The New York Mets are in Southern California this weekend for an early round of inter-league play. After getting swept by the Washington Nationals in the season’s opening series, the Amazins have rebounded well, and will now attempt to win their third straight series, this time over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Mets last visited the Angels during the 2008 season.
Both teams entered the series opener with identical 4-5 records on the young season. Each team has also seen key players go down with injuries. Obviously, Mets closer Bobby Parnell elected to have season ending Tommy John surgery, while Anaheim will miss slugger Josh Hamilton for upwards of 6 to 8 weeks after surgery for a torn ligament in his left thumb.
METS STARTING LINE-UP:
LF – Eric Young Jr.
2B – Daniel Murphy
3B – David Wright
DH – Andrew Brown
RF – Curtis Granderson
1B – Josh Satin
CF – Juan Lagares
C – Travis d’Arnaud
SS – Ruben Tejada
Tyler’s first pitch of the game to Eric Young was a fastball strike on the outside corner. Eric Young then slapped an 0-2 pitch to right field for a lead-off base hit. Next up, Daniel Murphy pulled Skaggs’ first offering through the first base hole, to set up runners on the corners for David Wright. Skaggs then induced Wright into a double play ground ball to third. Young scored on the play, giving the Mets an early 1-0 lead.
The Angels provided a quick response. Dillon Gee retired the first batter he faced on a grounder to first base. But number two batter, Mike Trout, then stepped to the plate and absolutely crushed a middle-in offering from Gee deep to left, tying the game at one.
Angels continued hitting Gee in the second, as Howie Kendrick pounded a double off the right/center field wall, then came around to score on Chris Iannetta‘s single up the middle, giving the Angels a one run lead.
Travis d’Arnaud then struck back for the Mets, with a lead-off home run in the top the 3rd inning. It was his first of the season – a well struck ball to deep left/center field which tied the game.
In their second meeting of the game, Dillon Gee froze Mike Trout on a 3-2 curveball in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Through three full innings, Gee threw 40 pitches, with 25 (62%) going for strikes. At this point, he issued no walks, and fanned two.
In the top of the 4th inning, Andrew Brown flared a one out single to right. Curtis Granderson followed, slapping a double the other way down the left field line. Josh Satin then stepped in, and on a 2-0 pitch, launched a missile to the left/center field gap. Both runners scored to give the Mets a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the 5th inning, Dillon Gee’s fastball was clocking in at 90 and 91 mph, with breaking pitches ranging between 83 and 86 mph, but he began to struggle with command.
He issued his first walk of the game to Erick Aybar leading off. With one out, Gee walked his second batter, Kole Calhoun. In Gee’s and Trout’s 3rd meeting, Dillon prevailed again by inducing a fly to left field, in which Eric Young made the play, but came too close for comfort with Juan Lagares ranging over from center. Dillon Gee then walked Albert Pujols on 4 pitches. With the bases loaded, Raul Ibanez grounded Gee’s first pitch to first base, which initially hit the bag, but was secured by Josh Satin for the final out.
With the 5th inning completed, Dillon raised his pitch count to 79, with just 47 (59%) going for strikes, and issued his first 3 walks of the game.
David Wright led-off the top of the 6th with a double that J.B. Shuck had trouble handling in left, but was stranded. Josh Satin ended the top half of the frame by looking at strike three from Tyler Skaggs.
Dillon Gee opened the bottom of the 6th with a 74mph curveball to David Freese, then fanned him with an 86mph fastball. His first offering to Howie Kendrick clocked in at 89mph, then on a 1-1 pitch, Gee buckled his knees with another sharp looking curveball. Dillon Gee let Kendrick get away though, and issued his 4th walk of the night. That inspired pitching coach Dan Warthen to pay Gee a visit. However, the next batter made Dillon Gee pay dearly. J.B. Shuck pulled a ball just inside the right field foul pole for a home run, which tied the game at four.
Dillon Gee’s 100th pitch of the evening was struck up the middle by Erick Aybar, for another hit. Terry Collins then appeared from the dugout, and made his way towards the mound to seek relief for his starting pitcher.
Carlos Torres entered the game to face Kole Calhoun, and promptly walked him. With two outs and two runners on, Carlos Torres then fanned Mike Trout swinging through a fastball up in the zone and slightly in to finally end the 6th inning.
