Final Score: Mets 4, Dodgers 2
The Mets had some base running blunders in this game and some mistakes in the field. But as far as pitching and hitting goes, this game represented the near ideal Mets blueprint. Stellar starting pitching, a couple of dingers, and shutdown late inning relief. Who am I kidding, that’s every team’s ideal blueprint.
Matz Beats Old Matz: Steven Matz has been absolutely stellar since that first crappy start against the Marlins. He went six innings tonight and made one mistake when he left a fastball up with two outs to Trayce Thompson who hit a two run homer. It was a BS Dodger Stadium home run down the line though. He outdueled former Mets lefty stud prospect Scott Kazmir, the original Steven Matz. Or is Matz future Kazmir? Either way, Matz got big strikeouts when he needed them. He got two Ks with a man on base in the third inning to end a threat. He struck out Kazmir with men on in the fourth inning. And he got two more big strikeouts in the sixth inning.
Our Ding-A-Lings: Curtis Granderson led off the game with a first pitch home run and Kevin Plawecki added a solo home run in the second inning to make it 2-0.
Bonehead Base Running: In the third inning, Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff single and got thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. He was testing the arm of Kike Hernandez in the outfield since it isn’t his natural position, but it was an overly aggressive move. That being said, on the replay it actually didn’t look like Grandy was ever tagged at second base, but nobody seemed to care at all. That blunder preceded what could have been a nice rally. Asdrubal Cabrera was hit by a pitch, David Wright walked, and Yoenis Cespedes singled in Cabrera to make it 3-0. Then Scott Kazmir walked Lucas Duda to load the bases with one out for Juan Lagares. Juan Lagares hit a fly ball to Kike Hernandez, but when he caught it for the second out, he was able to double up Cespedes who was sleeping at second base. He didn’t slide back to the bag. It was a pathetic sloppy inning from the Mets.
Howie Muff-Del: In the top of the 6th inning, Wilmer Flores walked with two outs and then Howie Kendrick muffed a routine ground ball at second base off the bat of Kevin Plawecki. Steven Matz promptly made him pay with an RBI double down the left field line. Whoops! Thanks Howie.
The Jerry Manuel Managing Excellence Award: In the top of the 7th, Asdrubal Cabrera doubled, advanced to third base on a ground out and with two outs the Dodgers intentionally walked Lucas Duda. Terry Collins left Juan Lagares in to hit instead of pinch hitting Michael Conforto. It’s a no brainer pinch hitting decision in a close game against another first place team. Juan struck out in pathetic fashion.
Bullpen Bailout: Our bullpen has been elite. We have the top pen ERA in the NL. They bailed us out on Sunday in San Diego. And tonight Hansel Robles was lights out in the 7th and Antonio Bastardo looked fine in the 8th until Juan Lagares dropped a fairly routine fly ball in center field. Jim Henderson came in with two men on base and struck out Yasiel Puig and got a foul pop out from Trayce Thompson. He bailed us out. Jeurys Familia obviously dominated in the 9th inning. The pen keeps bailing us out particularly when our fielders make mistakes. That won’t last forever. We need to clean that crap up.
Pitchers Hitting Now: Bartolo Colon hit his ding dong over the weekend, Matt Harvey crushed a double as well and tonight Matz hit a double. Remember when our pitchers were our best hitters for like half of 2015? That was terrible.
He’s Down With PRP: Travis d’Arnaud is doing okay. He just got a nice platelet-rich-plasma injection in his shoulder and he’s shut down indefinitely. No timetable for his return whatsoever. See you next season!
Mets vs. Utley Round 1: Hansel Robles faced Chase Utley in the 7th inning and got him to groundout. No hit by pitch. If we really want to get back at Utley we should just sprinkle some laxatives in his Gatorade or something. Do it real classy like.
Also here’s a picture of Utley pledging his soul to Satan for one hit in this series.
Booth Snooze: I love Gary Cohen and Ron Darling, but when Keith is missing in action, SNY should get a Keith doll for the booth that says 10 different Keithisms on repeat throughout the game. Gary spent 5 minutes talking about how he was upset by the fact that the Dodgers scoreboard had both the time and date on it, and the conversation was so boring I wanted to waterboard myself in my bathroom.
Wilmer’s Hickey: A lot of people pointed out during the game that Wilmer Flores was rocking a hickey on his neck. That’s not a hickey. It’s just a mark from one of Ray Ramirez’s signature leeching treatments. As he says, “You need to drain the toxins out”.
Strasburg Extension: Before the game tonight the Nationals announced they’ve signed Stephen Strasburg to a 7 year 175 million dollar extension. I’m happy they screwed the Yankees a bit by taking away another option in free agency although it probably makes it more likely Matt Harvey heads across town eventually. But at a minimum, this Strasburg extension reminds us that it will be nearly impossible to keep our staff together forever. We really need to capitalize now.
Tomorrow: Jacob deGrom goes tomorrow night baby. What if this series is the first time all season where our studs string together four straight elite starts? Let’s do it!