When the Dodgers gave Clayton Kershaw three runs in the third inning Tuesday night, I pretty much thought it was over. I mean, that game was over, not the NLDS. Not by a long shot.
As I wrote at the start of this series, I believe the Mets can win this, the next round, and the World Series. I still do, very much so. I’m not ready to let go of the summer and get off this ride, and neither should you.
This is not the time to stew over lost opportunities. Whether or not the Dodgers would have won Game 2 without Chase Utley’s slide isn’t the issue. Frankly, I don’t think Ruben Tejada would have gotten the runner at first anyway, but that’s a moot point.
It’s only fitting this series go down to a final game, and with it, probably a final at-bat. Maybe even extra innings.
The Mets can win because they have deGrom on full rest. This All-Star should win a Cy Young Award before he’s through. The only question is whether he’ll win one before Noah Syndergaard or Matt Harvey. On that note, the Mets should also have Syndergaard available coming out of the bullpen. He’ll be on normal rest.
Although manager Terry Collins said he will not use Harvey, don’t bet against it. Thursday would normally be his between-starts throw day and if Collins needs an out he shouldn’t hesitate. The objective is to win tomorrow and worry about the NLCS later.
The only unavailable pitcher should be Steven Matz.
There are no doubts in my mind deGrom can tune out the Game 5 pressures and pitch big. My concerns are the bullpen and dormant bats, both of which have been erratic all summer.
The offense is producing nothing now. Yoenis Cespedes has gone deep, but he’s not attacking Dodger pitching the way he did National League arms in August. Also, David Wright and Lucas Duda are a combined 3-for-27 with 14 strikeouts. That represents a lot of empty at-bats and stranded runners. A few more hits and they could be preparing for the Cubs today.
Certainly a Game 5 against Greinke in Los Angeles is a monster task. But, we can’t think of lost opportunities or not getting the home advantage. That’s over and fruitless. Worrying about that is as pointless as fretting about the high school girlfriend who broke up with you or what happened against the Marlins in May.
If promised the above scenario on Opening Day you would have taken it gladly, no questions asked, and not wanting to string up Utley.
Now, don’t worry, just enjoy history. It has been a terrific series and promises to be so again tomorrow.