After staving off elimination Tuesday night at Citi Field in Game 4 of the National League Division Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers now face the New York Mets in a winner-take-all Game 5 Thursday night back at Dodger Stadium.
While the Dodgers certainly were relieved to avoid a second consecutive first-round exit, they now turn their focus to finding better success against Jacob deGrom, who they’re seeing for the second time in the series.
deGrom was dominant in the NLDS, opener throwing seven scoreless innings while striking out 13 batters, tying a Mets playoff record. NL Cy Young candidate Zack Greinke also makes his second start in the series.
The matchup between the pair of right-handers is one Clayton Kershaw described as even following his Game 4 performance, according to Pedro Moura of the OC Register:
You know what, it’s probably dead even, to be honest,” 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. He’s just very impressive, you know, just very tough to square up. If you can get strikeouts on heaters like he can, it’s really tough.”
Greinke attempts to help send the Dodgers to their second NL Championship Series in three years. In Game 2 of the series, he threw seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out eight. Both runs came on homers, with Yoenis Cespedes and Michael Conforto taking Greinke deep in the second inning.
A win in their first winner-take-all postseason game in 27 years will have the Dodgers back at Chavez Ravine on Saturday for Game 1 against the Cubs in the NLCS.