NLDS Game 4: Dodgers at Mets, presented by GEICO

The Mets and Dodgers play Game 4 of the National League Division Series tonight at Citi Field at 8:07 p.m. ET.

 Tonight’s Starting Lineups

Mets Dodgers
1. Curtis Granderson RF 1. Enrique Hernandez CF
2. David Wright 3B 2. Howie Kendrick 2B
3. Daniel Murphy 2B 3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Yoenis Cespedes LF 4. Justin Turner 3B
5. Travis d’Arnaud C 5. Corey Seager SS
6. Lucas Duda 1B 6. Yasiel Puig RF
7. Wilmer Flores SS 7. A.J. Ellis C
8. Juan Lagares CF 8. Justin Ruggiano LF
9. Steven Matz  LHP 9. Clayton Kershaw LHP


Tonight’s Pitching Match Up

Steven Matz: The 24-year-old rookie from Long Island will make his first career postseason start. Matz has not pitched since Sept. 24 after suffering from back spasms. Although he has made only six career starts, one of them was a win over the Dodgers on July 5. In that game Matz threw six scoreless innings and allowed only two hits in Los Angeles.

Clayton Kershaw: After starting game one of the series, Kershaw will return to the mound on three days rest. This will mark the third time Kershaw has started a postseason game on three days rest. He is 0-1 with 2.25 ERA in the previous two. Kershaw took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits with 11 strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings in the series opener. In 12 career postseason appearances, Kershaw is 1-6 with a 4.99 ERA.

Team Notes

Mets Notes: The Mets are one win away from advancing to the National League Championship Series. Entering the 2015 postseason, teams that took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five Division Series were 39-10 in winning that series. New York is 3-0 all-time in the NLDS. Daniel Murphy hit a solo home run off Kershaw in game one. Wilmer Flores is 3-for-6 in his career against Kershaw. Curtis Granderson has recorded two hits in each of the first three games of the series. His five RBIs in last nights victory tied a franchise record.

Dodgers Notes: The Dodgers will attempt to force a Game 5 in Los Angeles with Zack Greinke in line to make that start, if necessary. Since winning the 1988 World Series, the Dodgers have lost eight of their last ten postseason elimination games. Howie Kendrick is 5-for-13 in this series, but went 0-for-3 against Matz earlier this season. Kiké Hernandez and A.J. Ellis, who each singled, recorded the only two Dodgers hits off Matz in July.


Terry Collins talked to reporters after Game 4 and said…

Jacob deGrom will have nearly the whole pitching staff behind him, if needed, in Game 5. Matt Harvey will not be available out of the bullpen, he said before the game.

-DeGrom could have pitched in Game 4, as he was up in the bullpen, but they were only going to use them if they had a chance to close it out.

Lucas Duda seems to be pressing, trying to hit home runs, instead of taking a normal approach at the plate.

-Collins said he’s happy for Justin Turner, who has had incredible success against the Mets in the NLDS.

Steven Matz was “outstanding,” Collins said. He said Matz would probably want a pitch or two back.


Kershaw handcuffs Mets; Game 5 Thursday in LA

Clayton Kershaw held the Mets to one run and three hits in seven innings as the Dodgers won 3-1 Tuesday at Citi Field to tie the NL Division Series at two games apiece.

Kershaw dominated the Mets, striking out eight. Former Met Justin Turner had the decisive hit for LA, a two-run double in the Dodgers’ three-run rally in the fourth against Mets starter Steven Matz.

Matz went five innings, giving up three runs and six hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

Daniel Murphy homered off Kershaw in the fourth.

Murphy came to the plate with two on and two out in the eighth against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who replaced Chris Hatcher after he got the first two outs of the inning before walking Curtis Granderson.

Granderson stole second without a throw, then Jansen walked David Wright one pitch after the Dodgers thought Wright had struck out on a foul tip. Umpires ruled the ball did not hit the bat.

Murphy worked a full count before flying out to right.

