The Mets and Dodgers played seven times this year en route to their NLDS matchup. The Mets won the series four games to three, and held their own against the Dodgers’ big two starters, going 2-2 in starts made by Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. All seven games took place in July, four of them pre-Conforto, five of them pre-Uribe/Johnson, and all of them pre-Cespedes and pre-Wright returning, so this isn’t exactly the Mets offense that will be facing the team come Friday night. The Mets' four playoff starters all notched victories (if not pitcher wins) against the Dodgers as well, but Matt Harvey did also have a shaky outing against them in Los Angeles.
Let’s take a look at the games.
Game 1: July 3 (Recap) — Mets 2, Dodgers 1
The first meeting of the year for the Mets and the Dodgers was at Dodger Stadium, and featured the matchup of Noah Syndergaard and Clatyon Kershaw. Each starter allowed only one run, with Kershaw going an extra inning and grabbing an extra strikeout. Syndergaard’s biggest mistake of the night was floating a changeup to Adrian Gonzalez, who hit it out of the park for a solo shot. Kershaw gave up his only run when Wilmer Flores hit a grounder through the drawn-in infield to score former Met John Mayberry Jr.
The Mets eventually won the game in the ninth after some soft hits put Lucas Duda on third. He eventually scored the winning run on a Kevin Plawecki sacrifice fly.
Game 2: July 4 (Recap) — Dodgers 4, Mets 3
Matt Harvey had one of his wildest outings of the year, walking five in five innings and losing to Zack Greinke, who pitched seven scoreless innings. The Mets eventually tacked on three runs in the eighth and ninth against the Dodgers' bullpen, but Harvey’s three earned runs, along with an Andres Torres run in the seventh, proved enough for the Dodgers.
Game 3: July 5 (Recap) — Mets 8, Dodgers 0.
This game is otherwise known as "the last time we would see Steven Matz until September." The Mets’ rookie went six strong innings, giving up only two hits and two walks while striking out eight. Logan Verrett pitched the final three innings, earning a "save" in an 8-0 game while giving up just one hit and striking out three.
The Mets' offense didn’t hit a home run, but scored plenty of runs on lots of hits to pick up the win, including a Yasiel Puig botched outfield play that led to a Juan Lagares triple.
Game 4: July 23 (Recap) — Dodgers 3, Mets 0
For their first matchup in Flushing, there was another great starting pitching matchup, with Bartolo Colon tossing eight innings of one-run ball, but being bested by Clayton Kershaw’s complete game shutout. Kershaw was perfectly Kershawian, striking out 11 and taking a perfect game bid into the seventh inning. The Mets’ bullpen gave up two additional runs in the ninth, but the game was sadly quite out of reach when they were down just 1-0.
Game 5: July 24 (Recap) — Dodgers 7, Mets 2
While this was a miserable loss, with Jon Niese giving up six runs in three innings, this game was a very important one for the 2015 Mets: this was the first game in the major league career of Michael Conforto. Conforto didn’t exactly set the world on fire, but did collect his first big league RBI on a ground out in the fifth.
Jimmy Rollins hit a home run for the Dodgers, continuing his Met-killing ways, as did Justin Turner, who probably didn’t know what to do with himself, as he was involved in a victory at Citi Field that didn’t involve him shoving a shaving cream pie into someone’s face while Kevin Burkhardt chuckles.
Game 6: July 25 (Recap) — Mets 15, Dodgers 2
And then, just like that, the offense got better. Newly acquired infielders Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe joined the Mets for a rout of the Dodgers the likes of which hadn’t been seen in some time (the Mets hadn’t scored double-digit runs in nearly six weeks). Matt Harvey was sharp, his opponent Zach Lee was not, and the Mets' lefties mashed: Duda hit two dingers, Johnson and Daniel Murphy hit homers as well, and Curtis Granderson, Kirk Niuewenhuis, and Conforto all hit doubles in the game.
Game 7: July 26 (Recap) — Mets 3, Dodgers 2
Zack Greinke was solid, but Jacob deGrom was better, and the Mets tied the weekend series at two wins apiece. deGrom struck out eight over 7.2 innings without giving up a run before a pre-splitter Jeurys Familia made it interesting in the ninth by allowing two runs to score, tying the game.
But then, with chaw the size of a grapefruit in the side of his mouth, Juan Uribe knocked in Granderson in the bottom of the 10th, and the Mets suddenly had some life in their lineup after a shaky July.
With Yoenis Cespedes and David Wright in the lineup, the Mets’ offense looks far better than it did in any of the games against the Dodgers earlier this year. Add to that Addison Reed and Tyler Clippard in the bullpen, as well as a more seasoned Conforto platooning with a healthy Cuddyer, and the Mets are a much better team than the one that won the season series with the Dodgers.