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Mets vs. Dodgers Recap: Can’t find my way home

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The Mets opened the series with a dud against the Dodgers.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets were in trouble long before the final box score read 6-0 Los Angeles. The Dodgers made their way to Citi Field as hottest team in baseball, and their big acquisition at the trade deadline was making his debut for his new team.

LOSE, 6-0

With those two factors already working against the Mets, Chris Taylor’s leadoff home run against Jacob deGrom set the tone for the night. It was a long at-bat, and despite escaping the inning allowing just the one run, deGrom was frustrated when he returned to the dugout.

It was more of the same in the second and third for the ace, who could not put away the Dodger hitters. They ran up his pitch count and Yasiel Puig got to him for another solo home run to put the Dodgers up 2-0.

The Mets still refuse to call up Dominic Smith for some reason, so Jay Bruce is their first baseman until Smith gets that elusive phone call. After Chris Taylor led off the fifth inning with a single, Corey Seager hit a ball toward first base that Bruce couldn’t get to. An actual first baseman, like Smith, could conceivably come up with the ball and turn a double play, but alas that did not happen here. Instead runners were on first and third with nobody out. Justin Turner as the next batter did ground out into a double play but the Dodgers’ third run came home.

Perhaps if the Mets were still in the playoff race you push deGrom a little further and save the bullpen, but with the team so far out, all that is left of this season is to prepare for 2018. deGrom’s night was over after five innings, and even though it wasn’t his best performance, it was far from the worst. He allowed three runs, walked three, and struck out eight. He was also one of the few standouts at the plate. He singled and stole the first base of his career in the third but was left stranded.

Yu Darvish did not share deGrom’s frustrations on this night. He pitched seven shutout innings and struck out ten for his new club. He was in trouble in the first inning after a Michael Conforto single and a Jay Bruce walk, but Yoenis Cespedes flew out and Curtis Granderson lined out back to Darvish to end the threat. That was pretty much it for the offense except for Amed Rosario, who singled and stole a base in his Citi Field debut.

Every appearance by a member of the bullpen has to be an audition for next season. Josh Smoker failed his in this game. He pitched only a third of an inning and gave up a long home run to He Who Must Not Be Named. Chasen Bradford was next out of the pen and was ok in almost three innings of work. He finished off the sixth but got into trouble in the seventh. After Taylor walked and Seager doubled to start the inning, Turner hit a sacrifice fly but that was all Bradford would allow. He pitched 2.2 innings and gave up just the one run and struck out three.

Erik Goeddel was the last one out of the pen and was the only pitcher to not give up a run in this game.

These games don’t really mean too much standings-wise as the season is beginning to wind down, so win or lose the Mets need to look for as many positives as they can, even on nights when not much went right.

deGrom’s competitiveness again stood out. He smashed his bat in the dugout after he was pulled from the game, which was a bit smarter than the time he punched a water cooler. He keeps his cool on the mound, but there is a fiery competitor simmering beneath the surface.

Amed Rosario’s speed also appears to be a weapon this team has been lacking for quite some time.

Finally, Chasen Bradford had a mostly successful outing against a powerful offense. This appearance came on the heels of a great outing against the Rockies in Colorado, so perhaps he can be a useful piece out of the bullpen going forward.

If lessons learned from this season leads to changes and makes them competitive next season, than perhaps games like this one will end up being worth the frustration, but until that happens a girl can dream.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: None
Big losers: Jacob deGrom -11.9%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jacob deGrom single in third
Teh sux0rest play: Chris Taylor home run in first
Total pitcher WPA: -20.3%
Total batter WPA: -29.7%
GWRBI!: Justin Turner