgarner won’t have to try to do it all by himself.

The Mets’ lack of depth finally got to them

Neil Walker is out for the year. David Wright is out for the year. Wilmer Flores wasn’t coming back in 2016 even if the Mets advanced. Curtis Granderson had to go back to center field — which worked pretty well on Wednesday, at least — and the Mets lineup couldn’t hide all of these scars at once any longer. Not against a tough lefty in Madison Bumgarner, not with a lineup that struggled against lefties.

Things could have been very different if the Mets remained healthy, but they aren’t the first team this could be said about, nor are they even the first Mets team you could say this about. Health is part of baseball, and the Mets just haven’t had it this year. They managed to plug holes and find solutions long enough to earn a wild card spot, but by the end of the year, it didn’t feel like they were going to get very far unless the makeshift lineup and bench had a timely (and unexpected) hot streak.

This isn’t anyone’s fault or a criticism of the Mets. They made the right moves this offseason, adding Walker, re-signing Yoenis Cespedes, bringing in Asdrubal Cabrera, and so on. The rotation was in tatters by the end of the year, though, and the lineup drew the wrong opponent at the wrong time, and now the Mets have to watch the rest of the postseason from home. Baseball is rude.

If you believe in Even-Year BS, there is good/bad news for you

Conor Gillaspie was only playing on Wednesday because Eduardo Nunez was too injured to be included on the NL Wild Card Game roster. Conor Gillaspie hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning — an inning the Giants have failed to win in even once this year when behind, and only once did they win when entering the ninth scoreless as they did against the Mets.

Gillaspie played part-time for the Giants and hit six homers, none bigger than this one. Thanks to him (and Bumgarner), they’ve survived the initial damage their second-half collapse caused, and they're in the NLDS. Now they face the Cubs, who have a lengthy history of terrible luck and misfortune in the postseason. If you’re superstitious, these are exciting times. Or devastatingly depressing ones, if you happen to be rooting for Chicago.