Timmy Trumpet never blew his horn last night at CitiField. The Australian musician didn’t get a chance to play Edwin Diaz’ entrance song, “Narco,” because the Mets closer never got in the game.
In the opener of what was billed as a National League Championship Series preview, the Mets dropped a 4-3 decision at CitiField to the high flying Dodgers, who have the best record in baseball. LA has won 45 of their last 55 and became the first team to 90 wins (90-38).
Former Met Jake Reed got a measure of revenge against his former team as he pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first big league save.
Reed was with the Mets earlier this year but he was designated for assignment and claimed by the Dodgers in early July. The side arming right hander was a surprise choice to close but he got the job done and got some payback against his former team.
Eduardo Escobar led off the ninth with a single off of Reed, but pinch-hitter Daniel Vogelbach hit into a 5-5-3 double play and then Brandon Nimmo bounced back to the mound to end it. Reed pumped his fist in a moment that he’ll never forget.
The Dodgers snapped a 3-3 tie in the seventh thanks to some good fortune against Mets reliever and losing pitcher Joely Rodriguez.
Noted Met killer and Dodger first baseman Freddie Freeman beat the shift by poking a double down the left field line. “Seems like Joely’s had a lot of tough luck. Look at some of his average exit velocities and stuff, they’re down but the game’s not always fair,” Mets Manager Buck Showalter said after a tough loss.
Freeman took third on Max Muncy’s grounder to first and pinch-hitter Will Smith was intentionally walked to put runners on the corners.
Gavin Lux came through in the clutch with his third RBI of the game as he stroked a single through the middle to drive home Freeman with the go ahead run.
Mets took a 1-0 lead in the first thanks to some shaky Dodgers’ defense.
After Brandon Nimmo led off with a single, Starling Marte beat the Dodgers’ shift by bunting towards the open right side. Heaney fielded the ball near the foul line and flipped a back hand toss that hit Marte and bounded down the right field line. Nimmo scored all the way from first and Marte ended up at third, but was left stranded there.
The Dodgers scored three in the third off of Mets’ starter Taijuan Walker.
With the bases loaded and two out, Walker hit Joey Gallo to force in the tying run. “Just that third inning, I had the walk and the hit by pitch, really, was the one pitch I’ll take away,” Walker said. They’re a good lineup, they’re deep, one through nine.”
Lux was next and wasted no time as he stroked Walker’s first pitch to left field for a two run single and a 3-1 lead.
As has been the Mets wont this season, Marte answered the Dodger rally in their half of the third inning with a solo home run off of Dodgers’ starter and former Yankee Andrew Heaney, his 15th, to cut the deficit to one run. Mark Canha hit his 11th home run and 100th of his career with one out in the fourth to tie the game at three.
Pete Alonso had a tough night going 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, while leaving five men on base. Heaney was getting Alonso out with fastballs up in the zone. “He [Heaney] elevated the fastball, it’s the very in vogue thing these days, that’s what people do,” Showalter said.
Walker pitched 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
Heaney went five and gave up three runs, two earned, with eight strikeouts. The Dodgers’ bullpen went four scoreless innings with Heath Hembree, Alex Vesia, Evan Phillips and Reed closing it out. Hembree, who got the win and is playing with his seventh team, and Reed were added to the roster before the game as the Dodgers are dealing with some pitching injuries of late.
The teams have played five games so far this season with the Dodgers winning three. An NLCS match up between these two would be a must watch. “I think we match up well against them. It’s always gonna be a dogfight when you face good teams,” Walker said.