Tied at 1 going into the most crucial game of the series, if not the most crucial in the year for both sides, LA will send Brett Anderson to the hill to face the infamous of late Matt Harvey.
Matt has had his fair share of bad publicity in the New York media over the past few weeks. First off it was his innings count limit that shadowed him pitching in the last bit of the season and now it is him not showing up to a compulsory team workout, a day before the NLDS started. In a year where the Mets have a chance to go forward and actually make some waves and with Matt being rather good at throwing a ball, he should probably think about letting his team have the best chance of winning and not try to make everyone hate him.
His reception into Citi Field will be interesting enough tomorrow night but if he loses or gets hit around the park courtesy of the Dodgers, the crowd may turn and start to not want him on their team for much longer. It is a cutthroat city in New York and if they don’t like you then you don’t have much hope.
This is big for the series because of the fact that the Dodgers must take advantage of “The Dark Night’s” nerves early on and get all over him in the first two innings or so, Matt will, with out doubt, have some nerves going into game 3 with it being his first start in the playoffs for his young career but also this could make his time in New York until 2019 bearable or he could be in peoples bad books for a long time. If LA can get on him early, silence the crowd in the hostile Citi Field and get things rolling for them behind the tall Anderson this game could be over rather quickly.
You could match these two pitchers up during the regular season down in New York and they would probably both go well but Matt Harvey might just have the edge over the seasoned Brett, this time, in the playoffs however we could see a different narrative being written and played out.
This game though will no doubt be close, one or two runs may be all that is in it and change the course of both teams season’s with both offences knowing how to hit the ball and make things happen.
The key match up for this game and the rest of the series will be the outfield, all 5 of the Mets hits yesterday came from those three but on the contrast for LA no one really knows who will start there until the lineups get announced and then no one can predict which bats will show up and which stay quiet. It is a fine balancing act for Donnie, one that he has done well with during the season but the last 2 or 3 games in this series will define his decisions.
Of course and this would usually go with out saying but the bull pen, can the ‘pen pitch on the road, will Donnie select the right guys to go up against the right guys and will they collapse and burn like we are used to. The bullpen will be needed a bit tomorrow night with Anderson not being the strongest of pitchers and if they can hold a lead tomorrow, the Dodgers have a huge chance of busting by the Mets with Kershaw and Greinke the next two nights and taking this series. So far Hatcher, Peralta, Jansen and Baez have all gone well but that one mistake by Pedro in game one, a fastball to Duda changed the game and one bad pitch may have cost Kershaw and LA dearly in that one.
However there was no implosion and the next tow guys came in and shut it out, keeping the game close and saving any chance the Dodgers had, this is crucial to back up Brett and also keep the series in tact during game three.
Who will go on and win the series is almost completely dependent on this game three in my eyes, seeing as if LA win it then I trust Kershaw and Greinke to get one win between them but if New York find a way to get the W then it could be some pressure that comes into play and as we’ve seen from Clayton in the past of short rest in October, things don’t always go well.
So this game three is huge, the winner will take out the series most likely and go on to face a real good contender in either St. Louis or Chicago, another series that may all come down to a game three between a man who no hit the Dodgers earlier being Arrieta and an ace from the Cardinals in Wacha.