The Dodgers lost the rubber game against the Mets 7-3 on Wednesday evening, finishing the homestand on a sour note. It was a tale of two entirely different games. It was a good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel through the first three frames. Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Wheeler were both perfect, retiring the first nine batters each faced.
Then the wheels, no pun intended, fell off for the Dodgers defensively.
Things got dicey in the fourth for Ryu thanks to some bad luck and an error on Yasmani Grandal, and the Mets scored thrice. The first base runner of the game was Amed Rosario who led off the fourth with a clean single. Jeff McNeil doubled down the right field line to give the Mets runners at second and third with nobody out. New York caught a break when Wilmer Flores hit a grounder that deflected off Ryu’s foot, allowing Rosario to score.
The inning should have been over when the Mets pushed the envelope on a shallow Michael Conforto fly out to Joc Pederson in left field. McNeil shockingly tried to come home, and would have been out by a lot if Grandal had held on to the ball on Pederson’s throw home. Alex Verdugo mowed down Austin Jackson at second base after dunking a RBI single into right field in front of the cannon-armed outfielder, but three runs of damage had been done.
There was a scary moment in the home half of the fourth when Justin Turner lined a ball off Wheeler’s chest. He stayed in the game, but you can’t help but think it affected him a bit thereafter. Max Muncy made us forget all about that mess in the previous frame, at least temporarily, when he crushed a two-out 443-foot home run halfway up the right field pavilion.
When you crush it like that, you can toss it like that. pic.twitter.com/IKblAv5Td4— MLB (@MLB) September 6, 2018
The Dodgers’ defense continued to be a mess, and Ryu lost his sharp command when the Mets added two more runs in the fifth. There was a Rosario RBI base hit that Verdugo couldn’t get to and a Flores blooper just past Enrique Hernandez’s reach.
Ryan Madson came in to relieve Ryu in the seventh, and the Dodgers continued to spiral. The Mets plated another two runs, capping off the ugly evening for LA.
Cody Bellinger did blast a solo shot off Wheeler in the bottom of the seventh, but the offense ultimately wasn’t able to overcome the earlier defensive disaster and only mustered three hits on the night.
September 6, 2018
Kenley Jansen, who won’t make the trip to Colorado this weekend, got some work in despite it not being a save situation in the ninth. He struck out two for a 1-2-3 inning. See you in Cincinnati, Kenley.
Mike Petriello summed it up.
The Mets have 14 hits through 7 innings. Let's check in on how ridiculous they've been and... only two balls, Conforto's single and Plawecki's double, have been hard-hit. pic.twitter.com/kCXRN1ccBe— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) September 6, 2018
After an off day Thursday, the Dodgers open a three-game series against the Rockies in Colorado on Friday. Clayton Kershaw (6-5, 2.40 ERA, 3.01 FIP) will face Jon Gray (11-7, 4.70 ERA, 3.59 FIP).
Home runs: Muncy (32), Cody Bellinger (22)
WP - Zack Wheeler (10-7): 7 IP, 3 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts
LP - Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-2): 6 IP, 11 hits, 5 runs (3 earned), 0 walks, 8 strikeouts