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Amp up the drama in winner-take-all Game 5 for Dodgers and Mets

Dodgers' Zack Greinke, left, and New York Mets' Jacob deGrom will face off on Thursday.

Dodgers’ Zack Greinke, left, and New York Mets’ Jacob deGrom will face off on Thursday.

(Stephen Dunn / Getty Images; Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

And now for some big-boy baseball, the kind you dream about when the playoffs start. The kind that too seldom is delivered.

Only it’s here now, a winner-take-all Game 5 Thursday with two of baseball’s best pitchers -- the Dodgers’ Zack Greinke vs. the Mets’ Jacob deGrom. It’s a goosebumps game.

The Dodgers haven’t been in this kind of postseason situation since 1988 when … they beat the Mets in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.

Greinke vs. deGrom could make for a classic postseason pitching duel. Both won their first starts in the best-of-five series, though deGrom was the more dominant.

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“You know what, it’s probably dead even, to be honest,” Clayton Kershaw said. “As good as Zack is and has been the whole year, deGrom has been the same.”

All deGrom did in Game 1 was strike out 13 in seven innings and outpitch Kershaw. For the Dodgers to beat him, they’re going to have to do something they’ve been unable to do in 2015 -- actually score a run off him.

DeGrom held the Dodgers scoreless for 7 2/3 innings on July 26 -- pitching against Greinke -- and then in series opener. In 14 2/3 innings against the Dodgers this year he’s struck out 21, walked three and allowed only seven hits.

He had a more difficult time in 2014, his rookie season, against the Dodgers, going 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in two starts. This year, however, he’s a mountain they haven’t been close to climbing.

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Greinke went 19-3 with a 1.66 ERA in the regular season, and was 10-1 with a 1.46 ERA at Dodger Stadium. In Game 2 he allowed two runs on solo homers, the game the Dodgers came back to win after Chase Utley’s now infamous slide.

Two of the best, a fired up Dodger Stadium, an invite to host Game 1 of the NLCS against the Cubs on the line. It’s now at hand.


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