It’s winner-take-all for the Mets and Dodgers tonight, with the victor going on to face the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series.
Zack Greinke gets the start for the Dodgers, thanks to the heroic, season-saving, Game 4 efforts of Clayton Kershaw, who pitched 7 innings of 1-run ball with 8 strikeouts in 3-1 victory, in a performance that should at least temporarily quell the talk of him being a choke artist.
Greinke overcame a pair of second-inning solo homers in Game 2 to go 7 innings with 8 Ks, 0 walks and only 5 hits, leading the Dodgers to a 5-2 win. For all of Greinke’s greatness, though, game 2 will be best remembered for Chase Utley’s vicious takeout slide that broke Ruben Tejada’s leg and helped spark a game-winning 4-run rally.
For all their pearl-clutching outrage at Utley’s indiscretion, the Mets have wisely focused on winning rather than revenge, and will no doubt maintain that focus. Unless of course the game turns into a blowout and Utley comes up to the plate late in the game. In which case, Don Mattingly should be fired immediately and arrested for reckless endangerment.
Jacob deGrom, aka “The deGrominator”, tonight has a chance to convince America once and for all that it is he, and not Matt Harvey, who is the Mets’ ace. DeGrom was, by any sensible measure, the better pitcher in 2015 and did it all without missing practices or having his agent throw temper tantrums in the press. And in the postseason, deGrom has only widened the gap between himself and Harvey.
Now if the kid would just get a haircut.
Watch the New York Mets vs. Los Angeles Dodgers at 8pm ET Thursday on TBS.