The Dodgers came into this game with the best DRS in the National League, but you would have never guessed it by the sloppy nature of their play against the Mets. New York, to their credit, capitalized on seemingly ever L.A. mistake, and they emerged with a 5-3 win that helped them secure a series victory against the best team in baseball.
After yesterday’s crisp, 2:19 game that featured pristine play and a classic pitcher’s duel, this game was more of a three-plus hour slog featuring bad baseball and a confusing moment featuring the Citi Field lights that halted play for a few minutes. It started with the bottom of the first, when Clayton Kershaw, fresh off four weeks on the IL, walked Starling Marte, allowed a hit to Francisco Lindor, walked Pete Alonso, and then walked Mark Canha to force in a run. It was only the seventh bases loaded walk of the future Hall of Famer’s career, and a tell tale sign that he was rusty coming off his prolonged absence. The left-hander settled down after the shaky first, retiring the final 13 batters he would face, including six strikeouts in an eight-batter span.
The Dodgers took the lead against Chris Bassitt, who was equally not sharp early on. They loaded the bases against the Mets’ right-hander on a Justin Turner double, a Gavin Lux single, a Trayce Thompson walk, and a Chris Taylor single to drive in two runs. However, the Dodgers got greedy, and Thompson was tossed out trying to score from first on the shallow single to right. That proved to be costly later on when the Mets got to the Dodgers’ bullpen and finally broke through.
That would happen in the sixth against Chris Martin (the pitcher, not the Coldplay singer). Marte led off with a single, and Lindor, who already got a hit in the first and made a terrific defensive play to end the fifth, doubled home the tying run. After Lindor stole third, the struggling Darin Ruf drove him home on a sacrifice fly to give New York the lead.
The Mets added two runs in the seventh against Caleb Ferguson, which turned out to be huge. More impressively, they did it with two outs. James McCann got the rally started with a rare double—to be fair to McCann, his two outs earlier in the game were line drives and could have easily been hits in different circumstances—and Brandon Nimmo drove him home on a double when Lux and Mookie Betts misjudged a shallow fly ball that should have been the third out of the inning. Marte then singled Nimmo home to give the Mets their biggest lead of the series.
Edwin Díaz, sans Timmy Trumpet’s electric live rendition of ‘Narco’, was considerably less sharp than he was the previous night, walking the first batter he faced and hitting the next to put him in immediate turmoil. He then got two deep fly balls to the warning track to force a run home, but he dialed it up by striking out Lux with a 102.8 miles-per-hour fastball, the quickest pitch of his career. Adam Ottavino, who pitched the eighth in yesterday’s game, came in for the ninth, and tossed a 1-2-3 frame to pick up the save. With the win, the Mets improved to 15-3 in rubber matches this season.
The Mets will face off with the Nationals as they look to continue marching towards a division crown. They will carry at least a three-game lead into Friday’s game, and possibly a four-game lead, depending on the result of tonight’s game between the Braves and Rockies.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Francisco Lindor, 30.1% WPA
Big Mets loser: Jeff McNeil, -9.8% WPA
Mets pitchers: 20.0% WPA
Mets hitters: 30.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Francisco Lindor run-scoring single in the sixth, 23.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Chris Taylor two-run single in the second, -9.2% WPA
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