Last night, the Mets exorcised the demons of Chase Utley, Chris Guccione, and MLB’s pedantic rulebook by stomping out the Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 13-7 in Game 3 of the NLDS, taking a 2-1 lead in the series. Matt Harvey, though not nearly at his sharpest, went five innings, letting in three runs (two earned), and striking out seven. Harvey’s mere mortal performance was sheltered by his offense, led by Curtis Granderson, Travis d'Arnaud, and Yoenis Cespedes, all of whom knocked in multiple runs off of the Dodgers' pair of lefties, Brett Anderson and Alex Wood, who combined for five innings of batting practice against the suddenly mighty Mets offense.
A strong relief appearance by Bartolo Colon—including an inning where he struck out the side in 14 pitches—and a bounce-back performance by Addison Reed led the Mets to the top of the ninth. Erik Goeddel looked shaky, not retiring a single batter and giving up a home run to Howie Kendrick that made things a little interesting. Closer Jeurys Familia eventually came in and shut down the Dodgers, retiring all three hitters he faced.
Aside from Harvey’s rough second inning—not helped by a Curtis Granderson throwing error—it was a glorious night to be a Mets fan. Here are some of the highlights.
During the pre-game announcements, assault victim/Mets folk hero Ruben Tejada received a moving ovation from the Citi crowd.
The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by a former Mets great, just a few weeks after he suffered a heart attack: Le Grand Orange, Rusty Staub. He can be forgiven for bouncing the ball so soon after cardiac arrest.
Harvey did not flash his best stuff through most of the night, but gave up minimal hard contact in his five innings. He was most impressive in the third inning, when he struck out both Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford with two men on to keep the Mets ahead 4-3.
After the Dodgers scored three in the top of the second, David Wright made a leaping grab to mercifully end the inning.
The Mets came back later that inning, starting off with d’Arnaud’s RBI single.
Curtis Granderson struck the first decisive blow for the Mets, clearing the bases with a double in the bottom of the second.
One inning later, d’Arnaud would open the game up even more with a two-run shot to left.
In the fourth, after two singles in his first two at bats, Cespedes unleashed an absolute bomb to left field, hitting the second deck. Let’s view it first via MLB’s Statcast:
Now, let’s see if from the perspective of a fan in section 334:
At this point, the crowd at Citi was absolutely electric, chanting "We want Utley" and clearly enjoying the first ever postseason game at the ballpark.
After Harvey left the game, it was Bae time, with Bartolo Colon pitching two effective innings of relief, giving up one run and striking out three.
In the seventh, Granderson knocked in a pair with his second double of the night:
What a night—let’s do it again tonight.