Kershaw, Dodgers force game 5, beat Mets 3-1 to even series

first_imgThe Dodgers scored all their runs in a third-inning rally that began with Kershaw’s single. Kiké Hernandez’s ground ball to second baseman Daniel Murphy wiped out Kershaw on a forceout, but Hernandez went to third base when Howie Kendrick ripped a single up the middle of the diamond.Adrian Gonzalez followed with an RBI single, a weak hit that landed in the vast expanse of grass in front of center fielder Juan Lagares. Justin Turner followed with a two-run double — Gonzalez scored all the way from first base — to put Mets starter Steven Matz in a 3-0 hole. “Steven was outstanding. He had one bad inning,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “Probably if he’d want one pitch back it’s probably the hanging slider he threw Kershaw.”Matz, the rookie left-hander who threw six shutout innings at Dodger Stadium in July, lasted five innings before turning the game over to the Mets’ bullpen.By then, Kershaw had his first lead of the postseason.The Mets mustered only three hits and one walk against Kershaw. He struck out eight while showing complete command of his curveball and slider, and only lost his shutout bid on Daniel Murphy’s second home run of the series in the fourth inning.Murphy has two home runs off Kershaw in the series, after Kershaw allowed only one home run to a left-handed batter the entire regular season.The seventh inning, Kershaw’s personal playoff Waterloo in three previous October starts, began with a 50-foot single by Yoenis Cespedes.“Oh, here we go,” was Mattingly’s reaction.But Kershaw remained on the mound and calmly retired the next three batters in order. He’d thrown 94 pitches when he was removed in favor of Chris Hatcher to begin the eighth inning. Hatcher got two quick outs, then walked Curtis Granderson, before Mattingly called on closer Kenley Jansen to record a four-out save for only the second time this year. “We were willing to go six outs with Hatch and Kenley right there,” Mattingly said. “We would have went Hatch (in the sixth and seventh innings) and Kenley (in the eighth and ninth).”Granderson stole second base, giving the Mets their first runner in scoring position.With the count 2-2 on Wright, Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis was convinced Jansen threw strike three. Wright checked his swing on a ball over the middle of the plate, but home plate umpire Chris Guccione called it a ball. Ellis spun animatedly, gesturing to show that Wright had foul-tipped the 96-mph cut fastball, but Guccione held firm. “I’m pretty sure I heard a foul tip in the dugout,” Hatcher said.Jansen then issued ball four, putting runners on first and second for Murphy.Murphy worked the count full too, then flew out to right fielder Yasiel Puig to end the inning.The ninth inning was a relatively smooth affair, as Jansen retired Cespedes, Travis d’Arnaud, and Lucas Duda in order to send the announced crowd of 44,183 racing to the subways.“All I wanted to hear was a silent moment when you play on the road,” Jansen said.Those were rare in Game 3 but they meant everything in Game 4. The buzz surrounding Chase Utley’s suspension, and Clayton Kershaw’s curse, and whether the Dodgers’ bullpen could hold a lead, died for a day. The season lived on in Los Angeles, where the silence was broken by the sound of exhaling fans. The series is tied two games apiece, with the winner set to face the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series. Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke will oppose the Mets’ Jacob deGrom in a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday at Dodger Stadium.• PHOTOS: Kershaw masterpiece forces game 5 in seriesDodgers manager Don Mattingly entrusted the game — and the season — to Kershaw on three days’ rest, despite the fact that Kershaw had lost five consecutive postseason starts. This time Kershaw got the run support he didn’t get at home Friday in Game 1, or in the Dodgers’ season-ending loss to the St. Louis Cardinals a year ago. Those playoff demons weren’t really Kershaw’s — they were property of the Dodgers’ lineup, though for good measure Kershaw got the first hit by any hitter Tuesday.“I didn’t end up scoring,” Kershaw said, “but I think that maybe got the guys going a little bit, which was — you know, that was the inning, so that was huge.” NEW YORK >> Citi Field was full of sore throats and sore forearms Tuesday night, having taunted the Dodgers and waved their orange towels until the building fell eerily silent. Now, Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers don’t want to hear another peep about what they can’t do in the postseason.Kershaw’s seven-inning, one-run masterpiece laid the groundwork for the Dodgers’ season-saving 3-1 win over the New York Mets in Game 4 of the National League Division Series.“I really wanted to win tonight definitely — for a lot of reasons,” Kershaw said, “but obviously most important was just to give Zack a chance.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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