When the New York Mets officially claimed a postseason berth, beating the Washington Nationals out for the NL East crown, Nats' slugger Bryce Harper wished them luck going forward.
"The Mets had everything going for them," Harper said. "They did a lot of things, the deadline came around, they got [Yoenis] Cespedes and [Tyler] Clippard and they built their team."
"They did a great job this year and they're doing it and coming from the East. I hope they win it all, cause they're from the East and you want that out of your division, and I hope they win it all and good luck to them."
"You look at what the Mets did down the stretch, that's how you win a division," Jayson Werth told reporters after the Nationals dropped the regular season finale to their NL East rivals.
"They got timely hitting, timely pitching. They matched up well, they won big games, they got big hits and we failed to do that. So, regardless of injuries or anything else I think that's the story at the end of the day."
Taking the NL East crown earned the Mets the opportunity to take on the NL West's division winners from Los Angeles in the NLDS.
The series starts tonight with Jacob deGrom on the mound against Dodgers' lefty Clayton Kershaw.
Mets' skipper Terry Collins told reporters on Thursday that he knew deGrom, who's making his postseason debut, would be up for his matchup with Kershaw.
"I think certainly in order to play this game at this level, you've got to believe in yourself and you've got to have confidence in what you do," Collins said.
"And [Jacob] deGrom has as much confidence in his own ability as anybody I've ever known. I just said earlier this guy had to work harder than other people to get to the big leagues.
"So he not only got here, he had very, very good success here. I think he believes he can get anybody out. I think he trusts his stuff which is another thing, because we've all seen him when he's had a bad outing, he just seems to get better as the outing goes because he's not afraid to continue to throw strikes and I think it makes a difference."
Kershaw too said he was impressed with his opponent on the mound, telling reporters he'd watched him over the last few seasons.
"It's just an explosive fastball," Kershaw told reporters.
"I think that's where you start with his fastball. Just the carry and the ride that it has on it, the ball that looks like it's at your shins or ankles seems like he gets a lot of called strikes there. The guys think the ball is down. Same thing with the ball up, you think you can catch up to it and guys swing through it a lot for strikeouts.
"So those two things combined with the command, able to hit the outside, inside corner, this whole season pretty well. Then his off-speed pitches too, have gotten -- I think have gotten better from last year. So we definitely have a challenge. This whole series, the three, four guys they're throwing at us are pretty solid."
Tonight it's deGrom vs the Dodgers in the Mets' return to postseason action...
|NEW YORK METS||LOS ANGELES DODGERS|
|Curtis Granderson - RF||Carl Crawford - LF|
|David Wright - 3B||Howie Kendrick - 2B|
|Yoenis Cespedes - CF||Corey Seager - SS|
|Daniel Murphy - 2B||Adrian Gonzalez - 1B|
|Travis d'Arnaud - C||Justin Turner - 3B|
|Lucas Duda - 1B||Andre Ethier - RF|
|Michael Cuddyer - LF||A.J. Ellis - C|
|Ruben Tejada - SS||Joc Pederson - CF|
|Jacob deGrom - RHP||Clayton Kershaw - LHP|
Kershaw vs the Mets:
deGrom vs the Dodgers: