Coming into Los Angeles, the narrative appeared to be that, yes the Mets had a good week, but the Dodgers were a different class of team. On Monday, the Mets (minus Tyler Bashlor and Daniel Zamora) more or less kept pace with the best of the West, and on Tuesday, they beat said team 7-3.
Tuesday’s success started with Steven Matz who, like his last start against the Nationals, allowed a fair amount of baserunners, but really limited the damage. That was due, in large part, to the success of his curveball, which neutralized hitters and kept hard contact to a minimum.
The one exception to that was Cody Bellinger, who is having himself a season, and who ripped his 20th home run off of Matz in the third inning. Despite walking three, only his walk to David Freese ahead of Bellinger’s blast came around to score. Matz has shown over his past few starts that he is able to work out of trouble, a skill that he seemed to only recently really acquire.
Rich Hill, the 39 year old left-hander, starter for the Dodgers, had a similar game to Matz’s, going six innings, allowing two runs, and working his way out of trouble. The Mets put a runner on base in all but one of Hill’s innings, but managed to only score 2 runs.
The best news of the night for Mets fans, aside from the win, was the re-emergence of Michael Conforto. The game was Conforto’s first since his concussion where he seemed truly comfortable at the plate. In the third inning, Matz led off with a single, followed by an Amed Rosario single. Matz then displayed some quality baserunning by tagging up on a J.D. Davis fly ball to the warning track, and scored on a Conforto
infield single fielder’s choice.
But it was in the seventh that Conforto really made his return known. After Aideny Hechavarria and Aaron Altherr walked, Amed Rosario attempted a sacrifice bunt, but a throwing error led to the bases loaded with no outs. After J.D. Davis went down on strikes, Conforto hit an opposite field grand slam. It was great to see Conforto easing back into the game with ease.
The Mets also got a solo home run and a ground rule double from Todd Frazier, who is quietly starting to heat up, and an RBI triple from Amed Rosario, who went 2-3 with a walk.
The bullpen also looked improved, as Robert Gsellman, Jeurys Familia, and Edwin Diaz scattered five hits and a walk over three innings of work. The only blemish was in the seventh inning, when Gsellman gave up a double to Will Smith in his first big-league game, and eventually came around to score on a Matt Beaty single.
Tonight, the Mets look to take the series’ lead behind Noah Syndergaard, who will face off against Walker Buehler at 10:10pm.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Michael Conforto, +31.5% WPA, Amed Rosario, +23.2% WPA, Todd Frazier, +14.3% WPA
Big losers: J.D. Davis, -19.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +10.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +39.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto’s oppo granny, +28.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Cody Bellinger’s 20th dinger of the season, -25.6% WPA