Tonight, in Game 2 of the best-of-five series, the NL East division winners send Noah Syndergaard to the mound in L.A. to face Cy Young award candidate Zack Greinke.
Greinke, 31, went (19-3) in 32 starts this season, putting up a 1.66 ERA, 2.76 FIP, 40 walks (1.62 BB/9) and 200 Ks (8.08 K/9) in 222 ⅔ innings pitched, over which he held opposing hitters to a combined .186/.231/.276 line.
Two of his 32 starts this season were against the New York Mets, against whom he was (1-0) with a 1.29 ERA and a .167/.245/.188 line against in 14 IP.
Greinke will be making his eighth postseason start after going (2-2) with a 3.63 ERA and a .228/.271/.368 line against in 44 ⅔ IP in the previous seven outings.
He said yesterday his previous experience would help him prepare for his latest outing.
"That's one thing I think experience kind of helps being in the playoffs," Greinke explained.
"Because I do sort of treat it sort of similar to just a regular game, or I try to as much as possible, where the first time in the playoffs is a little bit different. I feel it's helped out just trying to keep it as similar as just any other game."
Noah Syndergaard will be making his first postseason start after an impressive rookie campaign in which the 23-year-old, 2010 1st Round pick was (9-7) with a 3.24 ERA, 3.25 FIP, 31 walks (1.86 BB/9) and 166 Ks (9.96 K/9) in 150 IP over which he held opposing hitters to a .221/.268/.378 line.
Mets' skipper Terry Collins talked yesterday about Syndergaard's reputation for occasionally getting anxious on the mound and what he and pitching coach Dan Warthen do to keep him calm.
"Well," Collins told reporters, "one of the things we try to do, I actually talked to the other guys about it today, we really think the tempo, pitching tempo is important, and that is get the ball and get on the mound.
"If you look at Noah's first few starts, he's pretty slow and deliberate. We try to speed him up, but sometimes they get too fast to where, 'Hey, look, you're trying to rush through this now and you've got to slow the game down and yet keep it at a good pace so that everything around you is moving better.' And I think his last couple starts he's been much better at it. There have been some games where he's rushed, and therefore made a couple mistakes and been hurt by it. But it's part of our job, the catcher's job to keep this guy in a good tempo, and we'll try to do that tonight."
Can Syndergaard and the Mets beat Greinke and the Dodgers and get out to a 2-0 lead in the NLDS? Or will the Dodgers even it up in Game 2?
|NEW YORK METS||LOS ANGELES DODGERS|
|Curtis Granderson - RF||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|David Wright - 3B||Corey Seager - SS|
|Daniel Murphy - 2B||Adrian Gonzalez - 1B|
|Yoenis Cespedes - CF||Justin Turner - 3B|
|Lucas Duda - 1B||Andre Ethier - RF|
|Travis d'Arnaud - C||Carl Crawford - LF|
|Michael Conforto - LF||Yasmani Grandal - C|
|Ruben Tejada - SS||Enrique Hernandez - CF|
|Noah Syndergaard - RHP||Zack Greinke - RHP|
Greinke vs the Mets:
Syndergaard vs the Dodgers: