Dodgers 8, Mets 2: Yasiel Puig blasts the Dodgers to 1st in the NL West

At long last the Rockies lost a game, and the Dodgers were thankfully ready to take advantage. The 8-2 win tonight over the Mets vaulted the Dodgers into first place in the NL West by the slimmest of margins, but it still feels a hell of a lot better than second place.

Rich Hill was not terrible and that bought enough time for the Yasiel Puig fireworks show to get started.

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Hill has been searching for answers to the control and command problems that have been an ongoing issue all year. And apparently part of that answer has been to debut a cutter at 84-86 mph.

I wouldn’t say it’s all that impressive, but if it’s something new that he can get around the zone, it could definitely help him. The cutter seemed to work today, and after Curtis Granderson led the game off for the Mets with a homer, he threw five innings of otherwise scoreless ball on 98 pitches. Hill also importantly struck out eight, and gave up just four hits while two of the three walks were surrendered in the fifth as he was likely tiring a bit.

A definite positive sign from a pitcher I had high expectations for who looked like he could’ve been on his way out of the rotation. Now it’s just a matter of keeping that momentum going.

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What helps to get the momentum started, of course, is a lot of run support. While the Dodgers have definitely done that immediately in the first two games of the series, they took a bit more time this time around.

Down a run in the third, the Dodgers tied things up after a walk and an error put Joc Pederson at third and Puig at second. That was followed by Hill (of all people) driving a ball to medium-deep center to knot the game.

It was the fourth inning, however, when the Dodgers put up the crooked number. Cody Bellinger led things off with a double to right and got to third on an error, then Logan Forsythe put the Dodgers ahead with a clean double into the left-center field gap.

Hopefully this is him starting to get going as well.

Following that, with one out, Joc was intentionally walked for … I dunno why, but thankfully they did cause Puig blew the game open with a three-run bomb to left.

Wilmer Flores took exception to him watching it I guess, though it’s probably more about them playing like shit.

Travis d’Arnaud seemed to want to calm things down at the plate, and Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Reyes talked with him later, which was amusing to me.

Regardless, what’s important for the Dodgers, is that this was the reaction in their dugout.

For insurance, it looks like Yasmani Grandal is coming out of a slump in June, bombing solo shots in both the 6th and 8th innings.

They weren’t done in the eighth, as Joc and Puig drew back-to-back walks, and Austin Barnes singled into center to plate a run.

Overall, the Dodgers only had seven hits and five walks, but five of those seven hits going for extra bases is what counts.

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The lead was more than enough for the pen, who were generally excellent. Sergio Romo, Grant Dayton, and Brandon Morrow combined for three innings, striking out six batters and allowing just a bloop double.

Luis Avilan ran into a bit more trouble in the ninth, giving up a run on two hits, but ultimately sealing the game without trouble.

Chase Utley knows.

#Truth

Oh yeah, here’s Joc trolling Yasiel, making sure he doesn’t get another concussion.

Finally, after the game, Flores whined more and Jay Bruce got in on the action, but the Puig clap back was worth it.

The win improves the Dodgers to 47-26 overall and 28-10 at home. The Rockies got blown out by the Diamondbacks tonight, meaning the Dodgers are now in first place in the NL West by a half game and the D-backs trail by 1.5 games. The Dodgers now trail the Astros for the best record in baseball by just two games.

The Dodgers will go for the four-game sweep against the Mets at 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST. The mound matchup will be the only potentially disadvantageous one of the series, with Hyun-Jin Ryu (4.35 ERA/4.89 FIP/5.18 DRA) going up against Steven Matz (3.21 ERA/5.28 FIP/5.72 DRA), who is making only his third start of the year.

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
I get paid millions by the Dodgers. MILLIONS!