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New York Mets defeat Los Angeles Dodgers in first playoff game of postseason

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NEW YORK –The New York Mets defeated the Dodgers 3-1 in the first playoff game of the postseason.

Daniel Murphy got the first home run of the game at the top of the fourth inning, crushing the ball deep to right field, making the score 1-0 Mets.

The Dodgers tried to fight back in the next couple innings, but Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom was able to hold them.

Top of the seventh inning, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw appeared to lose some steam walking three people. Kershaw was taken out of the game with a standing ovation and was replaced by pitcher Pedro Baez with the bases loaded.

Baez pitched to Mets captain David wright who singled on a line drive to Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson. The single sent Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada home, making the score 3-0 Mets.

At the bottom of the eighth Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers singled on a line drive to Mets left fielder Yoenis Cespedes. Howie Kendrick scored making it 3-1 Mets.

This was the Mets first playoff game in nine years.

Pitchers: deGrom vs. Kershaw

DeGrom started for the Mets -- despite a couple of rough games in August and September, deGrom has been stingy all season and enters the postseason with an ERA of 2.54.  He faced Kershaw, the Dodgers' Game 1 starter.

"He’s one of the best if not the best," deGrom said of his opponent.  "The way he takes the mound and goes out there and attacks hitters, I think I try to do the same."

Kershaw has been as brilliant in the regular season as he has been awful in postseasons past.  One of the game's finest pitchers, Kershaw has won 114 games and lost only 56, with a career ERA of 2.43 in the regular season.  In the playoffs, however, he has a dismal 1-5 record with a 5.12 ERA.

As it is on Wall Street, past performance is no guarantee of future results, and with a player of Kershaw's caliber it stands to reason that eventually his talent will overcome whatever mental block has derailed him in the past.

The last time Kershaw faced the Mets was a dominant 3-0 victory July 23.  Kershaw tossed allowed three hits, struck out 11 and pitched all nine innings for the complete-game, 3-0 victory.

The Lineup

The Mets hold the season series edge after beating the Dodgers in four of seven regular season match-ups.  Furthermore, the Mets of July are not the same squad that took to the field in Chavez Ravine Friday night.

"It’s a completely different lineup, not just Cespedes, you know," Kershaw said.  "If you go and look back at the lineup I faced there before the (July 31) trade deadline, I’m not sure if there are more than two or three guys that are the same."

The revamped Mets lineup helped bolster the team in the final months of the season, propelling them past the Washington Nationals, who have since fired manager Matt Williams after self-destructing after the All Star break.

The Mets, in the playoffs for the first time in nine years, went up against two of the toughest players in baseball to start the series -- Kershaw and Zack Greinke, who have a combined ERA of just 1.90.  Even if the Mets returned to Queens down 0-2, The Dodgers third and fourth pitchers, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood, are decidedly-less terrifying with ERAs of 3.69 and 3.84, respectively.

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