LOS ANGELES - Jacob deGrom shines bright in the LA lights as his 7 scoreless innings, behind clutch hits from Daniel Murphy and David Wright, gave the New York Mets a 3-1 win over the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS.
This was deGrom's first ever postseason appearance, but you wouldn't know that by the way he delivered Friday night.
Right off the bat both pitchers deGrom and Clayton Kershaw looked unhittable. All six outs in the first two innings were via the strikeout for deGrom, while Kershaw had four strikeouts himself after the 2nd inning.
A few misplayed fly balls by Mets' left fielder Michael Cuddyer gave the Dodgers some opportunities in the early going, but each time deGrom would bear down and shut the door.
The game remained scoreless heading to the top of the 4th inning and after Kershaw fell behind Daniel Murphy 2-1, he served him up with a fastball right down the middle that Murphy didn't miss. The home run cleared the right field wall and the Mets had themselves the lead with deGrom looking unstoppable.
Both pitchers continued their dominance through the next couple innings. In the 6th, both deGrom and Kershaw surpassed 11 Ks and it was the first time in MLB Postseason history that two starting pitcher had 11+ strikeouts.
The game then entered the 7th inning where last year the Dodgers heavily struggled against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. Tonight, things seemed like deja vu for Los Angeles.
Kershaw walked Lucas Duda to lead off the inning and Cuddyer hit a slow fielders' choice ground-ball to third base that advanced Duda to second. Clayton Kershaw then walked Ruben Tejada and deGrom stayed in the game to perfectly place a sacrifice bunt that advanced the runners to second and third with two outs. Curtis Granderson walked and Kershaw was pulled by Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly in favor of RHP Pedro Baez. It was an interesting decision, and one that will be talked about for the next few days, as right-handed batters against Kershaw did not record a hit all night.
Baez was brought in to face Mets' captain David Wright with the bases loaded. Wright worked himself into a full count and singled on a line drive to center field that scored both Duda and Tejada and gave the Mets some much needed insurance runs, 3-0.
deGrom stayed in to pitch the 7th inning and ended his night throwing consecutive strikeouts and retiring 10 straight Los Angeles hitters. He finished the game with 13 strikeouts, tying Tom Seaver for the most by any Met in postseason history.
Tyler Clippard came on to pitch the 8th inning for New York and after allowing a double to Howie Kendrick and a two-out RBI single to Adrian Gonzalez, Mets' closer Jeurys Familia entered the game to try and get the four-out save. He immediately got Justin Turner to line out to first base and end the 8th inning.
Familia did much of the same in the 9th, retiring the Dodgers 1-2-3 that gave the New York Mets their first postseason victory since 2006.
With the Mets up 1-0, the best-of-five series continues tomorrow in Los Angeles as rookie Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24 ERA) takes the mound against NL Cy Young candidate Zack Greinke (19-3, 1.66 ERA).