NYM-LAD Game 1 duel filled with cool facts
Jacob deGrom and Clayton Kershaw didn't just live up to the hype in New York's 3-1 Game 1 victory Friday night in the NLDS. The two aces combined for one of the most dominant pitching duels in postseason history. How dominant were they? Glad you asked ….
• This was the first game in postseason history in which two pitchers had at least 11 strikeouts. deGrom finished with 13 over seven innings. Kershaw struck out 11 over 6 2/3 innings.
The record for combined strikeouts in a nine-inning postseason game is 28, set by the Astros and Padres in Game 1 of the 1998 NLDS.
• The Dodgers and Mets combined for 27 total strikeouts.
• For Kershaw, it was his third career double-digit strikeout game in the postseason. That tied him with Sandy Koufax (and three others) for 7th most all-time.
• deGrom became the first pitcher to strike out six over the first two innings of his postseason debut. His 13 total strikeouts tied a Mets postseason record, set in Game 1 of the 1973 NLCS by Tom Seaver.
• Seaver needed 8 1/3 innings to get his 13. deGrom did it in seven innings. He became the third pitcher in postseason history with 13 or more strikeouts in seven innings or less (Max Scherzer, 2013; Mike Mussina, 1997).
• The record for strikeouts in a playoff game comes from the 1968 World Series, when Bob Gibson sent down 17 batters.
• All of deGrom's 13 strikeouts came swinging. Six came off fastballs, seven on off-speed pitches. Eight of Kershaw's 11 came swinging. One came on his fastball, compared to 10 on off-speed pitches.
• Los Angeles had been 24-3 when Kershaw strikes out 11 or more batters. The last such loss came on Aug. 16, 2014. The other two were both in 2010.
• As a starter, Kershaw now has a 3.02 career postseason ERA (50.2 IP, 17 ER) before the seventh inning. He has a 36.00 ERA (3 IP, 12 ER) from the seventh inning onward.
Now to some offense….
• Four of the Mets five hits came from left-handed batters against the lefty Kershaw. Lefties hit .203 against Kershaw this year, compared to .192 average from righties.
• The Mets hadn't been to the postseason in a while. We know that. They know that. But still, some of the facts are eye-opening. Lucas Duda's second-inning single made him the first Mets player to record a postseason hit since Endy Chavez.
• Daniel Murphy's fourth-inning homer provided the early difference, and also made him the first Mets player to hit a postseason long ball since Jose Reyes.
• In the regular season, Kershaw allowed only eight homers to left-handed hitters in 483 at-bats since the start of 2013. Murphy's homer made it three off Kershaw over his last three postseason starts.
• Kershaw also struck Murphy out. Kershaw led the Majors in strikeouts with 301. Murphy, meanwhile, was baseball's hardest man to strike out, whiffing just once every 13.1 at bats.
• Kershaw threw more pitches to David Wright (12) in their first-inning battle than he did in six of nine innings he completed against the Mets on July 23.
• Curtis Granderson went 2-for-3 against Kershaw, after hitting .183 against lefties during the regular season.
• Granderson came into the game 1-for-10 against Kershaw, so he knew he had to jump on the lefty early in the count. When he swung at Kershaw's first pitch of the game, it was the first time in 72 plate appearances Granderson swung at the first pitch.
• Dodgers manager Don Mattingly started Corey Seager at shortstop after the rookie played just 27 games in his rookie season. Corey's brother, Kyle Seager, has played 688 Major League games and has never played in the postseason.