If you started your viewing experience of the Mets’ eventual 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers expecting any good things to happen, you saw those visions fade away before the first inning could even be put to rest.
That’s not to say that Rich Hill had a bad start, because he didn’t, if anything, he had a bad start to an alright start. Mr. Mountain went five innings, giving up three runs on six hits and striking out two. The real problem is not the sum of those stats, but rather when the lows of the game came for Hill.
After a first inning that saw the Mets’ 2-4 hitters strand Brandon Nimmo after a leadoff double against a familiar heterochromic face in Max Scherzer, the last thing the team or the fans needed was any sort of demoralizing moments to come in the Dodgers’ half of the first inning. Unfortunately, Trea Turner swatted Rich Hill’s second pitch of the night over Dom Smith’s head in left and bonked it off of the top of the wall and off a rail, sending it back on the field. After a short review, the homer was certified and the Mets were in a 1-0 hole. Oops.
After that bump in the road, Hill induced a fly out from MVP candidate Max Muncy. Albert Pujols came up next, kicking off a battle of dudes who are older than John Lennon and Edgar Allen Poe were on their last days on Earth. The battle didn’t exactly last long as Pujols committed elder-on-elder crime, sending Hill’s first pitch out to center field for the 677th home run of his career. Suddenly, it’s 2-0 LA and morale is absolutely rubbish. Hill got the next two outs easily, but the damage was done, the style was cramped.
In the Mets’ second time up, they got another leadoff hit, this time a J.D. Davis single, but the 6-7-8 hitters all went down in order, ending another scoring opportunity before it truly had a chance to thrive. However, the second inning was not all bad news for the viewers at home. It was at this point that PIX shifted their cameras to a certain man in the crowd, nearly three years younger than two of the men playing in the game.
Among the fans, being booed by a boy sitting directly behind him was David Wright, the best position player in Mets history, the owner of a tragic career, and in this moment, a dad. Sitting next to one of his daughters and playfully bouncing his son Brooks David on his lap, Wright donned a black hat and sunglasses with a white shirt and shorts to go with it, the typical dad attire, looking out on the field that he and his teammates clinched the 2006 NLDS on, this time on the other side of the guards and grass. Though the on-field product yesterday was awful, that was a nice moment, right? Anyway, back to the garbage.
In the third inning, Brandon Nimmo sandwiched a single between strikeouts from Rich Hill and Jeff McNeil before stealing third base prior to Pete Alonso striking out to end the inning and leaving another poor soul at second base with no true path home. As for the bottom half, Trea Turner and Albert Pujols did not homer again, and in fact, neither did Max Muncy. Their second time around, the gang got three components of the Anti-Cycle with a pop out, a strikeout, and a groundout.
At least for the Mets, the script was almost identical the next time around. J.D. Davis reached on an error with one out, stole second base along the way, and saw himself another victim of abandonment a batter later. AJ Pollock laced a single to start the Dodgers’ fourth, but Corey Seager grounded to third, starting an around the horn double play and emptying the bases with two outs. Before the serotonin could fully flow in your body, Chris Taylor sent the seventh pitch of his at bat over the wall to put the extremely blue Dodgers up 3-0.
Surprisingly, the Mets almost looked like a competent offense immediately after as Nimmo stepped up with two outs and connected for his fourth home run of the year, dragging the Mets to a 3-1 deficit. Jeff McNeil followed up with a double which was cool, then Pete Alonso got hit by a pitch which is even cooler, even if it is a bit painful, then Michael Conforto walked to load the bases which is incredibly rad! J.D. Davis then came up with three men on, and couldn’t put any of the three fastballs he saw in the middle of the zone in play as he struck out.
An inning later, the score was the same and Rich Hill was out of the game, replaced by Miguel Castro to face the middle of the lineup. Matt Beaty hit for Pujols, singling and stealing a base almost immediately. Castro then proceeded to walk AJ Pollock and then Corey Seager and then Chris Taylor, the last of the three bringing a run home, widening the LA lead to three runs again. Jeurys Familia was called upon to put an end to this towering inferno and guess what? He did it! Will Smith, Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner went down in order, ending the bases loaded rally with only one run in.
Of course, just after an aggravating failure to play capable baseball, Pete Alonso homered against Blake Treinen after a Jeff McNeil walk the very next half inning, making it a 4-3 ballgame. Causing as much mental anguish as possible, that is how the score remained for the rest of the seventh inning, all of the eighth, and all of the recorded ninth. Two more Mets reached base against the Dodgers bullpen: Jonathan Villar on a single in the eighth and Kevin Pillar on a hit by pitch in the ninth, but neither man would venture beyond second base.
Naturally, the Mets lost to the Dodgers again for the third time in a row this series, the sixth time in a row overall, and the 24th time in their past 28 contests. Because beating on bottom tier teams is what good clubs do. Seven games out of first, the Mets will try desperately to win just one later today.
-illar of the day
Jonathan Villar recorded two hits while Kevin Pillar got hit by a pitch and almost thrown out at second base, so that seems like a clear V for Victory in the Battle of -illars.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Brandon Nimmo, +11.1% WPA
Big Mets loser: Jeff McNeil, -14.6% WPA
Mets pitchers: -10.7% WPA
Mets hitters: -39.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso’s two-run homer in the seventh inning, +15.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Trea Turner’s first inning dinger, -10.5% WPA