deGrom, Kershaw K-fest makes MLB history
LOS ANGELES -- Friday's pitching matchup between the Mets' Jacob deGrom and the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw certainly had a lot of potential for swings and misses. The two aces didn't disappoint, making history as the Mets defeated the Dodgers, 3-1, in Game 1 of the National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium.
When deGrom fanned Adrian Gonzalez in the bottom of the sixth, he and Kershaw became the first pitchers to record 11 strikeouts in the same game in postseason history. Mort Cooper and Denny Galehouse recorded 12 and 10 K's, respectively, in Game 5 of the 1944 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns, marking the only previous time that two pitchers had reached double figures.
Kershaw finished with 11 strikeouts and allowed three earned runs over 6 2/3 frames. deGrom racked up a couple more K's in the seventh, giving him 13 over seven shutout frames.
With 24 combined strikeouts, the pair fell one shy of matching the record set by Kevin Brown and Randy Johnson in Game 1 of the 1998 NLDS.
"I wouldn't say I get caught up in it," deGrom said of his duel against Kershaw. "I know what he's doing, but my game plan stays the same, and let's go up and put up zeros and keep us in a position to win. So I try not to get caught up in it too much."
With his 13-strikeout performance, deGrom tied Tom Seaver for most strikeouts in a postseason game in Mets history. Seaver fanned 13 in Game 1 of the 1973 NLCS against the Reds. Baltimore's Jim Palmer also fanned 11 A's hitters that day -- the only other time in history that two pitchers fanned 11+ on the same day in the postseason.
deGrom was making his first postseason start and fell one K shy of matching the strikeout record for a pitcher in his debut. Tim Lincecum was the last playoff newcomer to reach 14 in the 2010 NLDS against Atlanta.
"It was a tremendous game," said Mets third baseman David Wright, whose two-run single in the seventh proved to be the difference. "If you love a pitcher's duel, that's about as good as it gets."
Noah Syndergaard will square off on Saturday against Zack Greinke in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, scheduled for 9 p.m. ET/6 PT on TBS.