Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Mets – Series 38

Los Angeles Dodgers (72-46)  |  New York Mets (59-58)


“Listen, if you start worrying about the people in the stands, before too long you’re up in the stands with them.”

– Tommy LaSorda


Game 3:

Dodgers vs Mets
Photo Credit: Adam Hunger/AP

After a pair of tight, one-run, extra-inning affairs in the first two games at Citi Field, the Dodgers finally exhaled on Sunday, hitting five home runs in a sweep-finishing 14-4 rout of the Mets.

Justin Turner, limited by a groin injury to two at-bats and eight defensive outs in the field over the previous seven days, welcomed himself back into the lineup with a two-run home run in the first inning to open the scoring. The long ball scored Trea Turner, giving the Dodgers their first Turner-Turner run(s). Justin Turner later walked twice and singled in his first start in a week.

Will Smith followed with a solo shot, his third straight day with a home run in New York, and his eighth home run in 23 games since the All-Star break. Smith also has 27 runs batted in during that stretch, including a two-run single in the eighth.

Doubles by a resurgent Cody Bellinger and Trea Turner, then a home run by Max Muncy in the second gave the Dodgers a second three-run inning to start the game, ending a rough night for Mets starter Carlos Carrasco.

Muncy added another home run in the sixth inning, scoring Trea Turner, who reached base five times and scored four times on the night.

While the offense provided a breather of sorts, Max Scherzer put the finishing touches on an incredible pitching week for the Dodgers, who won five of six games on a road trip against the Phillies and Mets.

Scherzer allowed two runs in six innings doesn’t necessarily stand out at first glance, but the outing was downright Herculean considering the failure of the fielders behind him most of the night.


Dodgers vs Mets
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Smith hesitated before opting to get the lead runner at third base in a nubber in front of the plate in the first and got no outs. A double-play grounder by James McCann in the second instead turned into an error on Trea Turner, failing to catch the throw from Justin Turner.

Trea Turner failed to make a play on a Jonathan Villar grounder, which turned into an infield single to open the fourth. That was exacerbated when a ground ball up the middle gave Corey Seager two options for an easy out. He could get Villar in a rundown between second and third, or throw out pitcher Jake Reed at first base. Seager tried in vain for both outs, and got none.

I know the linescore said he went six, but he actually went seven-plus,” manager Dave Roberts said of Scherzer.We didn’t play good defense behind him. We gave away bases, outs. But for him, he didn’t bat an eye. That’s what makes him so great. He picked us up time and time again tonight.”

Against Scherzer, the Mets had runners on first and third with one out in the first inning, first and second with one out in the second inning, second and third with nobody out in the third, and bases loaded with one out in the fourth.

That the Mets only scored two runs in those innings — both on groundouts — seems like a miracle. Scherzer held the Mets hitless in 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position, including two strikeouts.

In those situations, you just try to find the right right pitch sequence, and just work with Will [Smith] and execute,” Scherzer said. “You just try to limit the damage.”

Scherzer simply fixed the glitch after that by retiring eight in a row to finish his night, exiting after six innings with a seven-run lead.

Dodgers pitchers allowed 14 runs in six games on the road trip.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Max Scherzer (10-4)

LP: Carlos Carrasco (0-1)

HR: Justin Turner (21), Will Smith (18), Max Muncy 2 (25), Matt Beaty (5)


The Dodgers return home to face the Pirates, losers of 10 of their last 11 games. L.A. is going with a bullpen game Monday night with the first pitch at 7:10 on SportsNet LA, with left-hander Steven Brault pitching for Pittsburgh.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Mets
Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray/AP

Citi Field needed extra innings to decide things again on Saturday, and for the second time in as many nights the Dodgers pulled out a win in 10 innings over the Mets. Cody Bellinger was the hero in this one, with an RBI double down the right-field line in a 2-1 win.

