The Mets will try to prevent their NLDS with the Dodgers from going back to Los Angeles as the teams are set for Game 3 at Citi Field on Monday (TBS, 8:30 p.m.). If the Mets can hold serve at home they’ll win the series, 3-1, and avoid a decisive Game 5 at Dodger Stadium.
Matt Harvey (13-8, 2.71) gets the starting nod for the Mets Monday in his first career playoff game and in the Mets’ first ever postseason game at Citi Field. New York manager Terry Collins isn’t concerned about Harvey possibly being rattled.
“This guy loves pressure," Collins said of Harvey. "He’s pitched great when he’s had to pitch on the big stage in a big game.”
Harvey was good but not dominant in his two starts against the Dodgers this year. All told, Harvey was 1-1 with 12 innings pitched. He allowed 13 hits (three homers), five runs and six walks. He gave up five walks in one game on July 4 but that started a streak where he gave up at least four walks in three straight games.
Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who drove in the game-winning RBI in Game 2, is 3-for-11 lifetime with a round-tripper against “The Dark Knight.” Yasiel Puig, who has yet to start a game in this series, is 3-for-5. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley have plenty of experience against Harvey going back to their time with the Phillies, and they have combined to go 11-for-37 with three home runs against him.
Brett Anderson (10-9, 3.69) responds for the Dodgers Monday. The Mets have never faced Anderson but Curtis Granderson has experience against the lefty. Granderson is 5-for-12 with a home run and four RBI against Anderson, so he will be a valuable asset at the top of the order for New York. Michael Cuddyer is just 1-for-12 lifetime against Anderson, so he will likely sit in favor of Michael Conforto.
The Mets have been on an emotional roller coaster so far this series. They were riding high after Game 1 as they were able to solve Clayton Kershaw in the seventh inning before David Wright broke it open with a two-run single to secure a 3-1 win. In Game 2, the Mets were blindsided by a controversial call at second base in the seventh inning which allowed the Dodgers to tack on four runs. Utley made what many believe to be an illegal slide in an attempt to prevent a double-play and he wound up breaking Ruben Tejada’s leg in the process. After reviewing the video the umpires declared that Tejada never touched second base to force Utley out (although the “neighborhood play” was supposed to be unreviewable). Despite Utley never touching second, and running off the field, he was awarded the base. The Dodgers would hold on for a 5-2 victory to even the series.