When the two best teams in the National League face off, you expect it to be a hard fought contest. A 4-3 loss to the best team in the league is nothing to be ashamed of. However, if the Mets had an extra hit or two with men on base, a little better strike zone from home plate umpire Ted Barrett, or an alternate lefty in the bullpen, this could’ve easily been a Mets win.
The Mets got on the board due to a bizarre play in the first. With Brandon Nimmo on first base, Starling Marte laid down a bunt that was clearly going to roll foul. However, Dodgers starter Andrew Heaney picked the ball up and couldn’t quite make the throw to first, sending the ball down the right field line. Nimmo scored all the way from first, and Marte wound up on third base with no outs. However, the Mets were unable to capitalize and add anything additional runs.
Taijuan Walker looked decent throughout his five and a third innings. The third inning provided the only blight on the night for Walker, where a single by Austin Barnes and a double by Mookie Betts put two on with no outs. A questionable walk to Max Muncy loaded the bases, and one batter later Walker plunked Joey Gallo to drive in the tying run. Gavin Lux would add a single that drove in two, putting the Dodgers up 3-1.
However, the Mets’ power brought them back, with solo home runs by Starling Marte and Mark Canha in the third and fourth innings, respectively, tying the game at three apiece.
The game remained tied until the seventh, when Lux singled off of Joely Rodriguez, knocking in Freddie Freeman with the go ahead run, putting the Dodgers up 4-3.
Despite no evidence in a Mets uniform that this was even possible, Mychel Givens pitched two scoreless innings in relief, adding to good relief appearances by Seth Lugo and the returning Tommy Hunter.
The Mets made it interesting in the ninth inning, when Dave Roberts put former Met Jake Reed in for the save. A single by Eduardo Escobar gave the Mets some hope, but a pinch hitting appearance by Daniel Vogelbach led to a double play, and left the Mets down to their final out. A slow dribbler back to Reed off the bat of Nimmo finished out the game, and saw the Mets waste not just an opportunity for a win, but an opportunity for Timmy Trumpet to play out Edwin Diaz in a save chance.
For shame, Mets. Timmy Trumpet deserved better. Did you see his interview with Steve Gelbs? He deserves the world.
The Mets left seven on base tonight, but the Dodgers left 12. This was a winnable game; with a man on third and no outs in the first, Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, and Darin Ruf should have been able to knock in Marte. But the middle of the order did not look very good tonight. Sure, Ruf and Lindor broke hitless streaks, but those hits led nowhere. Alonso struck out thrice and popped out with a man on base in the seventh, breaking his bat over his knee in frustration. It was a feeling shared throughout Mets fandom.
In the good news department, Givens looked better than he has in orange and blue, and Hunter looked strong in his return outing. Jacob deGrom is starting tomorrow, and the Braves are currently losing to the Rockies.
Tomorrow, as noted, deGrom gets the ball against left-hander Tyler Anderson. Let’s get ‘em tomorrow.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winner: Starling Marte, +20.5% WPA
Big loser: Daniel Vogelbach, -26.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -14.4% WPA
Total batter WPA: -35.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Starling Marte’s bunt single that turned into a run-scoring triple, +15.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Gavin Lux’s two RBI single in the third, -20.0% WPA