The Mets are a good team, and last night in Los Angeles, they did what good teams are capable of doing. They didn't play their sharpest baseball, and a couple of regulars—Neil Walker and Michael Conforto—weren't in the lineup. But they still beat the Dodgers, who might have the reputation that the Cubs do this year but are a very far cry from being the Braves.
The game couldn't have gotten off to a better start than it did, as Curtis Granderson greeted former Mets prospect Scott Kazmir with a first-pitch home run. And in the second inning, Kevin Plawecki hit a solo home run, too, to put the Mets ahead by two.
Steven Matz was very good in his start, and he just keeps putting his first start of the season farther and farther into the rearview mirror. Matz gave up two runs on six hits in six innings. He struck out five, walked one, and now has a 2.86 ERA and 2.66 FIP on the season. In this start, he threw 98 pitches, and 63 of them were strikes. He got eleven swings-and-misses, his second-highest total through six starts.
The Mets added a run on a Yoenis Cespedes single in the third. They might have added more in that frame when Juan Lagares flew out with the bases loaded and David Wright tagged up from third, but Cespedes was doubled off second base to end the inning.
They added one more run later in the game, though, as Matz was the latest Mets pitcher to help his own cause. Thanks to an inning-extending error by Howie Kendrick at second base, Matz came up with Wilmer Flores on second and Plawecki on first, and he doubled to bring Flores home. That put the Mets up 4-2, and that score stuck.
Hansel Robles threw a perfect seventh with one strikeout. Antonio Bastardo retired the first batter he faced in the eighth, but the second, Adrian Gonzalez, reached first an a fly ball that Juan Lagares got to but failed to catch. When Bastardo followed that up with a walk, Terry Collins called upon Jim Henderson, who struck out Yasiel Puig and got a pop up from Trayce Thompson, who had plated both of the Dodgers' runs against Matz in the fourth inning on a two-run home run.
Jeurys Familia threw a perfect ninth, and the Mets wrapped up the win in the series opener.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Steven Matz, +11.8% WPA pitching, +11.5% WPA hitting; Jim Henderson, +16.5% WPA
Big losers: Juan Lagares, -14.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Steven Matz doubles in a run in the sixth, +13.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Trayce Thompson hits a two-run home run in the fifth, -19.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +34.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +15.8% WPA
GWRBI!: Yoenis Cespedes