Mets’ General Manager Brodie van Waganen’s vision came through. The Mets beat the Dodgers with a combination of great starting pitching, small-ball, power and a non-imploding bullpen. Just like he drew it up.
Both starting pitchers — Steven Matz for the Mets and Rich Hill for Los Angeles — spent the first two innings feeling each other out and trading base runners. New York opened the scoring in the third, when Matz led off with an infield single. Amed Rosario followed with a more traditional base hit to left. J.D. Davis flew out to right, moving Matz to third, from which he would score when Michael Conforto grounded out to third. The lead didn’t last all that long, though, because in the bottom of the third, Matz issued a two-out walk to David Freese and Cody Bellinger followed that with his 20th home run of the year, a real shot to the back of the stands in right center. But the Mets would tie it right back up the next inning, when Todd Frazier hit laser beam of his own into the pavilion in left center.
There the game stood for a bit, each pitcher keeping his opponent at bay. That would change quickly in the seventh. Yimi Garcia replaced Hill for the top of the inning and issued an eight-pitch walk to Adeiny Hechavarria leading off. Dylan Floro quickly replaced Garcia, but Aaron Altherr pinch hit for Matz and also drew a walk. Rosario then dropped down a sacrifice bunt, but Floro threw wildly to first and everybody ended up safe. Floro struck out Davis and was immediately replaced by Scott Alexander. Conforto promptly skulled his second pitch to the opposite field, clearing the left field fence for a go-ahead grand slam.
Robert Gsellman relieved Matz and gave one run back when Will Smith — no, not that one — led off with a double and crossed to third on a Wilson Ramos passed ball. Alex Verdugo walked and after Joc Pederson and Justin Turner both struck out, Matt Beaty hit a liner off Gsellman and into center field, making the score 6-3, Mets. They would get their revenge in the top of the eighth. Carlos Gomez led off with a double and Rosario hit a clutch two-out triple. Jeurys Familia came on to hold it and gave up a walk and a single, but got the rookie Smith to hit into an inning-ending double play. Edwin Diaz locked it down in the ninth, after a leadoff double by Verdugo.
The series continues out in sunny LA tomorrow, Noah Syndergaard taking on rookie sensation Walker Buehler.