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Mets get a much needed victory against the Dodgers

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Marcus Stroman led the Mets to the win.

MLB: New York Mets at Los Angeles Dodgers Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets desperately needed a win today, after only winning one other game on their West Coast road trip, and not yet winning a game against the Dodgers this season. If there was ever a day to do it, it would be the day that their new de facto ace (with deGrom out) Marcus Stroman on the mound and their big trade deadline acquisition Javier Báez back in the lineup after spending time on the injured list. So the Mets went into the final game of the grueling road trip aiming to finally claim victory against the Dodgers.

The Mets started off the top of the first with Brandon Nimmo drawing a leadoff walk, but Pete Alonso followed that up with a strikeout. Javier Báez, in his first plate appearance after coming off the injured list, hit a double, driving in Nimmo and creating the first Mets lead since arriving in Los Angeles. J.D. Davis then hit a single into right field, driving in Báez to tack another run on the Mets long-awaited lead. Brandon Drury hit a grounder back to first for the second out, which moved Davis to second. Jonathan Villar then hit a blooper to center, which Bellinger threw home to try and get Davis at the plate. Davis scored, and Villar took advantage and tried for second, and when Will Smith overshot his throw to second, Villar took advantage even further and ended up at third base. Kevin Pillar popped out in foul ground to Price, ending the inning with the Mets ahead by three runs before Stroman even set foot on the mound.

In the bottom of the first, Trea Turner led off with a line out to Drury in left field. Max Muncy then lined out to Pillar in right field. Justin Turner ended the inning by flying out to Pillar. It was a quick inning for Stroman to start the game, needing all of 12 pitches to get three outs (as opposed to David Price needing 33).

Patrick Mazeika led off the top of the second with a foul pop-up to Corey Seager. Stroman was swinging and grounded out to Seager for the second out of the inning. Nimmo came up to the plate for the second time in two innings, and for the second time he walked. Alonso then came up for the second time in the game, and for the second time he struck out. In the bottom of the second, Seager led off for the Dodgers, and Stroman started things off by striking Seager out. Will Smith then struck out as well for the second out. Stroman then issued a two out walk to Chris Taylor, who stole second during A.J. Pollock’s at-bat. Pollock then struck out, leaving Taylor stranded at second and the Mets’ three run lead intact.

In the top of the third, Báez started things off by striking out. Davis then grounded out to Trea Turner, and Drury ended the inning with a strikeout. In the bottom of the inning, Bellinger led off and hit a laser line out to center, right at Brandon Nimmo, for the first out. David Price got the first hit of the game for the Dodgers, a single to right field. Trea Turner hit a grounder right to Báez, who threw to Villar for the force at second but the return to first wasn’t even close to getting Turner out at first. Muncy struck out for the third out, ending the inning and stranding Trea Turner at first.

In the top of the fourth, Villar led off with a groundout to Trea Turner. Pillar then hit a fly ball right at Cody Bellinger in center field. Mazeika got the third out with a fly out to Taylor in right field, ending the inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Justin Turner flew out to Nimmo. Seager hit a single up the middle, then Smith flew out to Pillar in right. Taylor hit a ball right at Davis, but it hit Davis in the hand and ricocheted over to Báez, whose throw to first was too late to get Taylor at first. A.J. Pollock walked, leading to the bases loaded and two outs, and Cody Bellinger coming up. Bellinger hit a single to right, driving in two runs and trimming the Mets lead to a slim one run. Next up was former Met Billy McKinney, pinch-hitting for Price. But before McKinney could do any sort of damage, Bellinger attempted to steal but was caught in a rundown, eventually getting tagged for the final out and allowing Stroman to get out of the inning without any further damage.

Brusdar Graterol came in to pitch for the Dodgers in the top of the fifth, and Stroman led off with a groundout to Seager for the first out. Nimmo followed by getting a single to center in his third plate appearance of the day. Alonso then hit a single to right to put runners on first and second with one out and Báez coming to the plate. Báez grounded into a double play, ending the inning without adding anything to the Mets’ razor-thin lead. Stroman was back out on the mound for the bottom of the inning, and he made quick work of the Dodgers. He first got Brusdar Graterol and Trea Turner to groundout (to Báez and Villar respectively) and then struck out Muncy to end the inning.

