Rumors of Clayton Kershaw’s demise were greatly exaggerated, as he pitched into the seventh inning and allowed just two runs, helping the Dodgers take the opening game of the series, 9-2, Friday night at Citi Field. The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Mets.
Noah Syndergaard made his first start since his latest plea to have Tomas Nido or Rene Rivera catch him rather than Wilson Ramos. And in the battle of the idioms, the Mets decided to cut off their nose to spite their face rather than to let the tail wag the dog, as they had Ramos in the lineup.
Syndergaard got through the first three innings but things fell apart in the fourth. With one out, he allowed a 10-pitch walk and then three straight hits, the final one a three-run homer to put the Dodgers up, 4-1. He got out of the inning and pitched one more before being removed. His final line was 5 IP, 4 ER.
With Ramos catching him, Syndergaard has allowed 56 ER in 96 IP for a 5.25 ERA.
The Mets had two chances to get back in it. In the fourth inning trailing, 4-1, the Mets had two runners on base and Todd Frazier at the plate. Kershaw was trying to bust him inside. He got a call on a pitch that appeared to be inside but then threw three straight balls. With a 3-1 count, Kershaw served up (for him) a very hittable pitch in the middle of the plate that Frazier missed and popped up to third.
Then in the seventh inning, down six runs at this point, the Mets loaded the bases with one out but were only able to plate one run.
With the Mets forced to go to their “B” relievers, the bullpen allowed five runs in four innings. But at least it was a solid outing for Jeurys Familia, who went 1.2 IP and allowed only a cue ball down the third base line that beat the shift for a single. Unfortunately for him, Luis Avilan came on immediately afterwards and allowed the inherited runner to score.