A few days away from the start of the NLDS, it’s time to make some predictions that are sure to be completely wrong. These posts are great to look back at in a couple weeks as a reminder that baseball is stupid and illogical. I remember predicting that the Dodgers and Cardinals NLDS last year was going to be dominated by pitching, especially in game one with Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright. That game ended with a final score of 10-9.
But this time, I’ll be completely right about everything.
Holy pitching, Batman. Kershaw against Jacob deGrom on an unseasonably warm Friday night at Chavez Ravine. Pitching will definitely be the story of this game, as Kershaw will continue his incredible season by striking out 12 Mets in seven innings. He’ll probably go full Papelbon on Mattingly after Donnie pulls him in the bottom of the seventh for a pinch hitter, but with A.J. Ellis on second, pinch hitter Enrique Hernandez will drive him in on a double off deGrom. Chris Hatcher will get in a little trouble, but get out of a jam in the eighth and Kenley Jansen will shut the door, striking out Yoenis Cespedes to end the game.
Dodgers win game 1, 2-1
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Another game dominated by pitching, but a little more high-scoring than game one. Zack Greinke will be good, but make one mistake pitch to Lucas Duda to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead. The Dodgers will get tie it up with fifth inning doubles by Corey Seager and Yasmani Grandal, and then Greinke will single in Grandal. The amount of bat-flip will probably drive Dodger Stadium crazy.
It’ll be another pinch-hit hero for the Dodgers in game two. The Mets will turn to Sean Gilmartin in the eighth to face Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier. Gonzo will be retired, but Mattingly will have Justin Ruggiano pinch hit for Ethier and he’ll cement his Dodger legacy with a tiebreaking homer down the left field line. Jeurys Familia will be warming up in the Mets bullpen, and the cameras will show him staring at the homer EXACTLY like Craig Kimbrel a few years ago. Jansen shuts the door, Dodgers take a 2-0 series lead to New York.
Dodgers win game 2, 3-2
This is where things get a little less fun for Dodger fans. Matt Harvey won’t be as sharp as usual, giving up four runs in six innings. Former Met Justin Turner will step in and be booed heavily, only to turn on a pitch and drill it out to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the first. He’ll follow it up with an RBI double in the sixth, and be driven in by Joc Pederson.
Unfortunately, neither Kershaw or Greinke will start this game. Instead, it’ll be Brett Anderson (?). I think. Anderson will get BABIPed around and give up homers to Cespedes and David Wright. He’ll also go six innings, but give up six runs in the process. The Dodgers will threaten in the late innings against Addison Reed and Tyler Clippard, but they’ll both wiggle out of trouble and Familia will pitch a perfect ninth.
Mets win game 3, 7-4.
Jul 24, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner (10) hits a double against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Wood will start this game because it isn’t a must-win for the Dodgers. Wood will be solid, allowing two runs in six innings. Unfortunately, this will be the bad bullpen game, and Juan Nicasio and Pedro Baez will each allow two runs.
Bartolo Colon will start instead of Steven Matz, who couldn’t get healthy in time. Colon will pitch well, allowing three runs in seven innings. He’ll undoubtably do some damage with the bat, knocking a bases-loaded single off Wood in the second inning.
The Mets bullpen closes the door in the eighth and ninth, and the series gets tied back up and heads back to LA.
Mets win game 4, 6-3
Kershaw vs deGrom, the sequel. This time, there will be no Dodger bullpen, as Kershaw will shake Ellis’ hand on the mound at the end of the game.
deGrom will almost match Kershaw, but the Dodgers will load the bases on him in the third and score on an error by Curtis Granderson. They’ll only score one with the bases loaded because they’re the Dodgers, but that’ll be more than enough.
Jansen will be warming up for the ninth, but the Dodgers break it open in the eight with back-to-back jacks from Pederson and Ellis. With a 3-0 lead, Mattingly lets Kershaw finish the game and Kershaw strikes out the side, the final K coming on a 12-6 to David Wright, where he contemplates the meaning of life and retires before the ball even crosses the plate.
Dodgers win game 5, 3-0.
This was a fun little piece to write, and while the game specifics are a little out there this is how I see the series going. It’s definitely not going to be easy, but I think the Dodgers win their three home games and the three games started by Kershaw and Greinke. Justin Turner will get a little revenge on his former team, and for the most part the bullpen will be good.
Kershaw will probably win the series MVP, as he has incredible numbers against the Mets in the past. This series will be a good time for him to remove the “playoff choker” narrative. I see the series going five games and it being close all the way around. The Dodgers defense is much improved from last years’, and I think that’ll pay off bigtime in the postseason.