In the top of the sixth, Graterol was back on the mound for the Dodgers, and Davis led off and was hit by a pitch, giving the Mets a baserunner with no outs. Jeff McNeil then came into the game to pinch-hit for Drury, and he promptly doubled, giving the Mets two base runners in scoring position with no outs. Villar then struck out, and Pillar grounded into a fielder’s choice where Davis was thrown out trying to score. The Dodgers intentionally walked Mazeika to load the bases with two outs and Stroman coming up to the plate. Stroman grounded into a force out where McNeil was thrown out at home, leaving the Mets with nothing to show for the great start to the inning. In the bottom half, McNeil stayed in left field, and Justin Turner started things off with a fly out to Villar. Seager then hit a long fly out to McNeil in left field, McNeil’s first play in the outfield all season. Stroman then struck out Smith to end the inning.

In the top of the seventh, the Dodgers brought in Phil Bickford to pitch. In Nimmo’s fourth plate appearance in the game, he was finally retired with getting on base with a pop-up to Seager. Alonso struck out and lost his bat in the process, with the bat ending up in the Dodgers’ dugout. Báez laced a hit into left field, and turned what would for most be a single into a double with heads up baserunning. Davis then smoked a home run past the fence in left field. McNeil immediately flew out to Pollock in left field, but the Mets finally got some breathing room again as they headed into the bottom of the seventh. Jeurys Familia came in to pitch the bottom of the inning, Taylor ledoff by grounding out to Davis at third. Pollock then hit a double to left-center field. Familia then struck out Bellinger on three pitches, with Matt Beaty coming up to the plate as a pinch hitter, replacing Bickford. Beaty hit a pop-up to Davis, retiring the side and putting the Mets within six outs of winning a game against the Dodgers in 2021.

In the top of the eighth, Villar started off with a groundout to Seager. Pillar then popped a ball up to Bellinger, and Mazeika struck out on a ball in the dirt, ending the inning. In the bottom of the inning the Mets brought in Trevor May to pitch, and May made quick work of the Dodgers. Trea Turner flew out to Pillar, Muncy hit a foul pop out to Davis, and Justin Turner hit a foul pop out to Mazeika to end the inning.

In the top of the ninth the Dodgers brought in Shane Greene, and the Mets led off with Michael Conforto pinch hitting for Trevor May. Conforto promptly hit a foul pop out to Muncy for the first out. Nimmo then hit a single to Taylor in right field to get on base for the fourth time in the game. Alonso was then hit by a pitch, to put two runners on for Báez. Then Báez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with only one out for Davis. Davis then drew a bases loaded walk to add another run onto their lead before the Dodgers brought in Victor González to try and stop the bleeding. McNeil hit into a fielder’s choice, where the Dodgers got the out at second but everyone else was safe, including Alonso at home. In the bottom of the inning Edwin Díaz came into the game to close it out (in a non-save situation). He started out by getting Seager to ground out to Villar. Smith hit a ground ball to Báez, whose throw to Pete got away a little bit but Pete hung on and tagged Smith before he got to first for the out. Díaz then struck out Taylor to end the game and put another much-needed win to the Mets record.

The Mets left the West Coast road trip with only two wins, one against each of their opponents. But they got one on the final day, which could help create good momentum for the upcoming ten day homestand against the Giants, Nationals, and Marlins. Plus the Mets got Javier Báez back, with Francisco Lindor’s return looking imminent as well and Noah Syndergaard looking to return sooner rather than later (in the bullpen albeit). Things might finally be looking up for the Mets. With a slightly easier schedule coming up, they are down, but they might not be out just yet.

-illar of the day

Jonathan Villar only got one hit in five at-bats, but that’s one more hit than Kevin Pillar, and Villar also drove in a run with his hit, so it’s a slim victory for Jonathan to take the -illar of the Day crown.

Box scores

MLB.com
ESPN

Win Probability Added

Fangraphs

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: J.D. Davis, +31.8% WPA
Big Mets loser: Kevin Pillar, -12.7% WPA
Mets pitchers: +23.7% WPA
Mets hitters: +26.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: J.D. DAVIS’ two-run home run in the seventh, +20,0% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Cody Bellinger’s two-run single in the fourth, -18.7% WPA

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