In retrospect, it would have been a good idea to stop watching this game after Juan Lagares hit a solo home run on the fourth pitch of the game. The Mets' offense did next-to-nothing after that and, more surprisingly, Matt Harvey had a poor outing. This game had promise early on, but became a snoozer by the middle innings.
Harvey was throwing gas in the first inning and struck out two in the frame. It felt like the start of yet another Harvey gem. However, the strikeouts quickly dried up, and the baserunners started piling up. The Dodgers hit into a double play in each of the second, third, and fourth innings, the last one coming when Yasiel Puig swung away on a 3-0 count. Harvey couldn't escape in the fifth inning though, as apparent-Mets-killer Nick Punto hit a two-run double to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. The Dodgers struck again in the sixth inning, as A.J. Ellis hit a two-run single to extend the lead to 4-1.
Harvey's final line was 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 K, 2 BB. It was probably one of his two or three worst starts of the season, and definitely his worst since the All-Star break. The Dodgers weren't dinking and dunking him to death; the hits were well-struck. Harvey's three strikeouts and seven swinging strikes were both the fewest he has notched in a game this season. He was customarily hard on himself after the game:
"I just couldn't locate anything," Harvey said. "When I tried to go in it was over the middle. And when I tried to go away I was yanking it"— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) August 14, 2013
Lagares' wall-scraping 368-foot home run in the first inning off Hyun-Jin Ryu accounted for the Mets' only run until the ninth inning. John Buck singled home Josh Satin with two outs in the ninth against Kenley Jansen, cutting the Dodgers' lead to 4-2. Dreams of a miracle comeback against the juggernaut Dodgers danced in Mets fans' heads when pinch hitter Ike Davis strode to the plate. Ike has been terrific lately, albeit without hitting home runs. Those dreams were dashed when Ike weakly grounded out to second base on the first pitch he saw to end the game.
The Mets' lineup isn't much fun to watch right now. Eric Young Jr. has fallen off since his hot Mets debut, Daniel Murphy and his ~.300 OBP are batting third, and Omar Quintanilla's .615 OPS is unsightly. We miss you, David Wright. On the plus side, Marlon Byrd is still hitting well, Lagares has been about league average, and Travis d'Arnaud will likely soon be called up. d'Arnaud has a .290/.415/.530 slash line in the minor leagues this season. Vegas bump be damned, that's a nice line to see! Join the big club and give us another reason to keep watching!
The Mets are now 12 games back of both the Cardinals and Reds in the Wild Card race. Our heroes will try to avoid the sweep Wednesday night at 10:10 pm. The pitching matchup is Dillon Gee vs old friend Chris Capuano.
Beer of the game: Bar Harbor Real Ale from Atlantic Brewing Company in Bar Harbor, Maine
"I like this brown ale. Has a very nice sweet chocolate aroma, also some nutty characteristics (almonds, peanuts). Body is on the light side of medium, taste is big on the sweet cocoa. Also, the almonds are there too. Just a hint of a light sourness on the finish." -- BeerAdvocate review
SB Nation Coverage
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Juan Lagares +4.6%, Mike Baxter +3.7%
Big losers: Matt Harvey -25.6% (as pitcher), Eric Young, Jr. -6.8%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Yasiel Puig double play in the fourth inning, +11.9%
Teh sux0rest play: Nick Punto two-run double in the fifth inning, -25.2%
Total pitcher WPA: -24.4%
Total batter WPA: -25.6%
GWRBI!: A.J. Ellis two-run single in the sixth inning