Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

During the last week of the regular season, the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets were still jockeying for home-field advantage in their National League Division Series matchup. With the Dodgers winning their last four games and the Mets losing five of their last six, the Dodgers claimed home-field.

However, that didn’t seem to bother Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard who appeared confident his team would advance past the first round. Earlier this week the Mets right-hander claimed his team was going to “give it” to the Dodgers no matter where the series started.

While it seemed as if the trash-talking between the two teams could begin even before they took the field, Dodgers utility man Kiké Hernandez didn’t take exception to Syndegaard’s comments. “No, I hope that’s what he thinks. I hope that he’s not scared,” Hernandez said prior to the NLDS beginning. “This is the big leagues, this is the playoffs.

“It doesn’t really matter where you start, you’ve got to take care of the other team if you want to advance. That’s good that he wants to win. It doesn’t offend me at all. I would probably say the same thing about them if it was the other way around. You can’t be scared of where you’re playing or starting a series. You can’t let that affect you or the outcome. He believes in his team like we believe in ours.”

Behind a dominating performance from Jacob deGrom, the Mets withstood a similar effort from Clayton Kershaw to take Game 1 Friday night. Syndergaard now gets the opportunity to add more validation to his words, as he starts Saturday.

Despite Syndegaard’s great season in which he struck out 166 batters and had a 1.05 WHIP, the 23 year old struggled to pitch on the road. In 12 outings away from Citi Field, the hard-throwing right-hander went 2-5 with a 4.23 ERA while walking 11 more batters than he did in 12 home starts. However, Syndergaard did have better results on the road down the stretch of the season.

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