The Giants held World Series parades on Halloween in both 2012 and 2014. If they are still playing or celebrating on that day this year, they can look back on Monday as the night they came back from the dead.
The Giants outlasted the Chicago Cubs in a thrilling 6-5, 13-inning win in Game 3 of the N.L. Division Series. They came from behind in the eighth inning against closer Aroldis Chapman, keyed by another momentous hit from Conor Gillaspie. And they rallied again after Kris Bryant hit a game-tying, two-run homer off of Sergio Romo in the ninth.
Joe Panik’s double off the bricks in right-center in the bottom of the 13th scored Brandon Crawford for the Giants’ 10th straight win in postseason elimination games and extended their season at least one more day.
They must win two more such games against the Cubs to move on, beginning Tuesday in Game 4, when they’ll send left-hander Matt Moore to the mound against Chicago right-hander John Lackey.
"We’re hard to kill," said pitcher Madison Bumgarner.
Crawford opened the 13th by roping a two-strike curveball from Mike Montgomery into the right-field corner for a double. Panik then hit a drive off the brick façade in right-center, raising his fist into the air as he rounded first base, Crawford jogged home with the winning run and the Giants poured out of their dugout in celebration.
"Right when I hit it, you just have that feel," said Panik, who ran slowly out of the box watching the ball’s flight. "I knew it was probably going to get off the wall. Watching (the right fielder) run after it, it was like, ‘All right I got this.’ It’s a good feeling, I’ll tell you that."
Ty Blach, the sixth pitcher used by the Giants, escaped a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the 13th by getting pinch-hitter David Ross to ground into a double play. The Giants held the Cubs to three hits over their final nine innings, though one was the game-tying home run by Bryant.
The Giants, who blew a majors-leading 30 save chances during the regular season, could not convert their first chance of the postseason. But they absorbed both that and a rare October slip by Bumgarner, who allowed a three-run home run to opposing pitcher Jake Arrieta that left the Giants playing from behind starting in the second inning.
"They found a way," manager Bruce Bochy said.
After hanging in with jabs, scoring single runs in the third and fifth innings, the Giants delivered what looked like a knockout blow in the eighth.
It came from Gillaspie, the hero of the wild-card game with his game-winning home run, who came up against Chapman with the Giants trailing 3-2, two on and one out. Brandon Belt had singled off Travis Wood to start the inning and Hector Rondon walked Buster Posey, leading Cubs manager Joe Maddon to deploy his best weapon, the flame-throwing left-handed closer, to get six outs.
Chapman struck out Hunter Pence. But Gillaspie crushed a 101 mph fastball into the gap in right-center field, and as Belt and Posey raced around to score Gillaspie dove headlong into third base, a crowd of 43,571 screaming and waving their orange rally rags in frenzy.
"For a left-hander to catch up to that kind of velocity, that’s pretty impressive," Bochy said. "And he smoked it."
How did Gillaspie turn around 101 miles per hour?
"I mean, you just fire your hands," Gillaspie said. "You try to calm yourself down. I think with guys throwing hard, the less you do seems to work out better."
Gillaspie followed his second game-saving hit in a week by scoring on Crawford’s single to give the Giants a 5-3 lead. But Romo, who took over as closer for a struggling bullpen down the stretch, could not hold it. Romo walked Dexter Fowler and then hung a slider to Bryant, who lofted it just over the top of the left-field wall to tie the game.
"I didn’t think at the time that he hit it as well as he did," Romo said. "Can’t take nothing away from the guy. He’s incredibly strong, apparently. Big homer for him."
It was the lone blemish, though, on a huge night for the bullpen after Bumgarner exited in the fifth. Derek Law pitched a scoreless sixth and seventh inning. Hunter Strickland got the Giants through the eighth. After Bryant’s homer, Romo retired six consecutive hitters. Will Smith retired the side in the 11th, and Blach recorded the last six outs to earn a win.
"That’s what it usually comes down to at this stage," Bochy said. "The bullpen’s got to come through for you, and those guys did it tonight."
Bumgarner came in having pitched 23 consecutive scoreless playoff innings and made it 24 with a clean first Monday -- tying Lew Burdette for the third-longest streak in major-league history and passing former teammate Jeremy Affeldt (23 1/3) en route.
The Cubs, though, began to work Bumgarner in the second. Ben Zobrist saw six pitches before grounding out. Bumgarner’s eighth pitch to Addison Russell was a slider that ran in to hit Russell, who barely moved. The Giants caught a break when Miguel Montero scorched his first pitch straight at right fielder Hunter Pence, which brought up Arrieta.
A day earlier, Bumgarner had been asked about the prospect of facing Arrieta, who this season batted .262 with two homers, and gave an answer that would become prophetic.
"You’re going to have to make pitches to him," Bumgarner said. "You’re not going to sit there and throw three fastballs by him."
After taking ball one, Arrieta swung and missed at two fastballs. Bumgarner came back with a third fastball clocked at 90 mph. Arrieta crushed it into the left-field seats.
For Bumgarner, the career home run leader among active pitchers, it was the first homer allowed to an opposing pitcher in the majors. Arrieta pumped his fist and screamed as he rounded first base. Bumgarner bent over near the mound, hands on his knees. The crowd fell silent, stunned.
"That sure would be a bad way to go home," Bumgarner said later.
But Bumgarner, who threw 37 pitches in the second inning, willed his way through five on 101 pitches, his stellar career postseason ERA ticking upward from 1.94 to 2.11. And his obstinacy kept the Giants in the game despite the shock of Arrieta’s homer.
"Honestly it was so early in the game we never felt like we were out of it," Belt said. "We knew we had a chance to come back."
The comeback began in the third inning, when Denard Span doubled and Buster Posey singled up the middle to score him with two outs. Span struck again in the fifth, tripling to right-center and scoring on Belt’s sacrifice fly to cut the deficit to one.
A potential Giants rally in the sixth was snuffed out by a controversial call. Javier Baez made a great play on Gillaspie’s chopper up the middle, but the Giants challenged that Anthony Rizzo’s foot had left first base as he lunged for the throw. Replays shown in the park seemed to show a gap between Rizzo’s cleat and the bag. But an umpiring crew in New York upheld the out.
It merely set the stage for Gillaspie’s heroics, and then Panik’s, which finally, after five hours and four minutes, ensured the Giants would play another game in 2016.
"Guys in this clubhouse, they’ve done it before, 2012, 2014, backs up against the wall," Panik said. "So this type of situation, you just have to try to stay within yourself and not get out of what you do best. And we found a way."
NLDS: Washington at L.A. Dodgers, 2:05 p.m., FS1
NLDS: Chicago Cubs at Giants, 5:40 p.m., FS1