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Lefties Do in Kershaw Again as Mets Take Game 1

Daniel Murphy homered against Kershaw just as Matt Carpenter did last postseason.  from

Daniel Murphy homered against Kershaw just as Matt Carpenter did last postseason.

Last night, Clayton Kershaw was dominant – except against left-handed hitters.

He had surrendered just 1 run, a homerun by left-handed hitting Daniel Murphy as he worked into the 7th inning, striking out 11 Mets in the process.

In his last playoff appearance it was a lefty, Matt Carpenter who homered, and then later cracked the game open for the Cardinals as he doubled off the southpaw Clayton Kershaw.

A lot was made of Terry Collins choosing to start his left-handed hitters: Granderson, Duda, and Murphy against Kershaw, but it was going against the grain by starting that trio that helped the Mets win game 1 last night.

In the 7th, Kershaw had a chance to escape unscathed as he faced left-handed hitting Curtis Granderson with 2 on and 2 out and first base open.

Conventional baseball thinking is allowing Kershaw to pitch to the lefty with the base open with David Wright, a righty, on deck – a batter whom Kershaw had handled all night (a pair of strikeouts and a walk).

Granderson had two hits to that point and Kershaw worked carefully and eventually walked him to load the bases.  Granderson had good swings against Kershaw all night and had fouled off a pitch straight back which caused Kershaw to pitch uncomfortably to Granderson with first base open.

Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly chose to bring in the righty Pedro Baez to face the right-handed hitting Wright with  the bases loaded, and the Mets’ captain made the Dodgers pay by inside-outing a single to right-center plating 2 to give the Mets a 3-0 lead.

Earlier in that inning, Lucas Duda worked out a walk to get the Mets rally started.

If you exclude pitcher Jacob deGrom, Lefties last night were a combined 4 for 8 with 2 walks and a homerun off Kershaw who was otherwise dominant allowing no hits to all the right-handed hitters he faced all night.

Most managers sit their lefties against Kershaw which enables him to get into a rhythm of facing all righties, the lefties seemed to throw off Kershaw last night and the numbers bore that out.


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