Mets vs Dodgers: Game five showdown

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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.

Justin Turner has been playing with a sore knee, but he is expected to get the start for Game Five.
Justin Turner has been playing with a sore knee, but he is expected to get the start for Game Five.

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.

A.J. Ellis of the L.A. Dodgers
A.J. Ellis of the L.A. Dodgers

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.

Yasmani Grandal
Yasmani Grandal

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)