The Mets face a daunting task the next two nights as the Los Angeles Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke to the mound at Citi Field. In Kershaw’s last outing against the Mets he allowed one run and five hits over seven innings, but was saddled with the loss as he was out-dueled by Noah Syndergaard. Bartolo Colon, who’s ERA has ballooned to 4.86 after allowing six or more runs twice over his last five starts, will look to match zeros with Kershaw in the opener. The pitching pendulum swings in favor of Los Angeles on Thursday night and things don’t get any better for the Amazin’s on Friday night when they face Greinke.
Greinke has tossed 43 2/3 scoreless innings as he attempts to break the All-time record of 59 consecutive scoreless frames set by former Dodger Orel Hershiser back in 1988. Greinke did surrender a solo homerun to Mike Trout in the first inning of the 2015 All-Star Game, but the run did not count against his season total. In his first outing this season against the Mets, Greinke earned a win surrendering just four hits, no runs and striking out four batters over seven innings pitched.
Opposing Greinke is Jonathon Niese who is coming off his strongest performance of the season against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 19 when he threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings and the Mets eventually secured the win in an 18 inning marathon. If the Mets can somehow manage to split one of the two games against the Dodgers' two aces, they’ll send Matt Harvey to the bump on Saturday and then Jacob deGrom for the series finale on Sunday. Los Angeles has yet to name a starter for Saturday and left-hander Brett Anderson will toe the rubber on Sunday.
Outside of Greinke and Kershaw, the Dodgers' starters have been vulnerable and strong rumors are swirling that the team is exploring trades to strengthen the depth of the rotation. If the Mets can find a way to muster enough offense to upset Greinke or Kerhshaw, they give themselves a fighting chance to win the series and stay within striking distance of the Washington Nationals in the NL East race.