Jansen struck out Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d’Arnaud to start the ninth before getting Lucas Duda to fly out to end it.

Andrew Vazzano,

The Mets simply ran into the buzzsaw that is Kershaw. He’s seemed to exercise his playoffs demons in this series. At least they don’t have to face him again.

The Mets just couldn’t get anything going on offense, save for the eighth inning. The Mets didn’t make good contact all night. Everything seemed to be just missed, off the end of the bat, squibbed, etc. Hopefully they leave that all behind for Game 5 on Thursday night.

For Matz, you can’t ask for much more. Two bad pitches over five innings in his seventh start in the major leagues, in the playoffs, is quite a tall task. Just a few hits that missed gloves or blooped in, and one rip down the left field line. Not super sharp, but made it through five innings fairly strong.

Now it’s Jacob deGrom vs. Zack Greinke for all the marbles. See you in LA…

The Mets and Dodgers head back to LA for the decisive Game 5 Thursday (8 p.m., TBS) deGrom (14-8, 2.54) faces Greinke (19-3, 1.66). The winner will host the Cubs Saturday in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.


Cubs eliminate Cardinals, await Mets-Dodgers winner

Anthony Rizzo broke a tie with a sixth-inning homer Tuesday as the Cubs beat the Cardinals 6-4 at Wrigley Field to win the NL Division Series 3-1 and advance to the NL Championship Series.

Chicago’s win and St. Louis’ loss means the winner of the Mets-Dodgers series has home field advantage in the NLCS, which begins with Games 1 and 2 Saturday and Sunday in New York or LA.

Games 3, 4, and 5 (if needed) will be in Chicago starting Tuesday, and Games 6-7 (if needed) at Citi Field or Dodger Stadium Oct. 24 and 25.

The Cubs are returning to the NLCS for the first time since 2003, when they lost in seven games to the Marlins. Their Game 6 loss will forever be remembered for Cubs fan Steve Bartman interfering with outfielder Moises Alou from making a catch of a foul ball to left in the eighth inning, after which Florida began its series-turning rally.

It was another in a long line of postseason heartbreaks for the Cubs, who haven’t won a World Series since 1908 and haven’t been in one since 1945. This will be their second trip to the NLCS and first since 1984, when they lost to San Diego.

But the Cubs dominated the Mets this season, sweeping all seven games by a composite score of 27-11. The Mets only scored more than one run twice. And the Cubs enter the NLCS on an offensive roll, having scored 15 of its 20 NLDS runs on home runs.

Read more on SNY.TV. . .



Collins spoke to reporters before Game 4 and said…, presented by Cadillac

-Terry Collins said the Mets know what they’re up against, having to beat either Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke to advance to the NLCS. “It’s a great challenge,” he said.

Juan Lagares is starting again because Collins wants “to ride that horse while it’s hot.”

-Collins appreciated the fan base at Citi Field on Monday night. “You know, since I’ve gotten here, alls you heard was about the New York Mets fanbase and how huge it is and how excitable they are and how passionate they are. Saw it last night,” he said. “We saw it against the Nationals. And that’s why, I mean, we have tried to say in the last couple of years. We understand the frustrations when you’re not winning. It’s New York, gotta win. There’s no second place.”

-When asked why Kershaw always has nice things to say about Collins, who worked with him in the Dodgers organization after the pitcher was drafted, Terry joked, “I gave him a lot of money one time.”

-Collins believes Michael Conforto will be an everyday player in 2016.



Syndergaard, Harvey unavailable out of bullpen, but Colon can pitch, if needed

Terry Collins said that Noah Syndergaard would be unavailable out of the bullpen in Game 4 and Matt Harvey unavailable in Game 5.

On the other hand, Bartolo Colon is likely available out of the bullpen in both games, if necessary.

Collins said that Syndergaard is still sore after his Game 2 start and Harvey will not pitch again this series.

When asked if Colon could make an appearance in both games, if needed, Collins said: “Probably.”