Dodgers 4 8 1
Mets 2 10 1
WP- Nolasco (9-9)
LP- Mejia (1-2)
S- Jansen (18)
HR- Punto (2)
When you face a hot team like the Dodgers any small mistake can cost you. Jenrry Mejia pitched very well for the Mets on Monday night, but the Dodgers took advantage of some costly defensive blunders as well as a borderline strike call in order to capture the victory in game one of the series versus New York. Ricky Nolasco picked up his ninth win of the season after pitching into the seventh where he found himself in some trouble. Don Mattingly used his bullpen very wisely tonight as he hooked Belisario for Paco in the seventh and eventually removed Paco for Jansen with two outs in the eighth. This time Donnie did not let things get too out of hand before making his two double switches. Jerry Hairston Jr. also made a fine catch in the ninth after being double switched into the game which saved a sure double in the ninth.
Jenrry Mejia pitched well, but the Dodgers are just too hot to handle. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Adrian Gonzalez once again continued his consistent hitting, and he collected three hits and a RBI on the night. Puig’s sacrifice fly brought in a run, but the real highlight came off the bat of none other than the little shortstop Nick Punto. Punto hit his second homerun of the season, a solo shot in the seventh inning to give the Dodgers an insurance run. Punto also shored up the defense at shortstop after the disastrous three-error night by Dee Gordon in the prior game versus the Rays. Danny DeVito was on hand cheering for the Dodgers, and they did not disappoint the now gray haired actor.
The Blue Magic continues, and here’s how the game played out…
The Mets start off well against Ricky Nolasco in the top of the first as Eric Young singles right up the middle. No worries though. Juan Lugares grounds into the double play to erase Young’s lead-off single. Mark Ellis draws a throwing error despite making a great stop on a ball hit toward right field by Daniel Murphy. His throw to first pulls Adrian Gonzalez off the bag. With Marlon Bryd at-bat, Daniel Murphy swipes second base. Byrd flies out to center, and the Mets fail to cash in the Dodger error.
The Dodgers go down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first as Jenrry Mejia quickly induces outs from Carl Crawford, Mark Ellis, and Adrian Gonzalez.
In the top of the second, Ike Davis singles to center after a sliding Ethier traps the ball. Wilmer Flores follows with a single to right field, and the Mets are in business with nobody out. The Mets plate their first run as John Buck (who is hitting .217 by the way) singles in Davis. The Mets aren’t done, and Omar Quintanilla hits the fourth consecutive New York hit of the inning, a single to right field, and Flores scores giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. Nolasco finally gets an out by striking out the opposing pitcher Mejia on a failed bunt attempt. Nick Punto has seen enough, and he single handedly gets the final two outs as Young grounds into a double play.
Nolasco gets the first two outs in the top of the third, but then he serves up a slider right up the middle which is promptly hit for a double to the gap by Marlon Byrd. Then Ricky walks Davis. Flores hits a comebacker, and Nolasco handles it to end the frame.
Mejia is really on a roll, but the Dodgers finally collect a hit with a surprising two-out single by none other than Ricky Nolasco. Crawford hits a comebacker which is speared by Mejia for the last out.
Nolasco finally pitches a 1-2-3 inning for the top of the fourth thanks to a great catch by Nick Punto who goes up the ladder to rob Quintanilla of a base hit.
Ricky Nolasco pitched admirably, and the righty picked up his ninth win. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Adrian Gonzalez singles with one out in the bottom of the fourth. Puig strikes out. Ethier grounds out, and the Mets still lead 2-0.
Nolasco is settling down a bit, and the Mets go down in order in the fifth.
Other than a one-out Uribe single, Mejia is still stifling the Dodger offense through five innings.
Ricky Nolasco pitches a perfect sixth inning, but the Dodger offense will need to wake up here…
The Blue Magic finally comes alive in the bottom of the sixth. Carl Crawford leads off with an infield single. Daniel Murphy can’t handle the ball at second. Mark Ellis flares a single just off the glove of Murphy, and Byrd overruns the ball. Adrian Gonzalez comes up clutch once again as he singles to center allowing Crawford and MEllis to score to tie the game up. Juan Lugares throws the ball wide of third, and Gonzo is safe at third on the error! Puig’s sacrifice fly which reaches the warning track in left field easily brings home Gonzo, and the Dodgers take a 3-2 lead! Vinny’s call is beautiful as he says “the Dodgers lead 3-2 here in the magic castle.” Ethier strikes out, and A.J. grounds out but the Dodgers score three big runs against Mejia.
Quintanilla singles with one out in the seventh for the Metropolitans. Pinch-hitter Mike Baxter walks, and that’s going to be all for Nolasco. The seventh inning is uncharted territory for the right-hander. Don Mattingly will bring in Ronald Belisario to pitch to Eric Young with two on and one out. EY gets an infield single as he hits one in front of the mound which Beli proceeds to almost throw away. Luckily Gonzalez snags the ball before any runs can score. Bases are loaded for Lagares. Lagares is called out on strikes on what looks like could have been ball four, but the Dodgers will take it. Mattingly will make his patented DonnieSwitch™ and he’ll bring in Paco Rodriguez out of the bullpen and Skip Schumaker will replace Ethier in center field. Puig makes a nice catch on a line drive hit hard by Murphy to right field, and the Dodgers escape the jam! Mattingly should have never let Nolasco start the seventh inning.
Jenrry Mejia pitched 6 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits while striking out 4 and walking none on 85 pitches.
Ricky Nolasco pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 2 and walking 2 on 93 pitches.
Nick Punto rounds third base after crushing his second homerun of the season. Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Torres will pitch the bottom of the seventh for the Mets. Nick Punto proceeds to smash a solo homerun to right field! That’s the Pony’s second homer of the season, and the Dodgers now lead 4-2.
Marlon Byrd leads off the eighth inning with a single off Paco. Ike Davis is fooled on a slow breaking ball and down he goes. Flores also strikes out against Paco. John Buck singles. Mattingly will make another DonnieSwitch™ to bring in Kenley Jansen and Jerry Hairston Jr. will come in to play left field. Jansen strikes out Justin Turner, and the Dodger relievers end up striking out the side!
Adrian Gonzalez singles for his third hit of the night with one out in the bottom of the eighth, but Carlos Torres is able to pitch a scoreless frame as we head to Kenley time in the ninth!
JHair makes a nice running catch on a ball hit by Josh Satin in the top of the ninth. Kenley whiffs EY. Kenley whiffs Lagares. The Dodgers win, and they are now 38-8 over their last 46 games. Incredible.
The Dodgers are now 68-50, but they remain 7 1/2 games ahead of Arizona who defeated the Orioles on Monday night.