The Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets have been atop the National League standings for much of the year, and meet this week for the final time during the 2022 regular season.
When they played a four-game series at Dodger Stadium through the first weekend in June, the Dodgers were coming off being swept by the Pittsburgh Pirates. They rebounded with consecutive wins against the Mets, only to lose the next two contests and settle for a split.
Now the Dodgers are in the midst of a 21-5 showing for the month of August and arrive at Citi Field with a comfortable eight-game lead for the best record in the NL.
Although Max Scherzer is not pitching in the three-game series, he views playing the Dodgers as an exciting challenge for the Mets, per Anthony DiComo of MLB.com:
“It matters,” Scherzer said. “They’ve had a great season so far in what they’ve been able to do. You play this game to face the best. Obviously, they’ve been one of the best teams in all of baseball. For them to come into town, you want to beat them. It’s a great opportunity for us, a great challenge for us to go out there and face them.”
Francisco Lindor echoed some of the same sentiment and expressed his excitement with playing the Dodgers:
“We’ve been going at it the same all year,” Lindor said. “So yeah, I’m looking forward to playing [the Dodgers]. It’s going to be good baseball for sure.”
After the Dodgers faced the Mets earlier this season, Trea Turner referred to the series as a “good test” for the team and acknowledged it could have been a preview of the playoffs. “You can see how talented they are, the pitching they have and lineup they have, they’re a pretty complete ballclub,” Turner added.
“As are we, so if it happens down the road, I think this was a good test. We’ve still got to go there and play them, so anytime you can go head-to-head with one of the better teams in the league it’s always fun. I think this series was pretty fun.”
Mets didn’t save Scherzer for Dodgers
Although this week’s series could loom large in deciding who finishes with the best record in the NL, the Mets decided against holding Scherzer back to face the Dodgers.
He was recovering from a left oblique strain when the teams played at Dodger Stadium, and thus won’t face his former teammates this year unless they meet in the postseason.
By starting the series finale against the Colorado Rockies, Scherzer remained on his regular routine.
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