Dodgers Mets Game 5 Preview


Because our collective heart rates weren’t all unhealthy enough on Tuesday, let’s do this again.

Clayton Kershaw SHOVED on Tuesday. In my preview for that game, I said I didn’t want him pitching in the seventh inning no matter how well he was throwing. He stayed in in the seventh and the first batter he faced reached on an infield single, much like last year’s Kershaw game four start on short rest. I said a number of words that would get me fired if I typed them out. After the infield single, Kershaw needed six pitches to get three outs and hopefully forever end the choker/seventh inning narratives.

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The offense also did enough against Steven Matz, but a few more runs could have helped slow some heart rates down. They scored three runs, which more often than not is enough when Kershaw is on the mound. And it was, so it’s hard to complain.

So here we go, win or go home game five. The Dodgers are in the same position that the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals were in. Down 2-1 in the series, take game four to send the series home. The Royals won in normal fashion, the Blue Jays won in epic fashion. Now it’s the Dodgers turn to hold home field.

The last time the Mets were in a do-or-die game was also the last playoff game they played before this season. Yadier Molina put the Cardinals up 3-1 in the ninth with a two-run homer, and the Mets loaded the bases in the bottom. Carlos Beltran struck out looking, and the Cardinals did while the Mets died. The Dodgers are 4-0 in LA Dodger history in winner-take-all games at Dodger Stadium and the last time they were in this situation they beat the Mets in the 1988 NLCS. I think we all remember how that postseason ended. If you need a reminder, this happened in that postseason, and today is the 27th anniversary of one of the most iconic moments in baseball history.

If Kershaw bringing the series back to LA wasn’t enough of a positive, it also ensured at least one more game of Nancy Bea on the organ and Zack Greinke on the hill. Greinke is on regular rest and beat the Mets in game two after allowing two runs, both on homers to right field. It was a scorching night in LA and the ball carried, but today’s high in LA is 81 and it’s supposed to be very cloudy all day, so hopefully the ball won’t carry as much.

Jacob deGrom gets the ball for the Mets and he shut down the Dodgers in game one. He threw seven shutout innings, holding the Dodgers to five hits while striking out 13. He hasn’t allowed a run in 14 2/3 career innings against the Dodgers, so maybe work his pitch count and get him out of the game as soon as possible.

The most notable thing is Enrique Hernandez starting in place of Carl Crawford against a righty. Kiké is essentially a platoon player with huge splits, but Crawford has looked lost this series and is probably not the best option right now.

In “things I never thought I would say”, it’s weird that Yasmani Grandal is starting over A.J. Ellis. Ellis has been incredible of late and just set a franchise record 12-game postseason hit streak. Grandal hasn’t been good or healthy since June, but he’s caught in 26 of Greinke’s 32 starts this season which is probably why he’s in the lineup today. It’s better to have Greinke at his maximum comfort level than to have a stronger bat in the lineup, especially when one Greinke mistake can end the Dodger season.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 PST and will be shown on TBS.