Takeaways from the Mets 13-7 win over the Dodgers on Monday…
The Mets defeated the Dodgers by the score of 13-7 on Monday night at Citi Field, taking a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five National League Division Series.
Here are my takeaways from the win…
An energetic slugfest for the Mets.
It wasn’t looking good early, but it sure was pretty for the Mets when the light went out on game three for the Mets.
They feel into an early 3-0 hole when Matt Harvey loaded the bases with nobody out in the second thanks to three straight singles from Justin Turner, Andre Ether, and Carl Crawford, all preceding a Yasmani Grandal single which cleared the bases thanks to a throwing error by Curtis Granderson.
Grandal had previously been in a 4-for-87 abyss before that single.
But the Mets roared right back in the bottom of the second inning. They countered with three straight hits from Yoenis Cespedes, Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud which brought the Mets back to within two runs. Then, Wilmer Flores reached on an infield single to load the bases with nobody out again.
And just when it looked like the Mets would squander an opportunity after Juan Lagares grounded into force out and Matt Harvey struck out, Curtis Granderson turned on a first pitch fastball from Brett Anderson and cleared the bases with a three-run double to give the Mets the lead and all of the momentum in this pivotal game three.
They netted two more runs in the third thanks to a two-run home run from Travis d’Arnaud, and another four runs in the fourth thanks in part to a monumental three-run home run into the second deck in left field to give the Mets a 10-3 lead, sending them on their way to a laugher in their first playoff game in nine years.
Of course, they weren’t done. They swiped three more runs thanks in part to another double to plate two runs from Granderson, along with a pinch-hit sacrifice fly by Michael Conforto in the seventh inning.
The Mets needed a laugher after the stress and controversy which has dominated the last 48 hours. They got it and are now pacing this series.
A rusty #HarveyDay?
For Matt Harvey, It can be attributed to rust after not pitching in nine days. It could be attributed to a bad night, as well.
This writer will go with the latter.
It just wasn’t a clean or crisp night for the Mets co-ace. He was erratic, had trouble commanding all of his pitches, and just lacked that extra life on his fastball. He didn’t get a lot of swings and misses and was hardly dominant, having to deal with traffic for most of the night.
But he only allowed the three runs in the second and bore down in the battle within himself. It wasn’t easy and he had to navigate some really good hitters, but he was able to do that in the third, fourth and fifth inning to keep the Dodgers off the board and allow the Mets to just stomp all over Brett Anderson and Alex Wood in the middle innings.
That’s what the good ones do. They can’t have their A-game every night. Its just not going to happen. But when they’re off, they’re obligated to find a way and keep the team in the game. He did an admirable job of that, and really earned this win with a gutsy five-inning performance.
A little big thing.
The Dodgers had the Mets on the ropes early in this one, and things were looking very murky for the Mets in this one.
But with two outs in the second inning, David Wright made a fantastic catch, leaping to rob Howie Kendrick of at least a single and certainly one run to end the inning.
It’s a little thing, but a big play in this game which kept the Mets within striking distance. Sometimes players don’t produce solely with the bat, and in the case of Wright and this play, he produced in the run prevention department in a huge way for the club on Monday.
The Grandy Man was huge, again.
What a series for Granderson, who is shutting up all of the naysayers about his inability to hit left-handed pitching in this series.
He notched two more hits and five RBI against two left-handers in Brett Anderson and JP Howell.
He had two hits against Clayton Kershaw on Friday night, giving him four hits against southpaws in this series.
He had 23 hits in 126 at-bats against left-handers all year.
He’s completely evolved in his reinvention as a hitter this season, embracing the role of a leadoff hitter with his remarkable discipline and patience while muscling up and becoming a run producer all at once. He’s a pro’s pro and understands how to harness the moment, and he has done so in tremendous fashion in this playoff series.
The Mets have been talking up the importance of winning game three for a long time, which is why they wanted Matt Harvey on the mound for this critical contest.
There’s good reason for that.
The team that wins game three when a five-game playoff series is tied at one has gone on to win 75 percent of the time.
So the Mets are in really good shape after the win. Yes, they will face Clayton Kershaw on Tuesday, but he will be pitching on three-days rest and the Dodgers are 7-9 in games pitched by Kershaw on the road.
And, Kershaw is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in elimination starts in his postseason career.
The Mets also don’t have to even think about throwing Jacob deGrom on three-days rest, instead saving him for a potential game five in Los Angeles on Thursday night against Zack Greinke.
It’s not as if it isn’t a tough chore to deal with Kershaw and Greinke, but they need to figure out how to get just one more to advance to the NLCS.
The statistics suggest they have a good chance.
Other notes from Monday:
Yoenis Cespedes is 18-for-51 with three home runs and ten RBI in 13 playoff games in his career. He has two home runs in this series.
D’Arnaud broke a 6-for-52 skid with a three-hit performance on Monday.
44,276 fans were in attendance at Citi Field on Monday, the largest paid crowd ever in the ballpark.
The Mets set a postseason franchise record with 13 runs in game three.
Cespedes and d’Arnaud became first two players in franchise history to produce three hits and three RBIs and score three runs in a postseason game.
The Mets have struck out 36 Dodgers in the first three games of the NLDS.
Granderson’s five RBI set single-game franchise mark in a postseason game.