Sports

The Dodgers-Mets series has gone beyond hype. What did it teach us?


Via Deesha Thosar
FOX Sports MLB Writer

NEW YORK – Three out of 162.

Battle tested Mets face jugglers Dodgers This week in a three-game series feels like it has a bit of everything – and mostly a playoff feel. Sharp pitching matches. The fast sphere hit 102 mph. Clutch running house. Save key. Amazing catch. Trumpet.

In the end, the Mets, the second strongest team in the National League, won the season’s series against the Dodgers, the best team (90-40) in baseball. It was the Mets that passed their kneeling test – splitting a four-game series in June in Los Angeles and winning two of three games this week at Citi Field.

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After it was all over, the players of both teams agreed on one thing: This three-match match was just another series. The outcome of their much-anticipated clash will mean that Zilch will come to elimination time. For two teams with World Series aspirations, these battles may have a post-season feel, but they are not playoffs. What both teams call it: three games out of 162 games.

That tells us the Mets and Dodgers are locked into an unshakable mindset right now. These teams want us to believe they only noticed the sold-out crowds and invisible energy that swept Vin Scully Avenue and Tom Seaver Street in June and August respectively. That’s all well and good. for teams, but for a huge fan base, this series means something.

For fans, this series has been overstated. And it makes people wonder if these results – again, the Mets win four games out of seven – have the element of foreshadowing a potential National Championship Series between New York and LA.

Sure, there are some positive home-field advantages involved with Australian musician Timmy Trumpet luring the Citi Field crowd with a live performance of “Narco” for Edwin Diaznine-yard save on Wednesday. But the Mets are undeniably electric, from Díaz to Jacob deGromseven innings of a run to Mark CanhaFourth home leg in 10 games, all knocking out the house. In particular, those three moments feel like the Mets are closing the door on the Dodgers. At the same time, however, New York only gave Los Angeles a glimpse of the durability it could bring to the post-production.

“They had good pitches. We had good pitches,” said the Dodgers first hitter. Freddie Freeman. “That’s what happens if we face them in the knockout stages. This is what happens with two good teams.”

About two hours before Wednesday’s first game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that, for sure, facing deGrom is a challenge for his team – for any team. But Roberts also sees the Dodgers-Mets series as a learning session, trying to gather useful information for the knockout exam. For example, the way deGrom approaches pitching into the Dodgers’ lineup is important information for Roberts and his coaching staff should they see him again in October.

“There’s a certain way they want to attack every single guy,” says Roberts. “So I think that’s definitely helpful. And just for the hitter, to see how the ball comes out. He’s clearly sitting at 99-100. [mph]and the slider is 93 [mph]. I think just keeping an eye on him is very helpful. “

Roberts isn’t the only one to take eye-catching notes on the knockout stages. The Mets ace deGrom, after making nine strikes that brought his ERA down to 1.98, said: “You could pay a little more attention to this and where and what they seem to be doing. [they] didn’t, and let’s keep that in mind for a moment. ”

Hunter must dodgers Mookie Betting‘going home to deGrom in the sixth round on Wednesday was a blueprint for how to make him pay for a costly mistake. DeGrom, after all, is just human. No matter how rare, he will mess up every once in a while, and it’s Los Angeles’ job to make those mistakes. DeGrom missed his slider, and Betts sent it to center left for his 32nd season of the year. While that pleased Betts – who would later describe deGrom as “possibly the best throw ever” – it said it took his finesse acumen to get just that. a shot that missed the Mets’ trump card.

But the Dodgers also learned that, against this all-out 2022 Mets squad, it’s not always easy to capitalize on mistakes. When the Dodgers’ triple hitter Justin Turner DeGrom punished for a high belt fast ball, Mets . center control Brandon Nimmo chase a rocket to the center wall of the yard, jump up and steal Turner’s run home. It was easily the best catch of Nimmo’s career. He was happy to help deGrom by taking down his ledger, but the central controller was more proud of the importance of the gameplay, in that he prevented the Dodgers from forcing the match and stealing momentum. .

“We’re a good team too. We know that,” Nimmo said of facing the Dodgers. “Don’t get me wrong, they’re a great team, and they’ve been around for a while. So nothing can be taken from them. But we feel like we’re a good match. That’s it. great games we’ve played against them. It’s two really good teams getting together and playing. It feels like a baseball game.”

Now that the Mets and Dodgers have faced each other for the last time in the regular season, the two teams have different responsibilities with one month left before the October baseball game.

The Dodgers, with an absurd 18-game lead in the NL West, benefit from giving their everyday players a break from the relentless telegram of post-season. Main players like Freeman and Trea Turner, who have played every game this season, will get some days off this month. But the Dodgers don’t want the days off to mean they’re taking an unwise approach to finishing off the regular season. Instead, they want to find a way to give their stars the break they need while keeping their edge. It is a difficult endeavor and also a privilege.

Mets center player Brandon Nimmo reacts after beating the home side to the Dodgers on Wednesday, helping to secure a 2-1 win for New York. (Photo by Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)

For example, Mets coach Buck Showalter doesn’t benefit from giving his players a few days off. The Brave have been threatening to take New York’s first place for the better part of the year, so the Mets can’t afford to put down their fire as they try to claim their first NL East title since last year. 2015. Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso, who played the most games (131) for New York, was essential to achieving that goal. But they will be even more needed in October, when their health and talent will be paramount in their quest to end the Mets’ 36-year championship drought.

“I said this about the Braves, and I’ll say this about the Dodgers,” said the Mets’ right-hand man. Chris Bassitt. “It’s not our game. It’s not the playoffs. I know it might not be exciting for the fans, but it’s just another game. If this were the playoffs, I would say very much. many different things. We have a long way to go. We have a whole month to go. So just a good win against a good team is enough.”

Deesha Thosar is a FOX Sports MLB writer. She previously covered the Mets for the New York Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.


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