The Mets lost Game 4 to the Dodgers last night by a score of 3-1, meaning the series heads back to Los Angeles for the all-important Game 5.
They were undone by a bad third inning by Steven Matz, who actually ended up with a decent line of 5 innings and 3 runs (2 earned). Former Met and current cave man Justin Turner came up with the critical hit, driving in two Dodgers with a double.
Matz wasn't great. Kershaw was. That was the difference in the game.
To be fair, this was Matz's first game in nearly a month as he recovered from an injury. And Kershaw is the world's best pitcher, and has been for the past five years. This was always going to be a tough game.
But the problem wasn't Matz. To be honest, I'm not even sure the problem was Kershaw. The real problem, as I saw it, was the Mets' offense.
It's been a problem for the past month or so. Some games, the offense just does not show up. The team had just three hits. No team is going to win a game with three hits.
Kershaw was extremely good, but the Mets' hitters were not patient enough. They just looked bad, frankly. Daniel Murphy chipped in with a solo home run, but outside of that there was no offense to speak of.
David Wright has had a terrible series and struggled all night at the plate. Cespedes was quiet as a mouse.
Most guilty of all was Lucas Duda. He has now struck out ten times in the series and hasn't hit a lick. It's a problem, and it's been the story of Duda's career: he'll hit the lights out for two weeks and smack 10 home runs, and then he'll fall off a cliff. We're in the middle of that fall, and it's tough to watch, especially as his team needs him more than ever to be a big bat.
This was a bad loss, but it's important to realize: this series is not over.
The Mets will have a decent chance to win on Thursday. It's deGrom vs. Greinke - strength vs. strength. The Mets have relied on deGrom all year and this should be no different.
Nerves should be no problem for the Mets' ace. But Greinke is no slouch, obviously - he could win the NL CY Young.