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Mitch's Sports Report: Mad Man: Madison Bumgarner Too Much For Mets In Complete Game Wild Card Win

The annoying sound you're about to hear is me tooting my own horn. Sorry, but it's rare that I get baseball predictions right, and yet here I am this morning two for two in prognosticating the two major league wild card playoff games, first calling the Blue Jays over the Orioles, and now the San Francisco Giants topping the NY Mets at Citi Field last night 3-0.

Plus, I said in yesterday's sports report that Giants ace Madison Bumgarner would pitch a complete 9 innings for the win and (beep, beep!) that's exactly what he did. Lucky guesses aside, if you're an old school pitching performance type of fan, this game was your perfect cut filet mignon. Noah Syndegaard was nearly as brilliant for the Mets as Bumgarner was for the Giants. He didn't allow a single hit until the sixth inning, and gave up only two in his seven innings of work, but the Mets bullpen faltered in the ninth when the normally light hitting Conor Gillaspie  hit a three run homer off Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who set a Mets franchise record this season with 51 saves and had only given up one home run all year. He picked a lousy time to give up his second.

Bumgarner took care of things in the 9th to end a scrappy season for the almost never say die Mets, and the Giants move on to face the team with the best record in the league this season, a team that also happens to be chomping at the bit to end a 108-year world championship drought, the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs will be favored in this series, and should win, but they can only hope it doesn't come down to a winner take all game in their best of five with San Francisco, because Bumgarner is simply unbeatable in deciding games. Dating back to 2014 he has thrown 23 scoreless innings in final games to decide a series, and even if the Cubs have a game 5 at the friendly confines of Wrigley, they'll have in the back of their minds that those 23 scoreless innings by Bumgarner all came on the road.

But enough about the national league. Tonight both American League divisional series get underway with the Jets and the Sharks getting ready to rumble. I mean, of course, the Blue Jays and Rangers, but given the flying fists and bench-clearing brou-ha-has these teams have engaged in before, their rivalry does have a bit of a West Side Story vibe, minus the Jerome Robbins choreography. Game one is in Arlington and it's tempting for me to pick the Jays but I think that's just because I've seen way more of them this year than Texas. I'll say instead Rangers in four and look for former Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre to have a big series for Texas.

As for the Red Sox, I am loathe to predict anything for my favorite team, being superstitious of nature, so I'm not going to. The conventional wisdom says the Red Sox should take this series, if only because the Indians are missing two of their best pitchers to injury and potential Cy Young winner Rick Porcello takes the hill for Boston in game one tonight, which is a much more important game to win in a short five game series than a best of seven. The Indians counter with Trevor Bauer. Here's hoping the Boston offense clicks on all cylinders and I will predict this much: I think Mookie Betts is going to have a monster series and turns out to be the MVP when it's all said and done.

In mens' college soccer the St. Michael's Purple Knights gave regionally ranked Le Moyne College all they could handle on the road in Syracuse yesterday, but the Dolphins broke a 2-2 tie in the 77th minute on a  goal by Salar Faryar, his second of the game, to notch a 3-2 victory.  Freshman Andres Rivas scored his first goal of the year for the Purple Knights and junior Adrian Diaz also tallied for St. Mike's in the losing effort as the Knights drop to 4-6 on the year. Le Moyne is ranked fifth in the latest east region poll so it was a good showing by the Knights, especially on the road.

In college womens' soccer Simmons ran by Norwich 6-1.

Tonight's Thursday night NFL match up features two teams off to disappointing starts to their seasons. The Arizona Cardinals visit the  San Francisco 49ers and both squads come in with 1-3 records.
 

A graduate of NYU with a Master's Degree in journalism, Mitch has more than 20 years experience in radio news. He got his start as news director at NYU's college station, and moved on to a news director (and part-time DJ position) for commercial radio station WMVY on Martha's Vineyard. But public radio was where Mitch wanted to be and he eventually moved on to Boston where he worked for six years in a number of different capacities at member station WBUR...as a Senior Producer, Editor, and fill-in co-host of the nationally distributed Here and Now. Mitch has been a guest host of the national NPR sports program "Only A Game". He's also worked as an editor and producer for international news coverage with Monitor Radio in Boston.
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