Flushing, NY- Last day of August and Wednesday evening Citi Field resembled an October Mets-Dodgers postseason game. The circumstances are leaning towards these top two teams in the National League meeting again in the NLCS.
And at that time the circumstances will be different because it’s October baseball, and as they say for all the marbles.
If game two of this three game series was a prelude, then baseball fans are in for a treat. More so, those in New York and Los Angeles who would be the lucky few to get a ticket for the best 4-of-7 series, will be on the edge of their seats as 41,799 at Citi Field witnessed.
And these are ballgames Mets fans have been waiting for. The ace, Jacob deGrom allowed two or fewer runs in his last 16 starts at home. He was almost perfect for 7.0 innings.
The catch of the year came in the top of the seventh and robbed Justin Turner of what had been a game-tying home run. The Dodgers’ Tyler Anderson could not top deGrom in what became that old fashioned pitchers duel at the end of August.
And then there was Starling Marte who drove in both Mets runs with a two-run home run in the third inning. All of this was saved for Edwin Diaz who easily disposed of the Dodgers in the ninth to notch his 29th save and with a little help from “Timmy Trumpet” a live rendition of “Narco.”
Yes, this was a preview of a playoff series at Citi Field, more importantly the Mets have a chance to take a season series from the Dodgers when the two teams meet for the final time late Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.
Two of the premiere National League teams could meet again in October, and at that time the significance could clinch a ticket to the World Series, but first 33 games remain for the Mets and about the same for the Dodgers so there is still business to take care of.
But this was playoff baseball. It was expected with the Dodgers also holding a commanding won loss record of 90-39, easily the best record in baseball and the Mets holding that second best record as they continue to fight off the Braves with their three-game first place lead in the NL East.
As good as it gets with a Mets 2-1 win. Mets manager Buck Showalter said, “That was fun.” Nimmo said about his catch in center field, “I’m still really ecstatic about it. It was one of the best plays I’ve ever made.”
But it was deGrom who could not contain Mookie Betts from hitting his 32nd career tying home run, his fifth in as many games. Regardless, he said it’s always a tough task facing deGrom in the batter’s box.
“I don’t think anybody does,” he said when asked who he could compare to deGrom. “He’s a tough task. But we did alright.”
Said Anderson about the opposing pitcher, “You’ve got to throw strikes because you want to go deep in the game, because you know deGrom is going to. You’ve just got to try to limit mistakes because he’s obviously a really good pitcher and a hard guy to score runs off of.”
Runs were difficult to find Wednesday evening. Perhaps the series finale will see more. But what is not difficult to understand is how these two teams could provide more of this as the ballgames become more important in October. That’s when it really matters.
Rich Mancuso is a senior writer @Latinosports.com. Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com Watch “Sports with Rich” live on Tuesday Nights at 8pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with Robert Rizzo Available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify under The SLG Network.
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