Just as a "reminder": The new blog should be up soon, even if I don't update it nearly as often as I'd like to, but since it's not up quite yet, I'm publishing this entry here for now, and probably during the rest of the Mets-Dodgers series.
FINALLY THE METS WIN IN LOS ANGELES!
It's the first Mets win at Dodger Stadium since John Maine pitched 8.1 IP of 1-run ball back on May 7, 2008. As that was a Wednesday day game, I was unfortunately not there because of that thing called work. So this is the first Mets win I've witnessed at Dodger Stadium since July 22, 2007, when the Mets came from behind against the Dodgers down 4-3, with Shawn Green tying it off closer Jonathan Broxton in the Top of the 9th when RF Matt Kemp was charged with an error on a flyball that he ran in on but could not catch despite touching the ball, scoring pinch-runner Anderson Hernandez. In the 10th inning CHIP AMBRES singled in Lastings Milledge to put the Mets ahead 5-4, Billy Wagner pitched an extremely nerve-wracking bottom 10th but finally closed the game.
On with Friday night's game!
- 1st inning: If the Mets can't drive in runs, they'll steal some! With Reyes at 3rd (after a leadoff ground rule double to RF) and Castillo at 1st, David Wright strikes out swinging, but the steal is on! Thank you Blake DeWitt! The Dodgers 2B dropped the ball when he applied the tag on Luis Castillo, who didn't even slide into 2B because he was out by so much, instead dancing around the bag. CASTILLO IS HAVOC ON THE BASEPATHS! Reyes took home on the play and the Mets had their first run since the last century. Or more accurately, their first run in the last 17 innings.
Video of the play here:
- 2nd inning madness! Ike Davis goes BOOMPHUS on the Vicente Padilla 53-mph EEPHUS, or super duper slow curveball, depending on your interpretation. Solo boom boom to CF makes it 2-0 for the Mets!
Then the Mets finally have baserunners at 2nd and 3rd! Luis Castillo groundball to SS Rafael Furcal's right, he scoops, throws to first and Castillo is called out. From my vantage point in the ballpark, it was way too close to call, but once Jerry Manuel flew out of the Mets dugout, I was pretty certain Luis was safe because Jerry only argues calls when he KNOWS he is right. Replays showed that Castillo was safe by a smidge, but I can't fault the umpire on that one. That wasn't a Jim Joyce-type call when the guy was out by a step and a half and he still fucked it up. But that's in the past, right?
Video of the play here:
In any case, 1B Umpire Doug Eddings tossed Jerry Manuel. Mets Bench Coach Dave Jauss took over as manager. Had the right call been made, the Mets would've scored a run and then you have runners on the corners. Instead, that was the end of the inning.
- SLUMP?! WHAT SLUMP?! Jason Bay is your game hero! This FUCKING AWESOME CATCH with a faceplant into the Dodgers bullpen gate robs Jamey Carroll of extra bases. And he didn't die! If Chris Carter was playing LF in this game, he probably doesn't make the catch, but he would've surely crashed through the bullpen gates.
The awesome Jason Bay catch here. This play made ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays (#1) of the night:
- As a Met fan in Los Angeles, I've seen too many Met players get injured in this ballpark. Rey Ordonez, Angel Pagan, Jose Reyes, all have suffered major injuries at Dodger Stadium. Luckily, no one hurt in this series thus far.
- Outfield defense everywhere! CF Carlos Beltran made some nice catches, but RF Angel Pagan made TWO! consecutive sliding catches in the 4th inning!
Video of Pagan catch number one here:
Video of Pagan catch number two here. This play made ESPN SportsCenter's Top 10 Plays (#6) of the night.
- Dodgers got their lone run in the 5th inning on a Jamey Carroll sac fly to RF Angel Pagan which scored Russell Martin from 3B. Pagan's throw from normal depth RF to catcher Henry Blanco actually beat Martin to the plate, but Blanco couldn't hold onto the one-hop throw. Francoeur probably throws a perfect no-hop strike to Blanco on that one, but no way he makes the 2nd sliding catch Pagan did in the 4th.
Video of the play here:
- Vicente Padilla pitched exceptionally well for the Dodgers, only making the one real mistake to Ike Davis. 77 pitches through 7 IP is incredibly economical. 1 ER, 6 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 1 HR (Davis). Dodgers manager Joe Torre pinch-hit Ron Belliard for Padilla in the bottom of the 7th when the Dodgers finally had a baserunner in Jamey Carroll at 1st with 2 outs. Belliard grounded out and Joe Torre had to go to the bullpen. That's when the METS OFFENSIVE ATTACK!!!!!!!!!! begun.
