The postseason's best pitching duel came down to one swing from breakout star Javier Baez, who helped the Cubs blank the Giants to open the NLDS.
Amazingly enough, Bumgarner vs. Syndergaard wasn’t even October’s best pitching matchup. That occurred in San Francisco's very next game, between the Cubs' Jon Lester and the Giants' Johnny Cueto at Wrigley Field to open the teams' Division Series matchup. Lester completely baffled San Francisco over eight shutout innings, allowing five hits and no walks against five strike outs, while Cueto struck out 10 without walking a batter over eight nearly-perfect frames of his own. Why nearly perfect? Because of the one-out, full-count fastball he left over the plate that Cubs second baseman Javier Baez launched into Wrigley's leftfield basket for the only run—and just Chicago's third hit—of the game. It was a win that further demonstrated how brilliant Lester has been in the postseason during his career, and it acted as a coming-out party for Baez, who spent the rest of the postseason thrilling fans at the plate, in the field and on the bases.