The Dodgers will welcome the New York Mets to the ravine this week for a four-game series and the last time the teams will face off in the regular season. The Mets are in the middle of a grueling 14-day schedule where they play either the Dodgers or the Giants in 13 of those days.
In their own division, the Mets were within half a game of first in the NL East prior to last week’s series with the Dodgers. However with 5 losses since then, they’re now squarely in third (at the time of this article) at 4.5 games behind the first-place Braves.
Mets owner Steve Cohen took to Twitter on Tuesday night with a… less than great take on his team:
It’s hard to understand how professional hitters can be this unproductive.The best teams have a more disciplined approach.The slugging and OPS numbers don’t lie.— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) August 18, 2021
Perhaps more importantly for the Dodgers, talk has focused on the impact the Mets might have on the NL West race over these weeks.
Last week, the Dodgers swept the 3-game series at Citi Field. Can they repeat this feat at home? That would be great, but in order to gain any additional ground, the Giants will also have to lose some games. The Giants will be playing the competitive Oakland Athletics during the same time and lost 1 of 3 to the Mets, so it seems like the next few days could be quite telling.
Since 2016, the Dodgers are 10-5 against the Mets at home including two games with walk-offs in the 9th. They’re 23-7 overall against the Mets in the last 6 years.
Notable items from last week’s series against the Mets we’d like to see repeated:
- The Dodgers seemed to break their extra innings let’s-not-call-it-a-curse by winning both Games 1 and 2 in the 10th
- Winning Game 2 on Saturday (combined with the Giants loss to the Rockies) was an even bigger deal for the Dodgers as they finally managed to gain a game in the division, the first time since July
- Bullpen performances from Vesia, Bickford, and Knebel were *chef’s kiss*
- Will Smith should feel free to continue his HR heroics forever
Things we’d prefer to skip this round:
- Getting no-hit until the 7th inning. Pass.
- Some really very bad defense in Game 3 made Max Scherzer work a bit harder than he should have had to to get outs.
- Lasers being shined in player’s eyes. C’mon, just… no.
Last week the Dodgers used Urías, Buehler, and Scherzer to sweep the Mets. However, with Urías on the IL, he’ll miss his start this series. Questions remain about the Dodgers bullpen, though a few new arms could take part in Thursday’s bullpen game.
Thursday, 7:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA, MLB Network): Bullpen vs. Taijuan Walker (7-7, 3.75)
Friday, 7:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA, MLB Network): Walker Buehler (12-2, 2.09) vs. Carlos Carrasco (0-1, 10.32)
Saturday, 1:05 p.m. (SportsNet LA, FS1): Max Scherzer (10-4, 2.69) vs. Rich Hill (6-4, 4.08)
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. (SportsNet LA): David Price (4-1, 3.62) vs. Marcus Stroman (8-12, 2.84)