- Mets 8th inning: Dodgers reliever Jeff Weaver walks Jose Reyes. Luis Castillo, back in the 2-hole where he belongs, allowed Reyes to see some pitches before successfully stealing on a 2-1 count. Castillo squared to bunt a couple of times in the AB, which was fine considering it's Castillo and he's an excellent bunter. I know a lot of fans loathe the sac bunt, but when it's Castillo, I generally have no issue. Weaver then walked Castillo on a full count.
- Angel Pagan comes up, and HE is bunting too! This led lots of people to believe that Jerry Manuel must've been in the Mets dugout wearing a disguise. But no, that was apparently on the recommendation of Dave Jauss. I did not like Pagan bunting here at all. Castillo, fine. Pagan should've been swinging. But... it still worked. Pagan's sac bunt to Weaver moved the runners over to 2nd and 3rd. Oh yeah, during Pagan's AB, after the first pitch ball, Russell Martin almost caught Reyes off 2nd base. He threw down to SS Rafael Furcal in front of 2nd base but Furcal's tag missed. If Furcal had been closer to 2nd base, he easily tags out Reyes on a pickoff.
- Dodgers manager Joe Torre then makes a pitching change I still don't understand. He took out righty Jeff Weaver, substituting him with righty James McDonald. Maybe he felt Weaver wasn't on tonight having walked 2 batters in the inning? Only thing that really makes sense.
- David Wright then hit an 0-1 sac fly to CF Matt Kemp, scoring the Mets' 3rd run of the game.
- Carlos Beltran comes in batting lefty, he gets an intentional walk to 1st with Castillo on 2nd base, 2 outs.
- Then Joe Torre plays the matchup game, going to brand new Dodger lefty reliever Jack Taschner to face lefty Ike Davis. Taschner throws a 1-2 slider for a wild pitch that gets past catcher Russell Martin, allowing both Castillo and Beltran to advance a base. Then Taschner walks Ike Davis to load 'em up.
- Bases loaded for LF Jason Bay, who had been slumping something fierce coming into the game (4-for-26 on the road trip, hitless in his last 12 at-bats, no RBI in his last 10 games, a .169 July BA), had been dropped down in the batting order to 7th for the first time in years after taking a day off Thursday night's opener against the Dodgers. He did have a single in the 2nd inning though. Bay took a plethora of batting practice earlier at the ballpark. Was this to be another Jason Bay failure spot? Or was he about to come through?
- Well, first, another pitching change for the Dodgers. Joe Torre then went to righty reliever Travis Schlichting to face the righty Jason Bay.
- Jason Bay takes the first pitch he sees from Schlichting into the right-centerfield gap for a bases-clearing 3 run double and that sent the Dodger scumbag cockroach fans scattering for the exits. Even one of the Dodger fans sitting behind us shouted, "You Dodger fans are horrible!" as he was miffed that they were leaving so soon. This was after a large contingent had already left in the 7th inning. As I noted yesterday, Dodger "fans" were leaving IN THE 6th!!!
Video of the play here:
- Henry Blanco then grounded to SS Rafael Furcal, who should've made the play easily but he booted the ball and Blanco was now on 1st. Furcal charged with the Dodgers' 2nd Error of the game. With runners on the corners and 2 outs, Santana's spot was up and Chris Carter was the pinch-hitter. Carter flew out to LF and that was the end of the 8th inning.
- I assume had Blanco been out on the grounder, Santana may have pitched the 8th as well, but after 98 pitches, it was bullpen time.
- Johan Santana is the man!!! 98 pitches thrown, 74 for strikes! 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 4 K, 1 BB.
BUT THE METS NOW HAD 6 RUNS AND THAT IS CRAZY!!!
- Bobby Parnell pitches a clean 8th inning. Frankie Rodriguez gets some work in (hadn't pitched since Sunday's implosion in San Francisco) and pitches a perfect 9th (2 K's and a 6-3 groundout) on 8 pitches and the Mets WIN their 2nd game of the road trip, now at 2-7 (same record as the Dodgers since the All-Star Break) with 2 more weekend games at Dodger Stadium to go.
- No Hong-Chih Kuo sightings! HOORAY!
- Johan Santana goes to 8-5, 2.79 ERA on the year. Vicente Padilla drops to 4-3, 3.41 ERA for the tough-luck who-gives-a-fuck loss.
- In July, Johan Santana is 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA in five starts. More info on Santana's incredible July run here.
Complete MLB.com video recap of a METS WIN here:
- What happens after a Mets win at Dodger Stadium? FIREWORKS OF COURSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok, not really. That photo was taken on July 5, 2010, after the Dodgers lost to the Marlins 6-5. But let's pretend they were for the Mets?
And finally, look who I found after the game in the parking lot after the game was over!