Matt Cerrone & Toby Hyde talk expectations and predictions for Mets-Dodgers

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Sep 26, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores celebrates on the field with fans after clinching the National League East Championship at Great American Ball Park. The Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-2. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Wilmer Flores is feeling better, ready for postseason

Mets SS Wilmer Flores is feeling better after being diagnosed with strep throat last week, he told reporters Thursday, according to (Oct. 9, 2015).

“I feel good,” said Flores, who lost about 10 pounds because of the infection. “There’s no excuse. I’m ready to go.”

Since the Mets nixed trading Flores and Zack Wheeler to the Brewers for Carlos Gomez, Flores is hitting .296 with six home runs and 19 RBI.

The Mets are likely to start Ruben Tejada on the infield for Game 1 when the Mets face Clayton Kershaw, Terry Collins has said, but Flores will be prepared once his name is called.

“This is what you work for all season,” Flores said. “We’re ready to go.”


Tonight’s Mets schedule on SNY


Sep 6, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Tyler Clippard (46) looks over at first base during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. The Marlins won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Clippard will remain set-up man in postseason

Mets reliever Tyler Clippard will remain as the team’s eighth-inning, set-up man, while Addison Reed will continue work the seventh inning during the NLDS, Terry Collins told reporters on Thursday.

Clippard has two blown saves and a 7.11 ERA during his last 12 appearances.

“With the back end of our bullpen, the way they’re set up, we like it. It’s worked,” Collins said. “I think the four days off has helped a lot of guys, including Tyler.”

Collins will also take into consideration Clippard’s work against left-handed hitters. Including his time with the A’s, Clippard is holding lefties to a .137 batting average and .468 OPS, while right-handed hitters are batting .242 and have a .745 OPS against him.

Adrian GonzalezChase UtleyCarl CrawfordAndre Ethier and Joc Pederson all bat lefty for the Dodgers and Jimmy Rollins, a switch hitter, bats .204 as a left-handed hitter and .297 as a righty.

“You’re looking at a lineup that’s primarily left-handed,” Collins said. “You look at Clippard’s numbers against lefties and they’re really good.”

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What’s on Tap for Friday, Oct. 9…

The Mets play Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on Friday at 9:47 p.m.

Jacob deGrom will start for the Mets, opposed by Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers.

The teams must set their NLDS roster by 1 pm ET.

Matthew Cerrone
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Well, this is it. Tonight’s the night, nine years in the making, as proud Champions of the NL East, the Mets will take the field during Game 1 of the NL Division Series. As I said the other day, while it’s not going to be easy, I believe the Mets can take the Dodgers in a five-game series. It’s the subsequent series — if the Mets get that far — that concern me. But, first things first, and I think the Dodgers are beatable. Tonight will not be easy, facing Clayton Kershaw; and neither will the next night, facing Zank Greinke. But, the fact, the Mets beat the Dodgers this season during games started by both of these men, and that was before acquiring Yoenis Cespedes and getting back David Wright. So, it’s possible. And, you know the old postseason axiom, which says, if the can steal at least one of the these two games, they’ll have the advantage going back home and with Matt Harvey starting Game 3. I hope the Mets are focused and feeling disciplined and ready to scratch and claw these next two night. I can’t wait for 9:47 pm!! Let’s Go METS!!!

In case you missed it on Thursday

Steven Matz threw five innings during a simulated game in Port St. Lucie and said afterwards that his back and arm felt great. The Mets will decide on Friday morning whether Matz will be on the NLDS roster, which has to be submitted by 1 p.m. ET.

Jacob deGrom said that any of the Mets pitchers could’ve handled the Game 1 NLDS start, but that he’s honored to have it.

Harvey and the Mets have moved on from Harvey being late to the team’s workout on Tuesday, Terry Collins said.

Game times were set for the remainder of the NLDS. Game 3 at Citi Field next Monday will be at 8:07 p.m. ET or 8:37 p.m. ET and Game 4 (if necessary) will be at 8:07 p.m. ET. If needed, Game 5 in Los Angeles will be at 8:07 p.m. ET.


Jacob deGrom talked with reporters today in Los Angeles and had the following to say about…

How meaningful it is to be the one chosen to pitch Game 1, given the talent on his team’s pitching staff

“In our pitching staff, any of the guys can take on Game 1, and when they told me I had it I was really honored. I want to be able to go two games in this series, I was honored with that. So, I don’t really know. I’m excited to have it though.

Whether he has talked with any veteran pitchers about what to expect

“I haven’t talked to them really yet. I don’t think I’ll really approach them tomorrow before my start. I think I’ll prepare how I usually do. I’ll go over it with Dan and Travis and come up with a good game plan from there.”

If he watched the Wild Card games

“I watched both of them. Watching those guys pitch, it was like it was during the regular season and they were making their pitches when they needed to. You know, keeping the ball down in the zone, which I think that helps out.”

How he’s preparing to face the Dodgers lineup

“My approach every game is to try to keep the ball down and get ground ball outs. So I think that’s going to be my main game plan going into this game. I’ll take one batter at a time and try not to think about it too much.”


