It wasn’t a night for starting pitching in Los Angeles. With Walker Buehler having gotten the nod for the Dodgers opposite the Mets’ David Peterson, both teams’ lineups forced the starters out of the game fairly early.
Francisco Lindor got the scoring started on the night with a solo shot in the top of the first, but the Dodgers didn’t take too long to respond. They scored their first run of the night in the second inning on a fielder’s choice ground ball to first base that could have been a double play but was instead a Pete Alonso error that resulted in no outs. And later that inning, Mookie Betts came up with the bases loaded and cleared them with a double, giving the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.
Fortunately, the Mets answered immediately in the top of the third. Starling Marte doubled in the team’s second run of the night, and Lindor drove in the third on a ground out. Pete Alonso then turned the deficit into a lead with a two-run home run.
With Peterson putting up a scoreless third inning, Eduardo Escobar helped give the Mets a little breathing room with a solo home run in the fourth. But Peterson didn’t finish the bottom of that inning, as he recorded two outs before Betts came back up to the plate with a runner on base. Peterson threw him one pitch, which he smoked for a foul ball, and that was enough for Buck Showalter, who came out to make a pitching change mid-at-bat. It was an uncommon move, but it very well might have preserved the Mets’ lead. It was Colin Holderman who Showalter summoned in his place, and he rewarded his manager by striking out Betts.
From there, neither team scored again until the top of the seventh. Pete Alonso gave the Mets a much more comfortable lead with a three-run home run in that inning, and the bullpen—which carried a heavy load in this one—kept the Dodgers from scoring again. For the record, that work was done by Holderman, Adam Ottavino, Chase Shreve, Drew Smith, Joely Rodríguez, and Seth Lugo.
With that, the Mets have a shot at splitting their four-game series in Los Angeles. If they’re able to pull that off, it would be a good outcome given the back-to-back losses with which the series began.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso, +26.2% WPA
Big Mets loser: David Peterson, -24.4% WPA
Mets pitchers: -3.2% WPA
Mets hitters: +53.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso hits a go-ahead two-run home run in the third, +16.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Mookie Betts hits a bases-clearing three-run double in the second, -24.9% WPA