(Jacob deGrom of the Mets facing off against Joc Pederson of the Dodgers – Photo by Jason Schott)
The Mets beat the Dodgers, 3-0, with all the runs coming in the eighth inning, in a thriller on Saturday night at Citi Field.
This game featured a pitching matchup between two of the top National League Cy Young Award contenders, Jacob deGrom of the Mets, who won the award last season, and Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers.
This was a pitching duel in the truest sense, as each team could barely get anyone on base.
deGrom retired the Dodgers in order in the first before he allowed a single to Cody Bellinger and hit A.J. Pollock with a pitch in the second inning. He struck out Gavin Lux and got Russell Martin to pop out to get out of trouble.
Those two outs began a stretch in which deGrom returned 16 straight.
The Dodgers got singles from Corey Seager and Pollock before deGrom struck out Lux, and since he was at 101 pitches, that was the end of his night.
deGrom got a no decision, of course, and his final line read: 7 innings, 3 hits, no runs, no walks, 8 strikeouts, 1 hit batsman.
Ryu was even better, as he only allowed a single to Robinson Cano in the second inning and Amed Rosario in the third. He also went seven innings and ended his night on a run in which he retired 13 straight Mets. He allowed no walks, as deGrom also did, and struck out six.
Seth Lugo came on for the Mets in the eighth inning, and he struck out the side to keep the game scoreless.
Adam Kolarek came on for the Dodgers and he struck out the one batter he faced, Robinson Cano, before turning it over to Joe Kelly.
The first batter he faced, Todd Frazier, got hit by a pitch in the hand/wrist area.
The Mets had their first baserunner since the third inning, with Juan Lagares, who was hitting .213 entering this one up next. Instead of pinch-hitting for him, Lagares took the at-bat and struck out.
Julio Urias came on to face Brandon Nimmo, who came on for defense in the top of the eighth and carried a .205 average into this one, and he got hit by a pitch to give the Mets two on and two out.
Rosario then drew a walk to load the bases, forcing the Mets to send up Rajai Davis to pinch hit for Lugo.
Davis laced a double into the left field corner to clear the bases and make it 3-0 Mets.
Mets Manager Mickey Callaway said of Davis’ ability to come off the bench and get big hits, “We talked a lot last year about this with (Wilmer) Flores, and to me, they have such short, simple swings, right. The ability to foul the 96 (mile-an-hour pitch) off up here, and then cover the change-up, it’s a short, simple swing and he’s going to make contact.
“Almost every time we’ve used him to pinch-hit this year, he’s hit the ball hard somewhere. He had a line drive right at somebody that would have been a game-winner at one point, and tonight, just big situations don’t bother him either…Everything he does, every single day, is methodical, and he stays prepared. He does so much work every day to put himself in a position to succeed that he’s going to succeed.”
Jeff McNeil was up next, and he struck out to end the strange rally. The weirdest part is he was by far the best Mets hitter to come up in the eighth.
The Mets’ only hit of the inning, a big one built on two hit batsmen and a walk, came from Davis, and a big reason they won it was the overmanaging of Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts, who should have left Kelly in to face Nimmo even though it would have been righty-on-lefty.
Justin Wilson came on for the Mets in the ninth looking to close it out, and he retired the Dodgers in order to earn his third save of the season.