Here are five fantastic reasons why the New York Mets will come away with a Game 5 victory in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
By David Hong
The New York Mets lost a golden opportunity to finish off the NLCS at home. With the team needing one more win to advance to the NLCS, the Mets lost 3-1 to Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field in Game 4. The series is now tied at two games apiece and it will go back to LA for Game 5 with the winner of that game moving on the NLCS.
Tough task for the Mets? Well, yeah it will be tough, especially since they’ll face Zack Greinke, who had the lowest ERA in the majors this season.
But certainly not impossible to do.
Here’s why the Mets will take Game 5.
1. Jacob deGrom
The Mets will also be sending out their ace Jacob deGrom. deGrom pitched in Game 1 and won it, outpitching Kershaw and shutting out the Dodgers through seven innings while striking out 13 opposing hitters.
So if deGrom can duplicate what he did in Game 1, that could be good enough for the Mets to advance.
And if the Mets could score just a couple of runs off Greinke, that could also be good enough with who they’re sending out to the mound.
I know there might be some concerns because deGrom threw a career high 121 pitches in Game 1, but he had five days of rest and he’s still young (27 years old) so he should still have plenty left in his tank. And we all saw in his first ever playoff outing in Game 1 against Kershaw, how great he was under playoff pressure. I know Game 5 brings even more pressure. But knowing how much of a competitor deGrom has been, I think he can thrive again.
2. More reliable starters in the bullpen
The Mets will also have Noah Syndergaard available in the bullpen in Game 5, to throw multiple innings, as well as fellow starters Bartolo Colon and Jonothan Niese as well. Furthermore, manager Terry Collins just said on Thursday that Matt Harvey will also be available out of the pen if needed.
The Dodgers could possibly have Kershaw in their pen but he might only be limited to one inning because he’ll only have one day of rest after Game 4. The Dodgers other starter, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood both got rocked in Game 3 and both are shaky options.
3. LA’s relievers are shakier
If deGrom can go at least seven innings again with the lead, the Mets should be in good position because closer Jeurys Familia is capable of getting more than 3 outs for a save, just like he did in Game 1.
We know the Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen can also get more than 3 outs in a save just like he did in Game 4 and setup man Chris Hatcher has been solid as well. But other than those two, there are concerns with everyone else. Lefty J.P. Howell gave up a two run double to lefty hitting Curtis Granderson in Game 3 and Pedro Baez has not looked sharp in Game 1 or Game 3. Baez gave up the big 2 run bases loaded single to David Wright in Game 1 after Kershaw was lifted in the 7th inning.
As far as the Mets bullpen, Tyler Clippard and Addison Reed were shaky in Game 1 and 2 respectively. But both bounced back to have one shutout inning apiece (Reed in Game 3, Clippard in Game 4). So maybe that can boost their confidence.
4. Better on the road recently
The Mets have also been a better road team over the last couple months. They once enjoyed a seven-game winning streak on the road back in August and also an 11 game road winning streak in September. They also won Game 1 at Dodger Stadium. So Mets fans shouldn’t feel overly worried about the Mets playing Game 5 on the road because the Mets have actually fared better away from Citi Field lately.
5. Pressure still more on LA
Finally the Dodgers will still more of the pressure coming in. The fact that they’ll be playing at home, will probably put even more pressure just because of the fact that they’re expected to win with Greinke on the mound. Add to the fact that they have the highest payroll in baseball over the last several years and they were the favorites in this series coming in, it’s win or bust.
Even though the Mets failed to close it out at home in Game 4, there’s been instances when the road team has won Game 5. And it can certainly happen for the Mets too especially with deGrom back on the mound.
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