On a night the Dodgers desperately wanted to avoid extended bullpen use, the three relievers they did use were fantastic. Alex Vesia retired all four batters he faced, including a hop-inducing strikeout of Pete Alonso in the eighth. Phil Bickford got the final two outs of the ninth on five pitches, then struck out his only two batters faced in the 10th, in his sixth appearance in the last nine days.

They’re really coming into their own and being comfortable in their own skin as big-league ballplayers,” manager Dave Roberts said of Vesia and Bickford.They’ve played a huge part in where we’re at, including tonight, obviously. It’s really fun to see guys who, before the season started, I didn’t know who they were, and to play such an impactful role for our club is really fun to see.”

Corey Knebel was brought in to face the left-handed Brandon Nimmo and retired him on an easy groundout to first base to end it.


Dodgers vs Mets
Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray/AP

The win was the second straight extra-inning victory for the Dodgers, but the scoreless 10th inning was the team’s first scoreless extra-inning since April 25, snapping a string of 15 consecutive extra innings giving up at least one run.

Walker Buehler gave the Dodgers exactly what they needed on Saturday, even if he was overshadowed most of the night. Buehler lasted seven innings, struck out 10, allowing only a run on four hits and three walks. That lowered his National League-leading ERA to 2.09.

He knows how to pitch. He’s already got nasty stuff, but he’s just super intelligent, knows what to do with the ball,” Bellinger said of the Dodgers ace. “That’s a good recipe right there.”

Buehler has performance bonuses built into his contract which would add to his base salary for 2022 should he finish in the top three of Cy Young Award balloting this year. But on Saturday, the concern was more immediate, especially with four of the nine relievers unavailable because of heavy usage.

We’ve got to make the playoffs, man. My thing is to be a piece of that equation and push us to where we want to go,” Buehler said. “The individual stuff is cool, but when the team isn’t where we want to be at, it’s kind of meaningless.”

The great ones can compartmentalize once they get into a game — in Walker’s case pitch in tonight’s game — his only focus is the ballgame,” Roberts said before the game. “All that other stuff will take care of itself.”

The run off Buehler was a solo home run by Michael Conforto in the fourth inning, the first homer allowed by Buehler in nine starts. The last was June 24 at Dodger Stadium, when the Cubs no-hit the Dodgers.

The Mets were trying to duplicate the feat.

Taijuan Walker cruised in taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He got six outs on the first or second pitch and had only 73 pitches through six.

The only hard-hit ball against Walker — defined as having an exit velocity of at least 95 mph — in the first six innings was a 95.2-mph grounder into the shift in the fourth inning by Max Muncy, an out that had an expected batting average of just .270.


Dodgers vs Mets
Photo Credit: Noah K. Murray/AP

After a Muncy flyout, Will Smith broke up the no-hitter and the shutout with a game-tying home run, blasted 444 feet to left field. It was the second home run of the series for Smith, who provided the game-winner in the 10th inning on Friday, giving him 24 RBI in 22 games since the All-Star break.

Corey Seager followed with a double off the left-field wall, then two batters later Chris Taylor coaxed a walkout of Walker to chase the Mets starter. Left-hander Aaron Loup got Bellinger to chase outside of the zone, striking out to keep the go-ahead runs on base to end the threat.

Buehler ran into his own trouble in the seventh inning, allowing a single off the mound and a walk to open the frame. But he rebounded to strike out catcher Tomás Nido and pinch-hitter (and old friend) Travis Blankenhorn, giving Buehler double-digit strikeouts for the third time this season. Buehler then induced a foul popout by Nimmo to end the frame.

Justin Turner pinch-hit in the top of the 10th and struck out in his first appearance in five games since injuring his left groin. He also played third base for all of two outs in the bottom of the inning before he was removed in a double switch.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Phil Bickford (2-1)

LP: Yennsy Díaz (0-2)

SV: Corey Knebel (3)

HR: Will Smith (17); Michael Conforto (8)


The Dodgers go for the series sweep on Sunday Night Baseball 4:08 on ESPN, with Max Scherzer on the mound, making his third start for Los Angeles. Carlos Carrasco makes his fourth start of the season for the Mets.



