It wasn’t Buster Posey. It wasn’t Hunter Pence. It wasn’t anyone you could have ever have possibly imagined. He goes by the name of Connor Gillaspie, and he is the man responsible for personally ending the Mets season on Wednesday night in the NL Wildcard. This is a good time to segue into my first question – who the FUCK is Connor Gillaspie? Actually though. He’s been in the league? He’s on an MLB roster? He’s starting in a playoff game? He’s hitting game winning home runs? Out of every member of the Giants roster it had to be this guy. It couldn’t have been someone like Brandon Crawford. I could live with a guy as swaggy as that guy hitting a 3-run bomb in the 9th. Such a vintage Mets move to turn some total dork into the star of the night. I would have felt better if Bumgarner was the one who hit the home run. Up until that point I was legitimately more scared of him hurting us at the plate than Gillaspie. I probably would have been more scared of a fan from the crowd stepping into the box. All I knew about this dude was that Noah Syndergaard made him look like a damn fool the entire game. He was a guaranteed out before that last inning. I was heckling this guy to quit his job, and then he becomes the Giants hero. I’m not letting the Mets offense off the hook; they handed Bumgarner the easiest complete game shutout of his life. But the fact that a guy like Connor Gillaspie was the difference in that game is sickening. Just another day in the life of a Mets fan.
If the Giants manufactured a run or two and Bumgarner flat out outdueled Syndergaard, I’d say wow that sucks and get over it. But no. Of course not. The Mets can’t just lose a game. They have to rip your heart out from your chest first. They’re like a spinoff of that show 1000 Ways To Die – 1000 Ways To Lose. Out of every possible way to blow that game, Connor Gillespie hitting a 3-run bomb off Familia is literally the last thing you could have expected – and that’s exactly why it happened. That’s what the Mets do best. Nothing is impossible when you play the New York Mets, and everything that isn’t supposed to happen will 100% happen.
Exhibit A: the Giants are a team that doesn’t strikeout. Every baseball writer and analyst couldn’t say it enough. If there’s one thing the Giants don’t do, it’s strikeout. Yet, they K’d against Syndergaard 11 times. 11 humiliating strikeouts. 98 on the black – you’re out. 99 above the letters – you’re gone. 93mph slider – goodnight. It was like if I got on the mound in the Little League World Series right now. He was straight up disrespecting every member of the Giants lineup. That was obviously good for the Mets, right? Yeah, except with this team what goes up must come down, and when you root for the Mets it comes down on you hard and it comes down when you least expect it. I’d almost rather have seen the Giants score 10 runs and Mad Bum throw a perfect game over how they lost. You had to have known that that masterful pitching performance from Noah was setting up our hearts being ripped out from our body.
Addison Reed followed Thor with a scoreless 8th to set up Familia for the last inning. All-Star closer, 50 saves, 95mph sinker…aka we’re going to the bottom of the 9th with the score still 0-0. We have to. There’s no way that we don’t. But what if I told you (ESPN 30 for 30 voice) that the Giants would score? What if I told you the Giants were almost dead last in the MLB in home runs this year, and what if I told you some guy named CONNOR GILLASPIE would hit a 3-run moon shot. Like I said, everything that isn’t supposed to happen will in fact happen when you’re playing the Mets. Some may say “that’s baseball” but these yearly heartbreaks simply do not happen to any other team. The 2015 Mets had World Series champs written all over them. The dynamic of that team and the road they took to the World Series, it seemed impossible for them not to win it all. You don’t have the type of moments they had and not win, so naturally they handed the Royals the trophy. Let’s not forget about their choke job in Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. And the ’07 collapse. And the ’08 collapse. And now Connor fucking Gillaspie.
I’m convinced being a fan of this organization takes more years off of your life than smoking two packs of boags everyday. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see how they’ll send us into depression next fall. LGM.