Game times set for Games 3, 4 and 5 for the NLDS

The Mets will host the Dodgers for Game 3 of the NL Division Series on Monday, October 12, at 8:37 pm ET.

In the event there is a Game 4 at Citi Field, it will be Tuesday, Oct. 13, at 8:07 pm ET. The series will return to Los Angeles for Game 5, if needed, which will be begin 8:07 pm ET on Thursday, Oct. 15.

The two teams will begin the series Friday, Oct. 9, in Los Angeles at 9:45 pm ET, with Game 2 being played the next night in LA at 9:00 pm ET.


Terry Collins talked to reporters in LA on Thursday and had the following to say about…

His connection to the Dodgers organization, coming up in their organization and what it means to be playing them in his first postseason series

“I’m sitting in this chair because of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Bill Schweppe who was our Minor League Director when I was a player here. For some unknown reason, he liked me. He should have released me a dozen times and he kept me around, gave me my first job in managing the Minor Leagues. So when you talk about what I learned, I learned baseball. I learned Dodger baseball. And at a time when you can walk out on the field in Spring Training and you had Drysdale, and Koufax, and Maury Wills, and Wes Parker, and Roy Campanella was talking after dinner at night. You talk about learning baseball and learning the history of the game, I spent a little time in that training camp. So, I learned everything here.”

His first impression of Clayton Kershaw when he was in the minor leagues

“I told our guys, after we drafted Clayton and we signed him, he came to the Gulf Coast League or whatever it was, and Rick Honeycutt was my minor league pitching coordinator at the time. And Rick was throwing, and I was over on one of the other fields watching something. When I was done, I was walking and I saw Rick walking over, and he stopped and said have you seen this Kershaw guy? And I said no, not yet. He went, oh, wow. Turned around and walked away. So am I surprised by what he’s done? No. If you know him, you get to know him, you know what kind of a person he is, and he’s not going to let anything get in the way of him being great.
His relationship with Sandy, second to none. I think he’s got that same competitive attitude that Sandy had, and we’ve seen it on TV. When he takes the ball he wants to finish what he starts. So I’m not surprised that he’s as good as he is, no.”

Why Yoenis Cespedes so comfortable in big games

“If you know Cuban baseball, you better be good or you don’t play. Yeah, they played on a world stage, the big stages for them all over the world, and they had to win. So I think this guy knows how to win. I don’t think he’s intimidated by anything. When you’ve had to somewhat run for your life, not much else scares you. He knows how good he can be, how good he is, and so he’s comfortable. He’s just comfortable playing.
When I put him in centerfield I said to him, how much centerfield did you play? He said I’m a center fielder, and he is. He’s a legitimate guy.”

How much of an impact Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson had on the team after being acquired in late July

“In my opinion, I believe that was the trade that set things where we started to go. It was a situation when Sandy made the deal, he came in and he and I talked. I took the same message that he and I talked about out to the players and hey, look, we’ve got a good team. You hit, you play. Lucas Duda took off, Flores took off, Kelly Johnson and Juan kept playing as well. The two professional at-bats in that lineup and in that clubhouse, all of a sudden guys are looking at their jobs saying, oh my gosh, I’ve got to step up here and they did. I think that to me is when we started turning things around.”

The development of Lucas Duda

“He hit the 30 homers and 92 RBIs playing only part-time because we started out the year last year with Ike Davis as the first baseman, and when Lucas got his chance, he ran with it. This year, huge expectations, huge expectations. Talks of 40-plus homers, 100 RBIs, and if you know Lucas, that’s a big challenge, instead of just letting him go play. As the season went on, he certainly put a lot of extra pressure on himself, because he’s hitting third in the lineup, and he wasn’t hitting home runs, even though his on-base was still good. He wasn’t hitting homers. He’s the kind of guy that knows he’s got to carry his end, and he’s got to hit the ball in the ballpark. When all of a sudden, Kelly came and Juan came and he got hot, I think he started to relax. He said, ‘Hey, look I’m going to be okay.’ So I think he’s finished great. He’s very, very excited. He certainly came to me a while ago and wanted me to know, he said I can hit lefties, and I said, yeah, I know you can. I told him the other day, remember when you told me you hit lefties? Well, you’re going to face a pretty good one on Friday, so you better.

Jacob deGrom’s character and ability to pitch well no matter the circumstance

“Well, I think certainly in order to play this game at this level you’ve got to believe in yourself and you’ve got to have confidence in what you do. And Jake deGrom has as much confidence in his own ability as anybody I’ve ever known. I just said earlier this guy had to work harder than other people to get to the Big Leagues. So he not only got here, he had very, very good success here. I think he believes he can get anybody out. I think he trusts his stuff which is another thing, because we’ve all seen him when he’s had a bad outing, he just seems to get better as the outing goes because he’s not afraid to continue to throw strikes and I think it makes a difference.”


Citi Field is getting ready…

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