Gut Reaction: Mets 4, Dodgers 2 (9/3/18)

The great Baltimore manager Earl Weaver once famously said “The secret to baseball is simple: starting pitching and three-run homers.” The Mets employed that philosophy to a T on Labor Day, 2018.

Jacob deGrom opened this series in Los Angeles historically, but inauspiciously. With one out in the bottom of the first, ol’ pal Justin Turner hit a 2-1 fastball into the pavilion in left for a quick 1-0 Dodger lead. They wouldn’t be that successful the rest of the night. deGrom blew through the Los Angeles lineup allowing just one other hit, one walk and striking out six over six innings. Here’s where history comes in: it was deGrom’s twenty-fifth consecutive start in which he allowed three runs or fewer while pitching six innings or more. That broke a Major League record set by Dwight Gooden in 1985.

So much for mile markers. The Mets couldn’t do much against Alex Wood for four innings, either, but in the top of the fifth, they were able to draw even. Jay Bruce walked leading off and Devin Mesoraco singled. In so doing, he sustained what is being called “neck and back stiffness,” and was pinch-run for by Jose Reyes. Jeff McNeil bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, but deGrom helped himself out with a solid single to right to score Bruce. That was all for Wood, as LA manager Dave Roberts decided to manage his pitching as if it were game seven of the NLCS, using three pitchers to get through a four-batter sixth inning. Meanwhile, Seth Lugo maneuvered around a first-and-third, nobody out situation in the seventh all by himself. Drew Smith had a similar situation in the eighth, but came away unscathed, as well.

In the top of the ninth, Bruce led off with a double off Kenta Maeda. He was bunted over to third by Mesoraco’s replacemnent, Kevin Plawecki. McNeil was winged by a fastball. Brandon Nimmo — held out of the lineup against the left starter Wood — pinch hit for Drew Smith and hit a tracer into the right field seats, giving the Mets a most improbable 4-1 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, Robert Gsellman gave up two hits and a sacrifice fly, but was able to induce the dangerous Matt Kemp to hit into a 6-4-3 game-ending double play.

It’ll be Jason Vargas looking to continue his good run taking on Rich Hill on Tuesday night.

5 comments for “Gut Reaction: Mets 4, Dodgers 2 (9/3/18)

  1. September 4, 2018 at 8:26 am

    JDG seemed frustrated after nearly every pitch. But it was a treat to watch him out there battling and succeeding against one of the top offensive teams in the league.

    Mets have won three straight for the first time since July. They haven’t won 4 in a row since May. And who knows when the last time they won four straight in California.

  2. TexasGusCC
    September 4, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Earl Weaver also said that his idea of what a game should be like was for his Orioles to score 9 runs in the first and then gradually pull away. Good luck following that approach with the team from Queens.

    Hate to sound so negative, but the Dodgers are 17th in MLB in hitting batters with 52 for the year, but they seem to pluck the Mets quite a bit.

  3. John Fox
    September 4, 2018 at 9:37 am

    I loved that tumbling catch into the stands by Todd Frazier, I imagine there are quite a few players who would have been more cautious.

  4. Metsense
    September 4, 2018 at 11:26 am

    Degrom is the ” deGrominator”. The Mets should extend him this winter as he is a future hall-of-famer. I saw the 1985 Gooden and he was so dominating. Fortunately I have seen Seaver pitching and he was the most consistent pitcher I have ever seen. The same demeanor as that of deGrom. deGrom is special and in the same company of these pitchers .
    I like that Callaway rests his players unlike TC used to run them into the ground. But why he doesn’t leadeoff with Nimmo confuses me.
    I can easily oh no reason why Vargas can’t win tonight.LGM

    • Name
      September 4, 2018 at 2:53 pm

      Rule #1 in my book is to never extend someone coming off a career year when they are under control for multiple years. Why would you want to pay someone when their leverage is the highest?

      The Mets should follow the Cubs playbook with Arrieta and just play out his contract and let someone else pay deGrom for his declining years.

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