Mets vs Dodgers: Win and Continue, Lose and Go Home
The NLDS between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers has come down to a deciding Game 5 at Dodgers Stadium. The Dodgers leveled the series on Tuesday behind the stellar pitching effort of Clayton Kershaw and their bullpen.
On Thursday, the Dodgers will hand the ball to their “other” ace on the pitching staff Zack Greinke to try win and move on to the National League Championship series against the Chicago Cubs.
The Mets will send Jacob deGrom to the mound. He was the Game 1 winner in a matchup with Kershaw and will have an extra day’s rest while Greinke, the winner of Game 2 will be pitching on his normal rest.
Los Angeles is trying to advance to the Championship Series of the NL for the first time in two years. New York has not reached the NL Championship series since 2006.
Fittingly, the season for the Dodgers could either be ended or prolonged on consecutive appearances by Kershaw then Greinke, whose left and right arm respectively have propelled this team to its third straight NL West title.
Kershaw said that the matchup between deGrom and teammate Greinke is dead even. He said that as good as Greinke has pitched all season, deGrom has done the same and that means the only home field advantage will be the Dodgers will bat last in the ninth inning.
Greinke has lasted through six innings in each of his 33 starts this season with an ERA of 1.66 that led all of baseball. He allowed two runs or fewer in 27 of his starts.
His only previous elimination game in the NLCS was in 2013 and he won Game 5 against St. Louis, which was leading the series 3-1. Greinke allowed only two runs to force the sixth game that Kershaw and the Dodgers lost.
This is the second time Greinke has faced Mets’ batters in five days but the difference is the season is on the line for both teams.
Don Mattingly the Dodgers manager said it was 50-50 that Yasmani Grandal the catcher would play due to a left shoulder injury. The big issue is if he can swing the bat without any pain as catching would not bother the shoulder.
Through Game 4, the Mets have 19 runs to the Dodgers 16 including a rout in Game 3 of 13-7. Without that game, the other three games had a difference of 3 runs or less.
Prediction: Dodgers 3-1