Behind the left arm of their ace Clayton Kershaw and timely hitting, the Los Angeles Dodgers were able to defeat the New York Mets in Game 4 of the National League Division Series at Citi Field to force a deciding Game 5 Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
After relying on one ace to stay alive, the Dodgers turn their other pitching stalwart in Zack Greinke. The 31 year old had a stellar regular season, going 19-3 with a Major-League best 1.66 ERA and 0.84 WHIP. Additionally, greinke finished with a 2.76 FIP and 225 ERA+.
Los Angeles has won 14 of the 18 games Greinke pitched at Dodger Stadium this season. His last outing at Chavez Ravine came in Game 2 with the Dodgers looking to avoid falling behind the Mets 2-0 in the series.
Greinke allowed two solo home runs in the second inning, but turned in seven strong frames, collecting eight strikeouts in the process. In two starts against the Mets during the regular season, Greinke went 1-0, with a 1.29 ERA and 0.79 WHIP. In 14 innings of work, he allowed just two runs, gave up eight hits, and walked three.
The Mets are sending an ace of their own to the hill in Game 5 in Jacob deGrom. The 27-year-old right-hander went 14-8 with a 2.54 ERA, 2.70 FIP and 0.98 WHIP over 30 starts. deGrom is 0-2 with a 3.66 ERA in three career regular season starts against the Dodgers.
He was masterful in Game 1 of the series when he defeated Kershaw and the Dodgers. deGrom threw seven shutout innings while striking out 13. The second-year pitcher is lifetime 12-7 with a 3.33 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in 27 regular season road starts; he went 8-4 with a 3.09 ERA on the road this season.
In five games, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has sent out five different lineups. Thursday’s lineup features the return of Joc Pederson in center field. Pederson has only started one game this series, which was Game 1. He went 0-for-3 with an intentional walk.
Kiké Hernandez, who is 4-for-10 in the series, starts in left field for the first time since July 24. Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Turner remain the club’s No. 3 and 4 hitters. Gonzalez has at least one RBI through the first four games of the series, and five overall.
Turner enters the winner-take-all game 7-or-15 with four doubles and three RBIs. It’s much of the same for the Mets, though Michael Conforto returns to the lineup and bats seventh. He hit one of the two home runs off Greinke in Game 2.
2B: Howie Kendrick
SS: Corey Seager
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
3B: Justin Turner
RF: Andre Ethier
C: Yasmani Grandal
LF: Kike Hernandez
CF: Joc Pederson
P: Zack Greinke
RF: Curtis Granderson
3B: David Wright
2B: Daniel Murphy
CF: Yoenis Cespedes
1B: Lucas Duda
C: Travis d’Arnaud
LF: Michael Conforto
SS: Wilmer Flores
P: Jacob deGrom