Game 1:


Dodgers vs Mets
Photo Credit: Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers and Mets played in one of the most exciting games of the 2021 season. It truly had it all. After a wild nine innings, the game was meant for extras. Entering Friday night, the Dodgers were 1-12 when the game headed to extra innings, historically one of the worst records in Major League Baseball history.

However, that is just a number. It didn’t matter tonight, as Will Smith connected on a two-run home run in the 10th to put the Dodgers on top, 6-4. With the count full, Smith crushed an inside sinker into the left-field bleachers.

Things got very close in the bottom of the 10th inning, as the Mets were able to bring in a run, cutting their deficit to one run. With two outs, Dave Roberts opted for Kenley Jansen to intentionally walk James McCann, putting the game-winning run on first base. Tomas Nido stepped up to the plate with the game on the line. On the first pitch, Nido flew out to left field to end the game.

Jansen helped secure L.A.’s second extra-inning victory of the season. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning and didn’t allow a hit in the 10th. It was his first six-out outing since May 8, 2018.

The Dodgers are now 2-12 in extra-inning games this season.

Everything that could go wrong for the Dodgers went wrong in the seventh inning. With L.A. leading 4-0, Brusdar Graterol quickly retired the first two batters with strikeouts. He then allowed a double, which seemed to be no big deal. Roberts opted to go with matchups instead of letting Graterol finish the inning, turning to left-hander Justin Bruihl with two outs.

With two strikes, Dominic Smith hit a bloop single into center field, bringing in New York’s first run of the game. With two strikes yet again, Bruihl issued a walk, putting two runners on base. Instead of pitching to Pete Alonso, the Dodgers opted to put him on and intentionally load the bases for Jeff McNeil.

Blake Treinen was warming up in the bullpen, but Roberts stuck with Bruihl. On a 2-0 pitch, McNeil hit yet another bloop single to center field, this time bringing in two runs to cut L.A.’s lead to a run. Treinen was then brought into the game to get out of the inning.

Treinen and Smith weren’t on the same page and a passed ball brought in the tying run from third base. J.D. Davis drew a walk, putting the go-ahead run on base. Treinen managed to get out of the inning, and also threw a scoreless eighth inning as well.


Dodgers vs Mets
Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP

You know how in baseball they say you’ll see something you’ve never seen before, well this was certainly something that qualifies. Billy McKinney hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning, making the lead 4-0 for the Dodgers. With two outs and nobody on base, Matt Beaty stepped to the plate.

The only problem was, it shouldn’t have been Beaty.

Julio Urias was at only 82 pitches and Roberts wanted Urias to hit to preserve a bat. Beaty was on deck in case McKinney got out and they needed a pinch-hitter. Instead, Beaty stepped up to the plate anyway, although the entire Dodgers dugout was yelling at him to come back.

Roberts tried to argue that Beaty shouldn’t be up there, but he had to remain in the game, ending Urias’ night. Beaty ultimately reached base with a walk but was thrown out trying to steal second.

It put an end to a great night from Urias, who threw five scoreless innings for the Dodgers. He issued only two hits and two walks and had five strikeouts.

Following the game, Urias and Roberts told reporters that his night was going to be done regardless, but they wanted Urias to hit no matter what.

The Mets only did any damage in the fifth inning, when they had back-to-back runners reach base with one out. Urias settled down and recorded back-to-back outs, ending the fifth and sending the Dodgers to the sixth with the lead.



Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Jeurys Familia (6-3)

LP: Jeurys Familia (6-3)

HR: Will Smith (16)


Walker Buehler will take the mound for L.A. while New York will start Taijuan Walker. The second game of the seires takes place Saturday, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.


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