LOS ANGELES – Jacob deGrom struck out 13 batters over seven dominant innings and the New York Mets opened their National League Division Series with a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night.
DeGrom, last year's National League Rookie of the Year, outpitched Dodgers lefthander Clayton Kershaw, the three-time NL Cy Young Award winner and last year's NL MVP. Kershaw fell to 1-6 in his postseason career, although he was a tough-luck loser in this one.
Kershaw gave up a long homer to Daniel Murphy, then left after loading the bases with two out in the sixth inning. He was replaced by Pedro Baez, who gave up a two-run single to Mets captain David Wright to make it a 3-0 game.
The Dodgers got their run in the eighth inning, after Tyler Clippard came on to replace deGrom. Howie Kendrick hit a one-out double, and Adrian Gonzalez drove him in with a two-out single. But New York closer Jeurys Familia, who saved 43 games during the regular season, got Justin Turner to hit a soft line drive to first to get out of the eighth inning.
Familia then pitched a perfect ninth inning to preserve the victory, getting a nice diving play by Murphy at first base to retire pinch hitter Jimmy Rollins for the second out. Familia finished off the Dodgers by fielding a tapper by rookie Joc Pederson and running to first.
Game 2 is Saturday night, with NL ERA leader Zack Greinke going for Los Angeles against another young Mets righthander, rookie Noah Syndergaard.
Kershaw has a 6.52 ERA in 12 postseason games, and he has dropped his past five decisions. He went 0-2 against St. Louis in the 2013 National League Championship Series and 0-2 against the Cardinals again in last year's Division Series. He pitched well Friday — but not as well as deGrom, who scattered five hits and also issued an intentional walk in his first career postseason start. The 13 strikeouts matched his career hight.