Coming into tonight’s series opener in New York the Dodgers hadn’t scored since the second game of the double-header on Tuesday night in Chicago. They didn’t score until the sixth inning tonight against the Mets, which meant they went 18 innings without touching home plate. Fortunately the Dodgers got off the schneid in grand fashion as they knocked off the Mets 5-2 in the opening game of their three game series in Gotham. Cody Bellinger’s sixth inning grand slam was enough to back a quality start from Alex Wood. Kenley Jansen recorded his seventeenth consecutive save and the Dodgers got back in the win column.
It’s important to note that the Mets are pretty darned awful. They had lost 20 of their last 26 entering play on Friday evening. The Dodgers were like sharks circling in the water smelling blood. You gotta beat the teams that you’re supposed to beat. The first five and a half innings were frustrating though.
That’s because the Dodgers did their usual stranding runners malarkey against opposing starter Zack Wheeler. The Dodgers had a runner advance to third in the top of the third but failed to score. Enrique Hernandez singled and was sacrificed to second. Wheeler was called for a balk to send Hernandez to third but he was left there when Joc Pederson’s deep drive to center was snagged on a sprawled out diving catch from Michael Conforto. That’s baseball for you.
Dodgers 5 6 1
Mets 2 8 0
The Dodgers left two more runners stranded in the top of the fourth. Entering the top of the sixth the Dodgers held no advantage. The game was knotted in a scoreless tie. But the Dodgers finally broke through in that top of the sixth frame. Max Muncy walked and one out later matt Kemp bloops a single into right field. Joc Pederson walked to load the bases. Cody Bellinger clubs a massive home run into the upper deck for a grand slam. The Dodgers take a 4-0 lead. Wheeler allowed four earned runs on five hits over six innings while striking out seven to take the loss.
Would the Dodgers get the good Wood tonight? Or the bad Wood? Alex pitched well. He struck out the side (Brandon Nimmo, Todd Frazier, Asdrubal Cabrera) in the bottom of the first. Then he had to pitch out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the second. Wilmer Flores and Jose Bautista singled. The Dodgers got a force out, and then another force out at the plate. Wheeler struck out with the bases juiced and the Dodgers escaped.
Wood stranded two runners in the bottom of the fifth but ran into some issues in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs Conforto singled and Bautista bombed one out for a two-run shot. The Dodger’s lead was now cut to 4-2. Wood Would finish with two earned runs on six hits over six frames. He struck out seven and walked only one. Could the Dodgers hold the lead?
Absolute they could, I mean this is the Mets and they’re a mess. Scott Alexander tossed two scoreless innings in relief. The Dodgers hit a little snag in the bottom of the eighth. Cabrera singled, and after Flores whiffed, Muncy (playing at second) flubbed an easy double play grounder off the bat of Conforto. That put runners on the corners. Nobody was covering third base. No sweat however because Alexander immediately got Bautista to ground into an inning ending double play. At first you don’t succeed in getting a double play, just get one on the next hitter. This works for me.
Yasiel Puig would homer in the top of the ninth to extend the Dodger lead to 5-2. Kenley Jansen would climb to the mound in the bottom of the ninth to pitch a scoreless inning, striking out Ahmed Rosario and Dominic Smith to end the game. Dodgers win!
The Dodgers now improve to 39-35 and are two games behind Arizona momentarily. If Arizona loses in Pittsburgh then the Dodgers would be 1.5 back. It’s good to know that the Dodgers have now beaten the Mets in ten consecutive games dating back to 2016. They’re averaging about 7.5 runs per contest. That streak is in jeopardy because they’re facing Jacob deGrom (who’s been outstanding this season) in the second game of the series on Saturday afternoon. Reports are indicating that Clayton Kershaw who apparently does not need a rehab outing will come off the disabled list to start for the Dodgers. It’s a pitching match-up of the century. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15 PM PST with the game set to be nationally televised on FOX.