The New York Mets lost by a final score of 1-0 to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the final set of a 4-game series.
The one lone positive? The Mets won the season series from the Dodgers 4-3. But that positive sure doesn't seem to make an iota of difference for a ballclub that just went 2-9 on a West Coast road trip.
So here in Los Angeles on another hot sunny day, you have a matchup of aces. One legit, one accidental. Dodgers Clayton Kershaw vs. Mets R.A. Dickey.
And sure enough, both men pitched like aces. Kershaw threw 8 scoreless innings walking only 1, striking out 3, and scattering 7 hits. Kershaw is an excellent southpaw, no question. But he was very much aided by the utter death spell that the Mets offense has undergone during the West Coast road trip.
Video of Kershaw shutting the Mets down here:
R.A. Dickey was throwing what might have been his best start of the season, giving up 2 hits, striking out 6, and walking no one, when he ran into a little mound trouble in the 6th inning of the game. While pitching to Dodgers catcher Russell Martin, he seemed to roll his ankle slightly and land/slip awkwardly on the mound. This prompted an injury visit from manager Jerry Manuel along with trainer Michael Herbst. After throwing a couple of pitches, R.A. Dickey was good to go again. He gets Russell Martin to ground out back to him and throws him out at first.
Then the next batter he faced, pitcher Clayton Kershaw, hit a weak tapper in front of the mound. Dickey fielded it, threw to first a bit weakly, but still in time for the out. The weak throw apparently gave manager Jerry Manuel and some others in the Mets dugout cause for concern, and Jerry came out for another visit. After some back-and-forth discussion, Jerry then had trainer Mike Herbst return to the mound. He seemed to advise against Dickey throwing anymore, and that was enough for Jerry to pull Dickey from the game. (No more Dickey jokes please!)
Dickey was not at all happy about this, but Jerry has been burned before by pitchers who try to overstay their welcome and never admit being hurt (John Maine) while they end up hurting the team. Add that to the Mets' "Prevention and Recovery" mantra for 2010, as great as Dickey was pitching in this one, you need him healthy for the rest of the season.
Video of the entire situation here:
So Lefty Raul Valdes relieved Dickey in the bottom of the 6th, got the 3rd out. Then he got 2 outs in the bottom 7 before being relieved by righty Manny Acosta who was brought into face righty Matt Kemp, and he was retired.
Bottom of the 8th inning:
Pedro Feliciano pitching for the Mets. He gets Captain Clutch Andre Ethier to strike out swinging, Casey Blake singles to leftfield. Switch-hitting pinch-hitter fouls out to deep rightfield for the 2nd out. Here comes Russell Martin, a righty hitter with Casey Blake on 1st base facing LOOGY Pedro Feliciano with 2 out. I can understand leaving Feliciano in to face Furcal since he was a switch-hitter, but didn't love Mets manager Jerry Manuel's decision to stick with Feliciano in this spot.
It came back to bite him. Russell Martin lined a double into the left-centerfield gap that went to the wall, and CF Carlos Beltran had trouble grabbing from the ricochet off the base of the wall. Jason Bay grabbed the ball and threw to Jose Reyes but it was too late and the Dodgers scored 1-0.
Video of the play here: (listen to the infallible overrated dinosaur Vin Scully refer to Jose Reyes as "Jesus Reyes.")
That was all the runs that the Dodgers needed. While closer Jonathan Broxton and Met-killer Hong-Chih Kuo were unavailable because of the 13-inning game the day before, Joe Torre was able to go to his newest bullpen toy, converted catcher Kenley Jansen in the 9th inning. Jansen shut down the Mets with ease the day before, and this day was no different.
Video of Jansen finishing the game by striking out Ike Davis here:
That was the ballgame. The Mets offense couldn't do anything against the Dodgers in this game, and they continued to flounder overall on the road trip.
There's really nothing worse than the Mets losing to the Dodgers. I know a lot of Mets fans won't be able to relate because most don't live in California and don't deal with the world's worst fanbase on a pretty much daily basis in some form or another. But really, Dodger fans are the absolute worst in every way, and it's absolutely horrible that the Mets can't seem to win many games at Dodger Stadium anymore.