The Major League Baseball postseason is something that’s supposed to build to a crescendo, with the most memorable note being sounded in the seventh game of the World Series.

The National League Wild Card Game is anything but a warm-up or an appetizer. It is a full-fledged marquee matchup between the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, featuring two of the best pitchers in the league: Madison Bumgarner vs. Noah Syndergaard.

Bumgarner has a magnificent postseason legacy, having been the Most Valuable Player in the Giants’ 2014 World Series run. He has a 5-1 record in his last eight postseason games with a 0.91 ERA. Bumgarner was 15-9 with a 2.74 ERA during the 2016 regular season.

Syndergaard won Game 3 of the 2015 World Series against the Kansas City Royals, and that was the only game the Mets won in last year’s Fall Classic. He had a 2-1 record in last year’s postseason with a 3.32 ERA.

Syndergaard was 14-9 in 2016 with a 2.60 ERA while striking out 218 batters and walking 43.

The two teams will play Wednesday night at Citi Field in New York, and the game will be televised by ESPN. The game will be live-streamed at WatchESPN, but it will not be available at

Bumgarner has also been at his best when pitching at Citi Field. He has a 4-0 record and an impressive 0.62 ERA.

Mets manager Terry Collins knows his team has a tough assignment, but the Mets beat Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers in last year’s National League Division Series and have come through under difficult circumstances

“It’s the big leagues and you are going to face great pitching in the postseason,” Collins told Mike Puma of the New York Post. “I know [the Giants] are in their clubhouse and saying, ‘Wow, we’ve got to face Syndergaard,’ so it should be a great game.”

The Mets are going to have to find out a way to scratch out a run or two against Bumgarner and hope that Syndergaard is on top of his game.

They showed quite a bit of power this season and are led by outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who had 31 home runs and 86 RBI this year. Additionally, Curtis Granderson belted 30 homers, while Asdrubal Cabrera added 23 long balls. Jay Bruce hit 33 home runs in 2016, but 25 of those home runs were hit with the Cincinnati Reds before he was acquired by the Mets in a trade.

Neil Walker also hit 23 home runs, but he underwent season-ending lumbar surgery in September.

The Giants do not hit the long ball. Brandon Belt led the team with 17 home runs, and that was the lowest figure to lead any team in either the American or National League.

Third baseman Eduardo Nunez hit 16 home runs and drove in 67 runs on the season, while former postseason hero Buster Posey suffered a power downturn as he hit just 14 home runs while driving in 80.

While the Giants struggled badly in the second half of the season, they have a history of excelling in the postseason. They won the World Series in 2010, 2012 as well as 2014, and manager Bruce Bochy has shown that he knows how to get the most out of his team when it matters most.

If the Giants are going to survive and advance this year, they will need their ace to outduel the Mets’ best pitcher in a game that could be remembered as a postseason classic.

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