Final Score: Dodgers 4, Mets 2
Bartolo Colon was sexy last night. He pitched 6 innings gave up 7 hits and 2 runs. He made a fielding error with two outs in the second inning which wasn’t sexy. But he got out of the inning unscathed. Unfortunately for the Mets, Clayton Kershaw was sexier. He went 7.2 innings, gave up 2 runs and struck out 10.
Slide Rule Shrug: In the third inning, Tolo gave up back to back singles to Chase Utley and Corey Seager. With first and third and one out, Justin Turner hit a ball to Wilmer Flores at third base and Wilmer made a diving play to field the grounder. He made the throw to second base to get the forceout and Neil Walker could not make the relay throw to first base for a double play. The first run against Bartolo scored on that play. Terry decided to challenge Corey Seager’s slide at second base under the new slide rule. Corey Seager slid right at the bag, but he slid through it and made no attempt to stay on it. And he undoubtedly altered the course of his slide slightly to make contact with Walker. In last night’s game, the umpires felt Seager’s slide did not violate the Utley Rule and the run counted. I could find you multiple examples from earlier in the season when that exact same slide was ruled illegal. I have a lot of thoughts on MLBs problem with officiating and will probably deal with them in a separate post. But the bottom line is the slide was ruled legal and it was 1-0 Dodgers.
End of Sexy: In the fifth inning, Bartolo gave up two out singles to Corey Seager, Justin Turner and then Adrian Gonzalez. Those three straight hits led to the Dodgers second run to make it 2-0. Sexy pitched the sixth inning successfully to finish his night. Overall it was a strong start.
Get To Kershaw: The Mets did kind of eventually get to Kershaw. For the most part Clayton mowed the Mets down. Prior to the sixth inning the guy gave up two hits so it’s not like this weak Soup and Wright-less Mets lineup was threatening to score much at all. But in the 6th inning, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a solo blast as a right handed hitter. And then in the 8th inning, Kevin Plawecki led off with a single. Kershaw retired Soup (of course) and pinch hitter Michael Conforto. But with two outs, Curtis Granderson crushed a triple off the wall in right field. Yasiel Puig almost caught it, but it just barely missed his glove. That Grandy triple tied the game at 2.
Familia Blew It Again: Jeurys Familia came in a tie home game in the 9th inning and gave up a leadoff single to Enrique Hernandez. He retired Chase Utley on a foul out. Then he walked Corey Seager and Justin Turner to load the bases with one out. Adrian Gonzalez then lined a single up the middle and that made it 4-2. He blew the 9th inning on Friday and was bailed out by Curtis, and then he blew it again last night. They say closers have short memories. The truth is I used to have the shortest memory when it came to every closer. A blown save meant he was the worst player ever and not to be trusted. Armando Benitez did that to me. He made me a closer skeptic for my entire life. Braden Looper was another Mets closer that fed my late inning skepticism. But when it comes to Familia, I’m already over it. Sure he blew a huge game at home in a series where we should have been able to win 2 out of 3. But he’s among the most elite closers in the game, and I fully trust that he’ll shake this game off. He’s having a bad stretch right now. I don’t see it as a trend.
What Did I Tell You: Kershaw beating us during Sunday Night Baseball is the least surprising thing in the world. Unfortunately our downfall in this series goes back to Saturday night. You don’t put yourself in a position where you need to win a game facing the Dodgers ace and arguably the best pitcher on the planet. You win when your ace is on the mound on Saturday. Instead, our ace Thor threw a fastball at stupid Chase Utley and got tossed before we even had a chance to win. Serves us right.
Today: White Sox come into town. Despite their early season success, they are really struggling big time lately. They’ve tumbled to third place in the AL Central. Let’s hope we right the ship against them.