Clayton Kershaw discusses facing a retro-fitted Mets lineup, Jacob deGrom
Clayton Kershaw is 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA in two starts against the Mets in 2015, having allowed just one run and eight hits in 16 2/3 innings against New York this season.
But the Mets are 1-1 in those two starts, and Kershaw knows he will also be facing a different lineup than the last time the Dodgers and Mets faced off in late July.
“It’s a completely different lineup, not just [Yoenis Cespedes],” Kershaw explained on Thursday in Los Angeles. “You go back and look at the lineup I faced before the trade deadline, and I don’t know if there’s going to be more than two or three guys that are the same.
Kershaw last faced the Mets on July 23 at Citi Field when he allowed just three hits in a complete game shutout win over New York.
“[David Wright] was out at the time,” Kershaw continued. “So there’s a lot of guys that I’ll be seeing for the first time this season at least. So, yeah, definitely a completely different team. Obviously, a lot better than what we faced in July.”
Kershaw will face off against Jacob deGrom when the Division Series begins on Friday night at 9:45 pm ET at Dodger Stadium, and he expects his Dodger teammates to have their hands full when the curtain rises on Friday night thanks to both the movement and command he has with his fastball.
“I got to talk to him a little bit in Cincinnati this year, and obviously watching him pitch over the last couple seasons. It’s just an explosive fastball. 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 commands,” Kershaw continued. “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.”
Kershaw held opponents to a .194 average in 2015 but had reverse splits albeit in mostly dominating fashion, holding left-handed hitters to a .203 average while right-handed hitters hit .192. He will be facing left-handers Curtis Granderson, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda on Friday night.
Granderson is 1-for-10 with a walk and a strikeout in his career against Kershaw. Duda is also 1-for-10 but has seven strikeouts and Murphy is 3-for-10 with an RBI against Kershaw.
But Terry Collins has decided to start Ruben Tejada against Kershaw, who is 5-for-14 with three walks in his career against the Dodger ace.