With Joe Smith pitching in relief of Tyler Skaggs, Daniel Murphy led-off the top of the 8th, and received credit for a hit off the glove of Kendrick at second. With one out, Lucas Duda pinch-hit for Andrew Brown, and fanned on a pitch in the dirt. Murphy advanced to second base on the wild pitch. With two outs, Curtis Granderson grounded to second base to end the Mets threat.
In the bottom of the 8th, Ike Davis entered the game at first base, and Gonzalez Germen took over pitching duties from Carlos Torres. Then with a runner on first, and two outs, Terry Collins opted to bring in Scott Rice to face Kole Calhoun, who promptly singled to center. Juan Lagares had Erick Aybar pegged at third base trying to advance, but David Wright was unable to hold on to the ball with Aybar sliding in.
With runners on the corners and 2 outs, out came Terry Collins from the dugout again, this time summoning Kyle Farnsworth to face Mike Trout, who drew the Angels 5th walk of the evening. With the bases loaded, Albert Pujols grounded to David Wright at third, who threw across the diamond to retire the side.
At 1:19am EST, and with the score still tied at four, fans at the park and watching at home were awarded free baseball.
The Mets ended the top of the 10th inning mired in an 0 for 9 stretch. Jeurys Familia returned to the mound in the bottom of the frame, and pitched out of a minor jam to complete his second inning of work.
The Mets were retired in order once again in the 11th.
Jeurys Familia returned to attempt his 3rd inning. Raul Ibanez led-off with a single. A wild pitch allowed Ibanez to advance into scoring position. Despite David Freese‘s grounder to short, Ibanez dared to advance to third base on the play. The Mets then elected to intentionally walk Howie Kendrick, which was followed by a visit by Dan Warthen. The Mets then intentionally walked J.B. Shuck to load the bases.
With one out, Familia faced the catcher, Hank Conger. With the count 2-2, Jeurys Familia hit Conger with an inside fastball, to force Raul Ibanez in from third base with the winning run.
That’s a tough way to lose, but the Mets bowed nonetheless to the Angels in 11 innings by a 5-4 final score.
Jeurys Familia took the loss in relief.
Angels 5 11 inn.
- Top 1st inning - Eric Young and Daniel Murphy reached on consecutive lead-off singles. Young scored from third when David Wright bounced into a 5-4-3 double play.
- Bot 1st inning - Mike Trout pulled a Dillon Gee offering to deep left field for a game tying home run.
- Bot 2nd inning - With one out, Howie Kendrick doubled off the right/center wall, then scored in Chris Iannetta‘s two out single.
- Top 3rd inning - Leading off, Travis d’Arnaud tied the game at two, with his first home run of the season.
- Top 4th inning - Andrew Brown singled. Curtis Granderson doubled. Josh Satin’s double to left scored both runners, giving the Mets a 4-2 lead.
- Bot 6th inning - Howie Kendrick drew a one out walk. J.B.Shuck followed with a home run to right, tying the game at four.
- Bot 11th inning - A single by Erick Aybar, and two intentional walks loaded the bases with only one out. Jeurys Familia hit Angels catcher Hank Conger with a pitch, to force home the winning run.
HIGHLIGHTS and LOW LIGHTS:
- With Travis d’Arnaud at the plate, Juan Lagares negated his two out base hit by getting picked off, 1-3-6, in the 2nd inning.
- Sweet diving play by David Wright going to his left in the 3rd inning to retire Kole Calhoon.
- Travis d’Arnaud hit his first home run of season, and second of his career.
- Dillon Gee allowed 4 earned runs on 6 hits in 5.2 innings pitched. He threw 100 pitches with only 59 (59%) going for strikes. He walked 4, struck out 5, and surrendered 2 home runs. He has now allowed 5 home runs this season.
- In the bottom of the 8th, a fan in the right field stands, reached out and made contact with Curtis Granderson, while he was in the midst of making a play. Granderson took noticeable exception with this behavior. That fan, and his party, to include a young child, were seen being removed from their seats and escorted out of the park.
- Kyle Farnsworth pitched out of a major jam in the bottom of the 8th inning to preserve the 4 run deadlock.
- In relief of Dillon Gee, the bullpen (5 relievers) pitched 3.1 innings, allowed no runs on 2 hits, walked 4, and fanned 3, prior to the game going into extra innings.
- Jeurys Familia was clocked at 97mph.
- Over the first 9 innings, Mets batters drew no walks, but limited strikeouts to seven. For the game – no walks, 9 strikeouts, 10 hits in 40 at-bats. The Mets were additionally 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.