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Mets vs. Dodgers Recap: Matz, Mets bats beat Dodgers with ease

Steven Matz's second major league start was a success.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Steven Matz threw six scoreless innings, Logan Verrett threw three more, and the Mets’ offense scored eight runs against the Dodgers even though they didn’t hit a home run.

Let’s start with Matz, whose first two major league starts have gone very, very well. This afternoon, he struck out eight, walked two, and gave up just two hits. The only knock on him was that he wasn’t incredibly efficient, throwing 101 pitches in the process. But that’s not much of a knock, and the Long Island native generated sixteen swinging strikes in the games for an excellent rate of 15.8 percent. Through two starts, that gives Matz a 12.2 swinging strike rate that sits comfortably above the major league average for starting pitchers: 9.1 percent.

And while the Mets’ lineup was facing neither Clayton Kershaw nor Zack Greinke in the series finale, Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger was having a pretty decent season coming into the game, as he had a 2.76 ERA in eleven starts for the Dodgers. Bolsinger’s results weren’t exactly terrible, but the Mets scored four times against him and had at least a couple of opportunities to score even more that didn’t work out.

Still, the Mets scored once in the first on a Wilmer Flores single. They added three more runs in the fourth, which scored on a Steven Matz ground out, a Curtis Granderson double, and an infield single by Flores. If Michael Cuddyer hadn’t gone 0-for-3 with runners on base in the first, third, and fourth innings, the Mets very well could have led by more.

That didn’t really matter, of course, with Matz’s dominance, but the Mets added three insurance runs in the seventh, the first of which scored on a Ruben Tejada single. The other two scored when Juan Lagares hit a fly ball to right field that Yasiel Puig misplayed into a two-run triple. And the Mets tacked one more run on a double by Flores in the eighth.

Once Matz was done for the day, the Mets turned to Logan Verrett, who looked pretty impressive in the process of earning a three-inning save. He struck out three, didn’t walk anyone, and gave up just one hit. He also generated eight swinging strikes on 41 pitches.

In total at the plate, it was quite a day for the Mets. Let’s just mimic the minor league report format here:

  • Curtis Granderson: 2-5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 BB
  • Daniel Murphy: 3-4, 1 BB
  • Lucas Duda: 0-5, 3 K
  • Wilmer Flores: 4-5, 1 R, 3 RBI
  • Michael Cuddyer: 0-5, 2 K
  • Johnny Monell: 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB
  • Ruben Tejada: 3-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
  • Steven Matz: 0-3, 1 RBI
  • Juan Lagares: 2-5, 1 R, 2 RBI

In fairness to Duda, he smoked a ball in the first inning with runners on the corners, and it just happened to be hit right to the glove of a Dodgers infielder. The other at-bats weren’t very good, though. And Cuddyer’s at-bats were really not good.

But the Mets won a series on the road for the first time in a long time, and their starting rotation’s general excellence continued in the process. They begin a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday night. Both teams are 42-41 and on the season and three-and-a-half games back of the Cubs for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.

Win Probability Added

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Big winners: Steven Matz, +25.2% WPA, Curtis Granderson, +17.0% WPA, Daniel Murphy, +15.5% WPA, Wilmer Flores, +10.0% WPA
Big losers: Lucas Duda, -15.4% WPA, Michael Cuddyer, -10.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Curtis Granderson’s run-scoring double in the fourth, +10.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Lucas Duda’s line out with runners on the corners in the first, -5.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +25.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: +24.2% WPA
GWRBI!: Wilmer Flores