Relive every twist and turn of October with the most unlikely moments of the 2016 postseason
Baseball's regular season provides plenty of time to make sense of things. Sure, there are players and teams that come out of nowhere, nail-biting games and even some shocking twists at the end. But over the course of 162 games, we have a pretty good idea of where things stand.
Then October comes along and turns it all upside down. Goats turn into heroes; unknowns become legends; underdogs become champions. The only rule is that just about anything can happen -- and in the 2016 postseason, just about anything did. To prepare yourself for the offseason, let's relive the five most jaw-dropping, "Wait did that just happen?" moments:
Sorry, the answer we were looking for was Connor Gillaspie -- he of the 17 home runs over the last three seasons combined:
Gillaspie took Mets closer
The Giants entered the eighth inning of Game 3 with their backs against the wall: trailing Chicago by a run, just six outs away from elimination, with
His triple gave the Giants the lead, and while
Bumgarner is very, very good at pitching. October Bumgarner is a pitching demigod: Entering his start in NLDS Game 3, the lefty hadn't allowed a run in his last 23 postseason innings.
Jake Arrieta, meanwhile, is not exactly known for his hitting. Sure, he's been known to muscle up and launch the occasional dinger, but still -- he's a pitcher. A pitcher, against Bumgarner in October?
Arrieta took his counterpart deep to open the scoring in Chicago's 6-5 loss, thereby taking his rightful place on the #PitchersWhoRake throne.
With runners on first and second and just one out in the bottom of the ninth, Toronto was in great position to finish off their sweep of the Rangers in ALDS Game 3. Alas,
Or so we thought:
Donaldson -- gritting his teeth as he battled a hip injury -- went full
The Dodgers were just two outs away from advancing in a tightly contested NLDS Game 5 against the Nationals. There was just one problem: L.A. clung to a 4-3 lead -- with
And then, like a beacon in the night, word came down from on high:
Kershaw heading to bullpen.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 14, 2016
Yes, that Clayton Kershaw -- the one who had thrown 110 pitches just two days earlier in Game 4. No worries, though:
Kershaw got Murphy to pop out, then struck out Wilson Difo to send the Dodgers on to the NLCS.
You probably remember this one pretty well. Progressive Field, World Series Game 7, eighth inning, Cleveland trailing 6-3, a 108-year curse on the line, the lights-out Chapman on the mound. Brendan Guyer cut into the Tribe's deficit with an RBI double, and then Rajai Davis stepped up:
Sure, the Cubs would go on to win, setting off a party in Chicago that probably won't settle down until sometime next spring. But still -- we'll remember LeBron's celebration for all time:
Until next time, October.