Whether it was runners left on base, mental mistakes or poor relief pitching, the Mets had no luck against the Dodgers in the first two meetings of the three-game series. Thursday night, the Mets looked to right the ship and end a three-game losing streak. Jon Niese grabbed the ball for the Mets, while Zack Greinke was opposed him. With some timely hitting and some good pitching from Niese and the bullpen, the Mets came out on top 5-3 to end the skid.
Los Angeles took no time in getting to Niese, with Chone Figgins leading off the game with a single down the left field line, just under the glove of David Wright. After Yasiel Puig struck out, Hanley Ramirez followed with a single to center, which allowed Figgins to move all the way to third. One batter later, the Dodgers grabbed a 1-0 lead when Adrian Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to left field.
Greinke pitched a 1-2-3 first frame against the Met bats, one of which included a strikeout of David Wright on a tight curveball.
Trouble was avoided in the top of the second, but the Mets started out with some noise in their half. Curtis Granderson, after a long at-bat, doubled to deep center field over the head of Matt Kemp. The ball was misplayed by the center fielder, allowing Granderson to move up to third on the error. Eric Campbell, playing in left field for the first time with the Mets, came up next and lined out to right, but was just deep enough to score Granderson to tie the game at one.
For the next three innings, the Niese settled down and held the Dodgers to just one base runner, that being a walk to former Met Justin Turner. A double play from A.J. Ellis was induced though, and that little threat was avoided in the fifth.
Anthony Recker came up to lead off the fifth and started things out with a double. Niese followed, and with Jacob deGrom being the only Met pitcher to have any hits this season, things did not look promising. Niese came through though, getting a double of his own deep to right-center field to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. He would move on to third on a Juan Lagares ground out, and then score the third run of the game when Turner mishandled a Daniel Murphy ground out.
Things got a little strange in the sixth after Figgins led off with a walk. Puig hit a would-be double play ball to third, but Murphy dropped the throw before the transfer, and both runners were safe, even after a Met challenge. Hanley Ramirez then hit a shallow pop up on the edge of the infield, which was ruled an infield fly by the first base umpire.
Murphy somehow lost the ball and let it drop, leading to Figgins and Puig trying to move up. Figgins did reach third, but Puig was doubled up going second when he overran the base when he thought he was initially forced out. To say the least, it appears many in the big leagues do not understand the infield fly rule.
Gonzalez then grounded out to short, ending the inning without any runs being scored.
The Dodgers would finally claw back, and it was Turner making amends for his error. He blasted a two-run homer to tie things up at 3-3 in the seventh. To put that into perspective, Turner hit just eight home runs with the Mets in his three seasons in Flushing.
But the Amazin’s did fight back in their half of the seventh, and with two outs and Flores on second, Lagares drove him in with a single to right to give the Mets a 4-3 lead.
With the lead in hand, Terry Collins brought in Daisuke Matsuzaka in for the eighth inning. He got Figgins to strike out to start the inning, but then Puig followed with a double. Ramirez followed with a line drive to left, but Campbell made a spectacular diving catch and had the presence of mind to fire to second to double off Puig to end the inning.
Up 4-3, the Mets added insurance when Granderson tripled to deep right field, off of the top of the wall and just out of Kemp’s reach, bringing home David Wright for the fifth run of the game. The hit was his fifth of the three-game set. The Mets could not add to the lead, so it was a two-run lead going into the ninth inning.
New closer Jennry Mejia came on for the ninth to try and get his second save since moving into the role. Mejia pitched a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Scott Van Slyke to end the game in a 5-3 Met victory.
Tomorrow night the Mets will begin a weekend set with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Chase Anderson makes the start for Arizona and Bartolo Colon will be looking to win his fourth game of the year for the Mets. Last outing, Colon looked sharp against the Nationals, allowing just two runs over eight innings. This will be the second time the two teams are facing each other this season, with the Mets sweeping Arizona in early April.