Tale of the Tape | Game 1: Mets @ Dodgers


  • National League Division Series, Game 1, Mets @ Dodgers, Dodger Stadium, 9:45 PM

On the Mound
  • LAD: Clayton Kershaw
    • 16-7, 2.13 ERA, 1.99 FIP, 301 K, 42 BB, 0.881 WHIP
      • vs Lefties: .203 AVG, .554 OPS, 38.1 % K rate
      • vs Righties: .192 AVG, .511 OPS, 32.5% K rate
      • Home: 1.67 ERA, 0.820 WHIP, 12.4 K/9 IP, 
      • Away: 2.60 ERA, 0.945 WHIP, 10.9 K/9 IP
     Despite starting the 2015 slow, Kershaw still produced a ridiculously good pitching line this season as he continues to cement himself as possibly the best left handed SP in the history of baseball. He became the first SP to top 300 K's in a season since Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson both topped that mark in 2002. He has faced the Mets twice in 2015 produced dominant pitching performances in both. However, both games against the Mets featured much different line-ups then what the Mets are featuring today as show below:

July 3rd
July 23rd

     John Mayberry Jr. was the clean-up hitter in both games! No wonder Kershaw's performances were so easy! The July 23rd game was the infamous "last straw" game where the Mets fans and Terry Collins both pleaded Sandy Alderson for offensive help via the trade market. The only regulars that still remain from those 2 games are Granderson, Murphy, Tejada and Duda.

  • NYM: Jacob deGrom
    • 14-8, 2.54 ERA, 2.70 FIP, 205 K, 38 BB, 0.979 WHIP
      • vs Lefties: .245 AVG, .663 OPS, 26.9 % K rate
      • vs Righties: .181 AVG, .475 OPS, 27.7% K rate
      • Home: 1.99 ERA, 0.958 WHIP, 10.2 K/9 IP
      • Away: 3.09 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 9.1 K/9 IP
     deGrom followed a Rookie of Year winning season with a fine sophomore performance. During the summer months there was even talk about him possibly competing for a Cy Young award. Unfortunately, a few poor starts in August + a ridiculous 2nd half by Chicago's Jake Arrieta crushed any dreams of that happening. deGrom had 1 start against the Dodgers this season on July 26th in a marquee match-up against Zack Grienke. The line-up that the Dodgers used in that game is likely identical to the one they will likely use tonight.

     One thing in deGrom's favor is that the Dodgers primary line-up is very right handed heavy. With 6 of their 8 positions players batting from the right side (Rollins is a switch hitter but is stronger against lefties then righties). That said, the 2 biggest power bats in the line-up are left handed. Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson have combined for 54 of the team's 184 HRs. Oddly enough though, both players have the same interesting split line. Despite producing more power/OPS numbers, both players actually produced higher batting averages against left handed pitchers then right handers. In Adrian Gonzalez's case, his K rate is actually worse against the righties than it is the lefties.

Keys to the Game

  1. Stay ahead of the count!- The Dodgers are not a team that strikes out with regularity, instead, they know how to work the count and take walks. As a team, they were 3rd in the entire MLB in BBs taken behind only the Cubs and the Blue Jays. deGrom needs to attack the zone early in the count and force these guys to swing the bats.
  2. Don't let Adrian Gonzalez beat you!- This Dodgers team has been in an offensive slump during the 2nd half of the season. In fact, they have been 4th worst in the National League ahead of only the Braves, Nationals, and Cardinals.  The one guy still producing though is Adrian Gonzalez. His .771 OPS was 10% better then the National League average Post the All-Star break. Throughout the year, when runners are on base, Gonzalez has a .291 AVG, BUT, when the bases are empty, Gonzalez is hitting only .262 AVG.
  3. Run up Kershaw's pitch count!- Look.....Kershaw is the best SP on the planet. He has no discernible weaknesses and no significant splits of any kind. The best way to defeat the Dodgers is either A) Hope he is off tonight, or, B) get Kershaw out of the game as soon as possible. The Mets can only control option B. They need to work Kershaw into deep counts, foul pitches off, scratch a walk out here and there, and make King Kershaw work from the stretch. The sooner you can get to the Dodgers bullpen the better. 

The Mets need to win at least 1 of these games on the road against the Dodgers in order to have a chance at winning the series. So far, in the 4 playoff games played, the road team has won all 4! Let's hope that trend continues for the Mets!


(all box scores courtesy of Baseball-reference.com) 


Tom Brennan said...

Tug McGraw beat Sandy Koufax in a start in 1965 or 1966, and that was incredible. On most nights, in contrast, Jake is Kershaw's equal. We will win.

Ernest Dove said...

Theres pressure on Mets to perform after 9 years away from the big stage but lets not forget that Kershaw has been aweful his whole career in the playoffs........he'll feel pressure too.
Mets have the pitching and homerun power to squeeze out a win or two at dodger stadium.

Mack Ade said...

All the pressure is on the Dodgers. Most pundits said we never would get as many votes as Lindsay Graham.

This should be a close one and I do see the Mets striking first.

James Preller said...

My plan would be for Jake to throw a shutout through 8 IP, then close it out with Familia.

Someone the Mets have to push a few across. Somebody's got to go yard.

I like that our lefties are in there: Duda, Murphy, Granderson. There's a big hit in that group, somewhere. Again, to me, they all deserve to start this game.

Alexander Han said...

I see Kershaw bucking his playoff curse tonight and pitching well.

As per others' comments, we just need someone to go yard in the first 5-6 innings - one or two of Grandy/ Duda/ Yoenis/ D'Arnaud has to get hot in this series, and best to do that early this evening. Or else the series could go very fast.

Agreed with James P, 8 shutout innings from de Grom would work well.

bgreg98180 said...

I prefer players that rise to the occasion under pressure.
I would want the players to feel the excitement and pressure to perform.
I would prefer the players want that pressure to thrive, sharpening their focus and hardening their resolve to win no matter what.

The Mets have proven they are talented and more than capable winners.
Now they need to become champions.

Champions beat the best by rising up and showing they are better.

Time to stop thinking about "playing not to lose".
Things have changed.

Now it is time for the Mets to play in order to "Prove They Are Better Than Everyone Else"!

Mack's Mets © 2012