The Giants have had countless unlikely heroes over the years. So it shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that their victory over the Mets in Wednesday’s National League Wild Card Game featured a big hit by a random.
That random? Third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who was in the lineup only because of an injury to Eduardo Nunez. Gillaspie did the unthinkable, swatting a three-run home run against Mets closer Jeurys Familia — a pitcher who had allowed one home run in more than 77 innings. Here’s what it looked like, Gillaspie taking full advantage of a misplaced fastball:
Of course, the home run was an unlikely outcome for other reasons, too.
Gillaspie has failed to latch on due to his lacking pop. He entered the night with 31 home runs in 1,464 big-league plate appearances — and never more than 13 in a season. Gillaspie has instead always been more of a contact hitter with gap power. None of that matters tonight, however, not when a home run he did hit was as important as this one.
Keep Gillaspie’s name in mind. Because if the Giants make another even-year run — and they’ll have to start by knocking off the Cubs — you’ll have no choice but to remember this blast as the launching point.