By: Glenn Brewer

Formula For Success In Game Four


After a dominant offensive performance in game three, the Mets will face the Dodgers ace once again for game four. Game one was a solid outing for Kershaw, but he was credited with the loss. Facing Kershaw always presents a difficult task, but this is the opportunity to ride the momentum and squeak out a series clinching victory at home. Matz will be making quite an historic start for his hometown team.   After an unhealthy end to the regular season, expectations are up in the air for this start. Matz has been a winner in his professional career, winning a single A and double A title.

The Dodgers will most likely put out their best righty lineup against the left handed Matz. I would expect to see Puig make his first start of the series, and slide Either to left field. Hernandez has been a spark plug for the Dodgers and will make the start in centerfield. Despite the hit in game three, I would count on the lefty Grandal being replaced by AJ Ellis catching Kershaw. Matz will have his work cut out for him tomorrow, but as long as he can put together a statistical quality start, this team will have a strong chance of picking up a late inning lead. Matz will need to establish the inside corner on Gonzalez, Seager and Either. Although Matz has a plus fastball, he will not be able to blow away Gonzalez like Syndergaard accomplished in game two. The off-speed pitch on the outer half of the plate will be the out pitch for Matz against these Dodgers lefties. The key for any pitcher is to naturally keep the ball down on the good hitters and keep the ball in the park. Turner and Kendrick have been destroying the Mets in this series due to balls up in the zone. Matz is going to have to work the lower half of the strike zone while changing speeds consistently. If Matz can give six solid innings of two or less runs, he will have outdone himself in his first playoff appearance.

It is no secret that Lucas Duda has struggled against lefties in his career. Against popular belief, I think Duda should take a seat against Kershaw in game four. He will be extremely valuable off the bench against the Dodgers bullpen. Cuddyer should get the start at first base and keep the same outfield as game three with Lagares in centerfield. The combination of righty batters and better defense should assist Matz in keeping this game close till the bullpens enter the game for both teams. The key against Kershaw will be working the counts, and forcing him to throw a lot of pitches. Kershaw struggled in the seventh inning in game one after throwing a lot of pitches, and he will be on three days rest for the game. Professional at bats will be the effective way to work the counts deep, which benefits veteran hitters like Cuddyer. This will be easier said than done, but Kershaw tends to be wild with the curve and fastball deeper into the games.

Despite Kershaw taking the mound, this is the best chance for the Mets to close this series out. Feed off the home field atmosphere and ride the momentum from game three. The team can play with a looseness that will benefit the game plan. The hits will come, but the Mets may need to scratch out some runs with small ball in bunts and hit & run calls by the dugout. The goal is to make it to the Dodgers bullpen with a tie game or lead, then let the match ups and Familia determine the outcome of this series. Looking forward to another great battle out at Citifield.


About Glenn Brewer

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