It is never a good idea to predict history; who knew Chase Utley would break Ruben Tejada’s leg in an already infamous slide that will go down in Mets lore? But it is safe to say that the winner-take-all Game 5 of the NLDS between the Mets and Dodgers will be one for the ages.
Jacob deGrom goes for the Mets. He baffled the Dodgers in Game 1, throwing seven shutouts innings, striking out 13 batters while allowing five hits and a walk.
“We feel confident,” David Wright said after the Game 4 loss. “Jacob threw a great game out there last time.”
Even the Dodgers are concerned.
“We know we’ve got a huge mountain still to climb with an amazing starting pitcher coming against us in Game 5,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “It’s going to be a really, really big battle for us, because Jacob showed us Game 1 just how talented and special he is.”
The Dodgers will have Zack Greinke taking the mound, who also threw a great game in Game 2. He was not as good as deGrom — he allowed two runs on solo homers by Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto in the second inning — but they were two of only five hits he allowed in seven innings. He struck out eight and did not walk a batter.
“It’s probably dead even, to be honest,” Tuesday winner Clayton Kershaw said “As good as Zack is and has been the whole year, deGrom has been the same. So there’s really no home-field advantage when you’re facing a guy like deGrom. We saw that in Game 1.”
The Sporting News points out how historic the game is. Greinke’s incredible regular season ERA of 1.66 combined with deGrom’s none-too-shabby 2.54 comes to 4.20. That is the lowest combined ERA of two starting pitchers who qualified for the ERA title in a win-or-go-home game in baseball history.
It is the latest in a series of great pitching.
“We’ve had big pitching matchups this whole series,” Wright said. You look at Kershaw-deGrom and Greinke-Syndergaard and then going back out there for deGrom-Greinke, if you like pitching matchups, this is the series for you.”
Hopefully deGrom can come out on top of this epic matchup and extend the Mets season.