As the regular season ended for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, the team got to enjoy a brief break in the schedule before ramping up for a third trip to the postseason in as many years.
For the Dodgers, scouting a team that was a second-half surprise and underwent multiple changes might be difficult. When a team like the New York Mets hit the streak that they did, everything was going their way, both offensively and defensively.
However, despite their roster changes this year, the one constant for the Mets was their pitching staff, led by a trio of right-handers. When asked what the biggest challenge posed by the Mets is, the answer was simple for Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
“Their pitching. Their pitching is really good and they’ve got quality arms all the way through. And since they’ve made their trades, they’ve been a really good offensive club. I know they’ll be prepared, Terry [Collins, Mets manager] does a tremendous job,” Mattingly said.
“I know some of the coaches and I know they’ll be prepared for us. They’ve got a talented club. They’ve got a club that obviously didn’t finish the regular season probably the way they wanted, but that doesn’t have anything to do with now. They were an electric club after the break. They’re a confident team, young and excited, so you just never know what’s going to happen.”
The Dodgers will face the young trio of Jacob DeGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey, in that order in the National League Division Series. The three pitchers combined for a total of eight career starts against the Dodgers, with positive results.
For his career, DeGrom is 0-2 against Los Angeles, but of course win-loss doesn’t tell the complete story. Both losses were suffered in 2014 and in his lone start against the Dodgers this season, things faired pretty well for DeGrom.
On July 26, the 27 year threw 7.1 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and two walks in a no-decision. Harvey saw the Dodgers twice this season, with one start on the road and one at home. On July 4, he suffered a loss at Dodger Stadium in a game the Dodgers won, 4-3.
Harvey threw five innings and allowed three runs on seven hits, while also handing out five walks. Syndergaard has the smallest sample size against the Dodgers, with only one career start under his belt.
At Chavez Ravine, the 23 year old threw six innings of one-run ball, though didn’t earn a decision in the Mets’ win. Should the teams play to a Game 4, New York is expected to turn to Steven Matz, so long as he’s healthy.