Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Giants began Monday night as a premier matchup of two of the game's best pitchers in Jake Arrieta and Madison Bumgarner. More than five hours later, a wild back-and-forth affair finally came to a close on a walk-off
Game 3 of the National League Division Series between the Cubs and Giants began Monday night as a premier matchup of two of the game's best pitchers in Jake Arrieta and Madison Bumgarner. More than five hours later, a wild back-and-forth affair finally came to a close on a walk-off double by Joe Panik in the bottom of the 13th inning to deliver San Francisco a dramatic 6-5 victory.
The two clubs are scheduled to play Game 4 at 8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday on FS1, about 20 hours after they wrapped up Game 3. But before they take the field again, here a few facts and figures you should know about one of the more memorable postseason games in recent memory:
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• San Francisco's victory marked just the fourth time any team has staved off elimination from the postseason in a game that lasted 13 innings or more. The only other time the Giants avoided elimination with a walk-off win was Game 5 of the 1911 World Series.
Monday's game was just the ninth to end on a walk-off hit in the 13th inning or later. Along with their 18-inning win over the Nationals in Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS, San Francisco has won two postseason games of 13 innings or more under manager Bruce Bochy.
• Speaking of Bochy, the Giants improved to 10-0 in elimination games during his tenure. Bochy's successful streak in games in which his team's back is against the wall is the longest of any manager in history. San Francisco has not lost an elimination game since Game 4 of the 2003 NLDS -- a 7-6 loss to the Florida Marlins.
• Chicago looked to be on its way to victory with a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning when San Francisco's Conor Gillaspie came up with another huge hit for his team. Gillaspie's two-run triple off Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman was an incredible encore to his game-winning three-run home run in the NL Wild Card Game, making the Giants infielder the first player in franchise history to record two go-ahead hits in the eighth inning or later in the same postseason. Gillaspie is also only the second Giants player to record go-ahead RBIs in the eighth inning or later twice in the same postseason, joining Juan Uribe in the 2010 NLCS.
Gillaspie's triple was the first three-base hit ever allowed to a left-handed batter by Chapman in his career. In fact, Chapman had only allowed nine extra base hits (eight doubles, one home run) to lefties prior to Monday.
Dating back to the beginning of Pitch F/X tracking in 2008, the Giants had only compiled two hits against pitches clocked at 101 mph or faster. But on Monday, the Giants got two hits off 101-plus mph pitches in the eighth inning alone off Chapman. Gillaspie's triple came off a pitch by Chapman that was measured at 101 mph, which is even remarkable due to the fact that he had never seen a 100+ mph pitch in his Major League career before Monday, according to Inside Edge.
• Gillaspie's go-ahead hit did more than stake the Giants to a temporary lead -- it also broke a streak of 33 1/3 scoreless innings against Cubs relief pitchers during the 2016 season.
• Trailing 5-3 in the top of the ninth, it was the Cubs' turn to get off the mat, and NL MVP frontrunner Kris Bryant helped them do just that with a two-run homer off Giants closer Sergio Romo. Bryant launched his home run off the bat with an exit velocity of 102.4 mph and an angle of 42.4 degrees, which made it the highest launch angle of any postseason home run hit in the Statcast™ Era. Similar batted balls had gone for hits only 26 percent of the time in 2016, but all of those hits, like Bryant's, had gone for home runs.
With the blast, Bryant etched his name alongside another beloved Cubs player, as he joined Sammy Sosa as the only two North Siders to hit a game-tying home run in the 9th inning or later of a postseason game. It was only the 16th time in postseason history a player has tied a game with a home run in the ninth inning or beyond when his team was trailing by multiple runs.
• Bryant's homer ended a streak of 13 consecutive scoreless outings at home in the postseason for Romo. A blown save was unfortunately a familiar sight for Giants fans, as San Francisco led the Majors with 30 blown saves during the regular season.
• Arrieta momentarily stole the show in the top of the second with his bat instead of his arm. On a 1-2 count with two outs in the inning, Arrieta took a 90 mph fastball from Bumgarner up and out to left field for a three-run homer to give the Cubs an early 3-0 lead. The blast, which traveled 377 feet according to Statcast™, ended Bumgarner's streak of 24 consecutive scoreless innings pitched in the postseason. The run was impressive, but it falls well short of all-time leaders Mariano Rivera (33 1/3 innings), Whitey Ford (33.0) and Babe Ruth (29.0).
• Arrieta's homer was the first that Bumgarner had allowed in 418 career plate appearances by pitchers, including the regular season and postseason. It was only the second home run hit by a pitcher off a former World Series MVP pitcher. The first was by Boston pitcher Jose Santiago off Hall of Famer Bob Gibson of the Cardinals -- which gave the Red Sox their only run in a 2-1 loss to St. Louis in Game 1 of the 1967 World Series.
In addition to the pitcher he hit it off, Arrieta's home run was even more impressive given the ballpark he was in. The Cubs starter became only the 13th visiting pitcher to go deep at San Francisco's AT&T Park, and the first since then-Dodger Zack Greinke on Sept. 13, 2014. Arrieta is the only visiting pitcher to hit a homer there in the postseason.
• The ball left Arrieta's bat at 106.2 mph at a launch angle of 26 degrees, per Statcast™, making it his third barrel of the season. It was also the third-hardest hit home run by a pitcher in 2016, and the fifth-hardest hit overall in the Statcast™ Era. The leader in both categories? That would be Bumgarner.
• Arrieta also became the first pitcher to drive in at least three runs on a homer in the postseason since Hall of Famer Steve Carlton of the Phillies hit three-run blast off fellow Hall of Famer Don Sutton of the Dodgers in Game 3 of the 1978 NLCS. Carlton's homer also came in the top of the second inning and it was the last postseason home run hit by a pitcher on the road before Arrieta.
• Cubs pitchers have been a historic force at the plate so far this October. The combination of Arrieta's homer Monday and Travis Wood's home run in Game 2 makes the Cubs just the third team to have two pitchers hit home runs in the same postseason -- and only the second to have those two pitchers do so in the same series. The other team to have a pair of pitchers go deep in the same series were the 1924 New York Giants, who saw Rosy Ryan (also the last reliever to homer in the playoffs before Wood) and Jack Bentley homer in Games 3 and 5 respectively in the World Series.
• Monday's 13-inning affair was the longest postseason contest in Cubs franchise history. The last time Chicago had gone as many as 12 innings in a postseason contest was Game 6 of the 1945 World Series, which was the last time the Cubs won a game in the Fall Classic.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.