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NLDS GameThread: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets - Game 4

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The New York Mets took a 2-1 advantage over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS with last night's win, and they try to wrap it up tonight and avoid having to make a trip back to L.A. Steven Matz vs Clayton Kershaw tonight. 8:00 PM EDT; TV: TBS, RADIO:ESPN Radio.

Elsa/Getty Images

Did the Los Angeles Dodgers wake a sort-of sleeping giant up when Chase Utley took out New York Mets' shortstop Ruben Tejada in Game 2 of their NLDS matchup?

The Mets pounded the Dodgers last night in a 13-7 win, and they can avoid a cross-country trip back to L.A. if they can take Game 4 tonight in Citi Field. In order to do that, however, they'll have to beat Clayton Kershaw again as the left-hander takes the mound tonight against rookie left-hander Steven Matz with the Dodgers' season on the line.

In his Game 1 start, Kershaw was outdueled by Jacob deGrom, giving up four hits, four walks and three earned runs and striking out 11 over 6 ⅔ IP while deGrom tossed seven scoreless, striking out 13 in a 3-1 win.

Kershaw talked yesterday, in his pre-start press conference about knowing he's going up against a hot-hitting team like the Mets, when asked how they compared to some of his previous postseason opponents.

"I don't know specifically if there's any more problems with one team or the other," he said.

"I mean the Mets have been swinging the bats really well since the trade deadline. You know, we all know that.

"Guys in the middle of their lineup can do some damage. They can hit the ball out of the ballpark. But as far as comparatively, to the other teams, I don't know that there's one huge glaring strength over another."

As for pitching on short rest like he will be tonight, Kershaw said it's something he's done before, so he'll be prepared.

"I mean, I think, you know, the adrenaline takes over," he explained. "You don't really feel tired or anything like that.

"You know, it's the playoffs. So it doesn't really -- obviously your routines change a little bit, different things like that, but as far as being prepared, being ready for it, I'll be fine come tomorrow."

As for Matz? The Mets' 24-year-old, '09 2nd Round pick debuted in the majors this summer, going (4-0) in six regular season starts with a 2.27 ERA, a 3.61 FIP, 10 walks (2.52 BB/9) and 34 Ks (8.58 K/9) in 35 ⅔ IP, though a back issue that cropped up last week made him a question mark for tonight's start until earlier this week. He also dealt with a lat tear earlier this season.

Matz told reporters he was comfortable taking the mound in spite of the fact that he hasn't started in 19 days, and he did throw a simulated game recently.

"I felt really good and strong finishing up in the intrasquad game down in Florida," Matz said. "So I'm happy with how that went. I threw a bullpen yesterday and still feeling good. So yeah, everything is good."

Matz will take the mound for his first postseason start at 8:00 PM EDT in Citi Field...

Today's Lineups:

LOS ANGELES DODGERS NEW YORK METS
Enrique Hernandez - CF Curtis Granderson - RF
Howie Kendrick - 2B David Wright - 3B
Adrian Gonzalez - 1B Daniel Murphy - 2B
Justin Turner - 3B Yoenis Cespedes - LF
Corey Seager - SS Travis d'Arnaud - C
Yasiel Puig - RF Lucas Duda - 1B
A.J. Ellis - C Wilmer Flores - SS
Justin Ruggiano - LF Juan Lagares - CF
Clayton Kershaw - LHP Steven Matz - LHP

Matz vs the Dodgers:

Dodgers PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
Enrique Hernandez 3 3 1 2 .333 .333 .333 .667
Howie Kendrick 3 3 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Yasiel Puig 3 3 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Justin Turner 3 3 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
A.J. Ellis 2 2 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000
Joc Pederson 2 2 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Adrian Gonzalez 1 1.000 1
Total 17 16 2 6 .125 .176 .125 .301 1

Kershaw vs the Mets:

Mets PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP missG
David Wright 21 16 3 1 1 5 4 .188 .381 .250 .631
Michael Cuddyer 19 19 4 2 4 .211 .211 .211 .421
Curtis Granderson 15 13 3 2 1 .231 .333 .231 .564
Kelly Johnson 15 15 3 1 2 5 .200 .200 .400 .600
Lucas Duda 14 12 2 2 8 .167 .286 .167 .452
Daniel Murphy 13 13 4 1 2 1 .308 .308 .538 .846 1
Juan Lagares 7 7 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Yoenis Cespedes 6 6 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Wilmer Flores 6 6 3 1 1 .500 .500 .500 1.000
Travis d'Arnaud 3 3 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Jacob deGrom 3 2 1 .000 .000 .000 .000 1
Kevin Plawecki 3 3 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Bartolo Colon 2 2 1 .000 .000 .000 .000
Noah Syndergaard 2 2 2 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 129 119 22 1 2 8 9 33 .185 .242 .244 .486 1 1