Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
We're writing today's and tomorrow's Morning Report a little differently due to the Mets playoff games (I still can't believe I am writing these words in this order, in one sentence).
This is a recap of game one against the Dodgers. Tomorrow will be my thoughts after game two.
Jacob deGrom vs. Clayton Kershaw. Wow!
I don't care how much you love Harvey Day or think that Thor has Cy Young potential, this is the ace of the Mets staff in 2015 and this is the guy you want on the mound against the best the Bums can throw at you.
De Grom had five starts this season where he went 7.0+ IP, allowing zero runs and two or fewer hits. No other Mets pitcher had more than two. His K/BB ratio (4.31) through the first two seasons is the second best (Mark Prior) from 1920-Present.
That's why he's pitching Game One.
We're breaking ground here tonight on Mack's Mets. This is the first time I've written a post while a Mets playoff game ill be going on. I hope you enjoy the post and I'll catch up with you when I eventually wake up tomorrow :)
Okay... play ball!
1st Inning -
The most exciting part of the Mets 1st inning was the twelve inning walk by David Wright. Hopefully, this will pay off later in the game. The next most exciting thing was seeing the 134-year old Larry King in the first row behind home plate. Pitch count was 22 (18 strikes) at the end of the top of the 1st.
We've talked about it recently that deGrom has had trouble recently with his pitch count. This inning his total was high (20), but he struck out the side relying mostly on his 17 fastballs. He also hit 99 on the last pitch thrown i the inning.
2nd Inning -
Lucas Duda's single off of Kershaw's foot was the extent of the Mets offense here. Kershaw's curve looks really sick this game and it may be awhile before the Mets get a runner in scoring position, no less a run... BTW, Duda put on a slugging show in batting practice, hitting and breaking the 'R' on an advertising sign over the right field bleachers.
Justin Turner led off with a double that should have been caught by Michael Cuddyer. Cuddyer just doesn't have the mobility to play out there anymore. You know how much I have stressed defense in the past. Juan Lagares playing center and moving Yoenis Cespedes over to right would, IMO, work much better at this point in the season against a lefty. DeGrom survived the inning, but his pitch count went up to 45.
3rd Inning -
Give Curtis Granderson all the credit in hitting a Texas Leaguer to the opposite field for the 2nd Mets hit of the night. Pitch count ended at 51 with an embarrassing swing by Cespedes.
A fact about Kershaw... he made $30mil this year which i more than the entire Mets postseason pitching staff ($25.8).
Carl Crawford became the first Dodger to make out by hitting the ball, and Cuddyer continued his imitation of Daniel Murphy trying to play right field. The Mets survive again, but deGrom's pitch count is going to catch up soon.
From Stephen Guilbert - 17 extra pitches because of Cuddyer's non-plays (4 were on an 1BB). That's a full inning of deGrom lost because of Cuddyer.
4th Inning -
Mets strike first with a huge home run by Daniel Murphy, who many on #Twitter questioned why the Mets had him starting against Kershaw. Inning ends on Cuddyer's flyout to center. Mets 1-0. One interesting point... Mets outfield coach Tom Goodwin met Cuddyer in the dugout the second he arrived after his second misplay in right. My guess is we won't see much more of him this series.
DeGrom got in trouble again with a leadoff single by Turner, followed two batters later by another single by A.J. Ellis. The second out came on a short flyout to a shaky Cuddyer with Cespedes standing next to him. This was followed by a defense clinic by Cespedes on a flyball that Cuddyer would have never gotten to. Inning over, no runs scores. NEVER discount the need for defense.
At this point the Mets have a new problem. DeGrom probably has, tops, 35 pitches left and we've just finished four.
5th Inning -
Kershaw's backdoor slider gets nastier as the game goes on but Granderson does tag him for a solid single up the middle. Inning ends with Kershaw's pitch count at 83.
An outstanding inning by deGrom. Very efficient 11 pitch inning. Pitch count is now 91 (4 of which were IBB) and his ceiling is around 115.
6th Inning -
It was good to see Cespedes get some wood on a long flyout to deep right. Mets go 1-2-3. Kershaw's pitch count at 88.
DeGrom finished the inning at 101 pitches... my guess is he will stay in the game for the 7th up to 115 pitches, or until a hit is given up before that. Either way, expect some action in the pen.
7th Inning -
Kershaw began the inning looking almost human by walking Duda. Cuddyer looked bad at the plate again but his slow roller to third at least moved Duda to second.
I was right... DeGrom did bat with two on and one out... dropped a perfect bunt... and Granderson's walk loaded the bases. The Mets finally got Kershaw out of the game after 29 pitches... bases loaded... David Wright up... wow.
The Captain did it!
A two run single makes it 3-0... Wright is the only member of the Mets that has ever played in a Mets playoff game before tonight and no one deserved this moment more than he did.
The Mets finally make the defensive moves needed in the outfield... Lagares in center, Cespedes in right, Cuddyer out.
DeGrom's 116th pitch was a second out 12th strikeout... and surprisingly, at least to me, TC left him in for the third out. He ends his night with his 13th strikeout. An outstanding performance. 7.0-IP, 5-H, 1-BB, 13-K, 121-IP... and... matches Tom Seaver's record for most strikeouts in a Met playoff game.
8th Inning -
The Mets go quietly in the eighth and Tyler Clippard makes it interesting giving up a double to Kendrick... and then giving up a run scoring single to A-Gone... Jeurys Famila was brought in to pitch to Turner who lined out to Duda. Inning ends at 3-1 Mets. Whew.
9th Inning -
Once again the Mets go quietly, setting the stage for Familia... this is what we wanted the Mets to do... steal the first one from Kershaw and guarantee a split going back to Harvey Day in Queens. Who knows where we go from there...
First out was a grounder to first and 'defensive replacement' Murphy made it look easy... 2nd out was a huge diving stop by Murphy... two outstanding plays in the field plus the early home run makes him an equal star of the game with deGrom. And then Familia fields a grounder and handles it himself for the fantastic win.
Big steak night coming tonight in Los Angeles.
An outstanding Mets win.