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Baseball Daily Dose

Dose: Bumgarner Does It Again

by Matthew Pouliot
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Madison Bumgarner went the distance and Conor Gillaspie hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to lead the Giants past the Mets 3-0 in Wednesday’s NL wild card game.

 

Noah Syndergaard held Bumgarner to a draw through seven, but the Mets weren’t willing to extend him beyond 108 pitches. As soon as Terry Collins turned to the bullpen, trouble started brewing. Addison Reed allowed a hit and walked two in the eighth, but he was able to get out of a bases-loaded jam. Closer Jeurys Familia took over in the ninth and gave up a leadoff double, a one-out walk and then Gillaspie’s three-run blast.

 

Gillaspie started at third base in place of Eduardo Nunez, who is troubled by a hamstring injury. The veteran hit .262/.307/.440 with six homers in 191 at-bats in his part-time role for the Giants this year.

 

Bumgarner’s brilliant postseason record got even more impressive with his third shutout in 13 career starts. He has a 0.79 ERA in his last nine postseason appearances and is 8-3 with a 1.94 ERA overall. He also pitched a shutout against the Pirates in the 2014 wild card game.

 

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Blue Jays and Rangers announce Game 1 starters

 

ALDS action will tip off Thursday afternoon, with the Blue Jays playing the Rangers in Arlington. Marco Estrada and Cole Hamels will be the Game 1 starters, with J.A. Happ and Yu Darvish following in Game 2. The Jays are also set with Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman in Games 3 & 4, while the Rangers have yet to reveal their remaining starters.

 

After having some back issues in the middle of the year, Estrada was able to finish strong, allowing a total of two runs over 19 innings in his final three starts. Hamels wasn’t so lucky; after entering September in the AL Cy Young mix, he went 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in his final six starts to finish 15-5 with a 3.32 ERA.

 

Estrada is expected to get to throw to Russell Martin, even though Martin suffered a hand injury in the postgame celebration Tuesday that required a couple of stitches. The Blue Jays also hope to have closer Roberto Osuna available after he left Tuesday’s game with some shoulder tightness.

 

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McCutchen doesn’t want to move to left

 

Starling Marte has been the Pirates’ best center fielder since the day he arrived in the majors in 2012, but Andrew McCutchen remains resistant to the idea of a position change. "I don't see myself needing to move. I don't feel like I'm slowing down and hurting my team because of where I play," McCutchen said in an interview with MLB.com. "Playing center field is one thing, but being a leader out there is another. That's something we need."

 

One would think McCutchen could still be a leader from left field. The numbers have rated him a below average center fielder for most of his career, but they were particularly bad this year. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that he was also way off his game offensively, hitting .256/.336/.430 in 598 at-bats. If McCutchen is so against the idea of a position change, the Pirates could entertain the possibility of trading him with two years and $28.5 million left on his contract (the second year is at their option). Still, they’d probably be better off waiting and hoping his trade value rebounds in the first half of next year.

 

Quick hits: The Marlins confirmed Martin Prado’s three-year extension Thursday and picked up Ichiro Suzuki’s option for 2017. Prado will make a total of $40 million under the terms of his new deal. … Wilmer Flores will undergo surgery for a broken hamate bone Friday, which would have taken him out of the mix for the rest of the postseason had the Mets advanced. The infielder hit .267/.319/.469 in 307 at-bats for the Mets this season. … CC Sabathia will soon undergo minor knee surgery, but should be ready for the start of next year. … The Angels, badly starved for pitching depth all year, claimed a pair of Yankees relievers, Blake Parker and Kirby Yates, off waivers. They’ll compete for bullpen spots in spring training.

Matthew Pouliot

Matthew Pouliot is the Executive Editor of NBC Sports Edge and has been doing the site's baseball projections for the last 10 years. Follow him on Twitter @matthewpouliot.