Tonight at Chavez Ravine, the Mets opened up a three game set against the Dodgers.
New York got on the board early, striking for two runs in the second inning against Los Angeles starter Ricky Nolasco. Ike Davis, Wilmer Flores, John Buck, and Omar Quintanilla delivered consecutive singles. The latter two were of the run scoring variety.
It remained 2-0 Mets until the bottom of the sixth. Jenrry Mejia induced a grounder from Carl Crawford and a soft liner from Mark Ellis to open the frame. Both of those balls should’ve resulted in outs. Instead, Daniel Murphy botched both plays to put runners on first and second with no one out. Adrian Gonzalez followed by lining a single to left center to drive in Crawford. Jaun Lagares’ throw to third was a poor one, and went into the dugout, allowing Ellis to score the tying run and Gonzalez to advance to third. Yasiel Puig then delivered a sacrifice fly to left as the Dodgers went ahead 3-2.
The Mets had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh, before being done in by two absolutely horrific and inexcusable calls by the umpires. The first call was a check swing by Jaun Lagares where he was ruled to have gone around by the first base umpire (he didn’t). Lagares then drew a walk to tie the game (which was the fifth ball of the at bat), but home plate umpire Chad Fairchild ruled that a ball that was a foot outside was a strike. Gary Cohen recalled to the strike three call as “the worst called strike call of the season” and “atrocious.” Daniel Murphy followed by roping a line drive to right field that was caught by Yasiel Puig to end the inning. If the umpires had done their jobs instead of disgracing themselves, Murphy’s fly out would’ve been a go ahead sacrifice fly.
The Mets had the tying runs on first and second in the eighth, but pinch hitter Justin Turner struck out looking against Kenley Jansen to end the threat. Jansen remained in for the ninth, completing the four out save while securing the victory for Los Angeles.
- Jenrry Mejia got the start for the Mets and was exceptional – much better than his line indicates. He gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits in 6 innings pitched. He walked none and struck out 4. Mejia threw 85 pitches (62 strikes). As is indicated above, 2 of the runs he gave up in the 6th came after defensive miscues by the Mets. He very likely would’ve gotten through the inning unscathed if the Mets had been able to catch the ball in the 6th.
- Ike Davis went 1 for 3 with a walk, raising his average to .207.
- Wilmer Flores went 1 for 4 with a run scored, and made a stellar diving stop and throw at third base.
This was an incredibly aggravating loss. The Mets basically gifted the Dodgers 3 runs in the 6th inning when they made four poor defensive plays. Even though the Mets handed Los Angeles a 3-2 lead, the more maddening frame was the top of the 7th.
Juan Lagares was up with the bases loaded and 1 out, and saw 5 balls before 3 strikes. However, the first base umpire called a strike on a check swing where Lagares didn’t go around, and home plate umpire Chad Fairchild rung Lagares up on a 3-2 pitch that was a foot outside. The pitch should’ve been ball 4, and would’ve driven in the tying run and brought Daniel Murphy to the plate with the bases loaded and 1 out. Instead, the incompetence of the umpires changed the entire course of the game, and Murphy’s scorching line drive to deep right field wound up being the 3rd out of the inning. It’s one thing to complain about bang bang calls at a base or a really close judgment call, but tonight was a different story. The missed calls were due to incompetence, and directly impacted the outcome of the game. It’s inexcusable, and something Major League Baseball needs to address.
The Mets and Dodgers play the second game of their three game set tomorrow night at 10:10. Matt Harvey gets the start for New York. He’ll be opposed by Hyun Jin Ryu.