Here we are, back at Dodger Stadium for the final game of the National League Division Series: The New York Mets versus the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s been an up and down series, with the two teams trading wins. That would mean this Game Five would be the Mets’s turn to win, but the Dodgers will do everything to make sure that doesn’t happen.
In Tuesday’s game the Dodgers faced elimination, but Clayton Kershaw pitched seven great innings, allowing just one run in the fourth. Then the bullpen came through in the final innings to bring the series back to L.A.
Steven Matz didn’t do so well for the Mets, giving up three runs in the third. That was all the Dodgers would need too, the L.A. pitching being so good Tuesday night.
Both teams have great pitching, but both teams have lineups that are good enough to beat great pitching. In Game Three the Mets unloaded on the Dodgers, scoring 13 runs. Los Angeles managed to produce seven runs in that game.
Tonight’s game looks like to will be a pitching duel between the Mets rookie Jake deGrom and the veteran ace of the Dodgers, Zack Greinke. In his Game One start in this series, deGrom didn’t give up any runs. In contrast, Greinke gave up two runs in Game Two. By that standard the Mets would appear to have a slight edge.
But this is the biggest game of the year for both teams. It’s winners take all and move on to the National League Championship Series and the losers go on vacation until February.
The Mets haven’t been in the National League Championship Series since 2006, when they were defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
The Dodgers were in the NLCS two years ago, so they don’t want to go home early this season. They’ve been there and done that. They are ready to move on to the NLCS. This will be a classic Game Five: two great pitchers facing two great lineups.
A big question for today’s game: who will catch for Zack Greinke? Dodgers manager Don Mattingly had Yasmani Grandal penciled in to start behind the plate, but he has had an injured shoulder, so depending how it responds to treatment will determine if Grandal or A.J. Ellis gets the start.
When asked about the two catchers, Greinke said,“They both have different strengths. I think I’ve pitched equally to either one. A.J.’s probably the best pitch caller and working with a pitcher on what’s working and stuff similar to that in the game. And Yas works really well with me, and his physical skills and baseball skills are as good as anyone in the game, with framing and blocking and throwing. So they both have some strengths.”
Greinke had this to say about the two Mets pitchers who will face in this series, Noah Syndergaard and Jacon deGrom: “They both have amazing fastballs, and I just think deGrom might have a little more location. I don’t know. They’re both really fast, and they both are good hitting pitchers. So they’re about as similar as you’re going to get, I guess, with overall skill set. So that’s a pretty similar match-up. Just a little more experience from deGrom maybe.”
Greinke has been pretty amazing himself this season.
Earlier this week the Dodgers claimed right-handed pitcher Brookes Brown from the Colorado Rockies and designated Jim Johnson for assignment.
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UPDATE: as of Thursday afternoon, Yasmani Grandal is in the lineup as the starting catcher for tonight’s Game Five.
(L.A. Post-Examiner Staff contributed to this article)
(Photos by Claudia Gestro — Top photo: Zack Greinke and Jacob deGrom)
Claudia is of Peruvian and Italian descent, having been born in a small town, in the North of Peru, South America. She was raised by her grandmother from an early age, living in poverty until Claudia’s mother brought her to America. She landed in Miami, FL and started her new life, playing high school basketball and eventually becoming a United States citizen. Claudia completed her education at Florida International University with a BA in Broadcast Journalism and became a model to supplement her income. Since graduating from FIU Claudia has worked with many of the Spanish Language broadcasting companies, including Telemundo, Univision and most recently Spanish Language channels on SiriusXM satellite radio and PasTV Deportes in Venezuela.She encourages you to follow her on Twitter and Facebook. Her content appears here under a shared content agreement with her Spanish television clients.