Fans may have shown up to Citi Field on Tuesday night hoping to see Timmy Trumpet perform Edwin Diaz’s entrance song live, but were forced to settle for the Gavin Lux show. The Dodger second baseman drove in three runs including the game winner as the boys in blue took game one from the Mets, 4-3.
There was no lack of excitement to begin this one. With no outs in the bottom of the first and Brandon Nimmo on first base, Starling Marte dropped down a bunt which appeared to be rolling foul. Andrew Heaney grabbed the ball before it reached foul territory and in attempting to make a play, flipped the ball into right field allowing Nimmo to come all the way around to score. Heaney buckled down and used two strikeouts (and some help from the Mets on the bases) to escape the inning without allowing any further damage.
The Dodger offense came to life in the third inning. Austin Barnes led the inning off with a single, Mookie Betts followed with a double, and Los Angeles had runners on second and third base with no outs. Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman were unable to bring the tying run home, but Taijuan Walker provided the Dodgers with some help. Walker walked Max Muncy to load the bases and hit Joey Gallo with a pitch to bring in the tying run.
Due up next was Gavin Lux who drove the first pitch he saw into left field, scoring Betts and Muncy to put the Dodgers ahead 3-1, giving them their first lead of the game. That lead was short lived, as the Mets responded with a solo home run in each of the next two innings, one from Marte and one from Mark Cahna, to tie the game at 3-3.
Heath Hembree made his Dodgers debut in the sixth inning, stranding two runners to throw a clean inning. Alex Vesia delivered a scoreless seventh of his own, and Evan Phillips did as Evan Phillips does, retiring all three batters he faced in the eighth. According to our very own Eric Stephen, Phillips has now retired 29 batters in a row dating back to August 6.
As I said earlier, tonight was the Gavin Lux show in Queens. After Freeman led off the seventh with a double against the shift, Will Smith was intentionally walked to reach Lux in a lefty-lefty matchup. Lux sent a 3-2 pitch right back where it came from to give the Dodgers a 4-3 lead, driving in his third run of the game.
Perhaps Roberts’ most surprising bullpen move was not going to Hembree in the sixth inning of a tie game, but calling on Jake Reed to record the save in a one run game on the road. Reed gave up a leadoff single before inducing a double play and groundout to secure the victory. This was Reed’s first career save and he becomes the ninth different Dodger to record a save this season.
The Dodgers are now 22-5 in the month of August. Taking the first game of a road series against the second best team in the NL is huge. Sorry Mets fans, Timmy Trumpet will need to wait, hopefully until after the best team in baseball leaves town.
Home run: Starling Marte (15), Mark Canha (11)
WP — Heath Hembree (3-0): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 strikeout
LP — Joely Rodriguez (0-4): 0.1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk
Sv — Jake Reed (1): 1 IP, 1 hit
The Dodgers are back at it tomorrow as Tyler Anderson matches up against Jacob deGrom in game two in Queens. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PST.