It's been nine years since the New York Mets last made the postseason, and only a handful of players on the roster have played in the postseason before. It's almost certain that there will be lots of butterflies in the visitors' clubhouse in Dodger Stadium tonight before the 9:45 Game 1 start.
There may not be butterflies on the pitcher's mound, though, where Jacob deGrom will get the ball.
"Jake is cool because he’s one of those guys you look for in baseball — he doesn’t really have a pulse," Daniel Murphy told the New York Post. "Not a lot fazes him. All the guys on our team, I would pick him as one of the guys that will be able to settle in the quickest."
It's an assessment that deGrom's teammates can agree with.
"[He’s] just chilled out. He’s a simple guy," Travis d'Arnaud said. ""Goes out there and keeps himself calm. Goes out there and pitches."
Manager Terry Collins said that he thinks deGrom "believes he can get anybody out."
Jake deGrom has as much confidence in his own ability as anybody I’ve ever known," Collins said.
The Mets may be facing one of the top pitchers in the game, but the Dodgers will be looking across the field at someone they may struggle with. Starter Clayton Kershaw called deGrom's fastball "explosive," and raved about his command and off-speed pitches.
"The ball that looks like it's at your shins or ankles, it seems like he gets a lot of called strikes there," Kershaw said in an ESPN New York report. "The guys think the ball is down. Same thing with the ball up. You think you can catch up to it, and guys swing through it a lot for strikeouts."
deGrom has pitched one game against the Dodgers this year, throwing 7.2 shutout innings at Citi Field. He struck out eight, walked two, and allowed two hits while outpitching Zack Greinke in a game that the Mets won 3-2 on a walk-off double by Juan Uribe.