Dodgers @ Mets Sept. 13, 2019: Kershaw vs Syndergaard

The Dodgers arrive in New York for a three game series against the Mets. The Mets are entering the series coming off a four-game sweep against the Diamondbacks, in which they outscored Arizona by a margin of 26 to 3. The Mets are starting play with a 76-70 record and are two games back of the second wild card slot, jumbled in with the four other teams that are within 3.5 games of that last playoff berth.

Dodgers
Mets
4:05 p.m.
New York
RF
Pederson
SS
Rosario
1B
Muncy
LF
Davis
3B
Beaty
3B
McNeil
CF
Bellinger
C
Ramos
SS
Seager
2B
Canó
LF
Pollock
1B
Frazier
2B
Lux
RF
Conforto
C
Smith CF Lagares
P
Kershaw (L)
P
Syndergaard (L)

Noah Syndergaard will take the hill for the Mets, his first game since becoming embroiled in a personal catcher controversy. Wilson Ramos will start for the Mets despite Syndergaard’s stated preference for backup catcher Tomas Nido. Syndergaard is having a down year by ERA, but his peripherals are basically identical to last season and he’s having his healthiest year since 2016. He hasn’t quite been able to reach the heights he reached that season, but he’s still easily a top 10 pitcher in the National League and presents a very tough challenge for the depleted Dodgers’ offense.

Clayton Kershaw will face Syndergaard in the series opener, giving us a pitching matchup that would have been must-watch TV a few years ago and still feels pretty special today. After a two month long hot streak in the middle of the season, Kershaw’s performance over the last month can best be described as “uneven.” Between June 1st and his August 14th start against the Marlins, Kershaw allowed seven home runs in 85 innings over a span of 13 starts, which propelled him to a 2.12 ERA over that stretch. In his four starts since he’s allowed 9 home runs in 22 innings.

Kershaw’s most recent two starts were the only of the year in which he has gone fewer than six innings, and given how much the bullpen had to work yesterday, the Dodgers will hope that he can return to giving them some length in his start today.

——

As the Dodgers look to avoid quite literally limping into October, today’s pre-game news was generally not good.

On top of losing Rich Hill for an indeterminate amount of time after yesterday’s game, it continues to appear that Alex Verdugo won’t be back soon either, if at all:

Not only that, but Justin Turner‘s recovery timeline from his ankle sprain continues to get pushed back:

On the other hand, Max Muncy was re-activated before today’s game after missing just two weeks with a fractured wrist. Even so, it seems like Muncy might not yet be 100%:

Given the relatively low stakes of the current games, it’s fair to wonder if risking making Muncy’s injury worse is really worth it at this point. Either way, one has to wonder which Dodgers we will actually see play in October, and how diminished the returning players will be.

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.