The Dodgers finished off the Mets on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium and won a season-best seventh straight game with the completion of the four-game sweep. It’s the first four-game sweep of the season for the Dodgers and their first four-game sweep of the Mets since May 7-10, 1979 (a very good year). The scorching hot Dodgers have now notched six sweeps this season and have swept two straight series.
For the second night in a row, Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff home run off a Dodger pitcher. After taking Rich Hill deep on the second pitch of the game on Wednesday, Granderson started Thursday’s game with a solo homer against Hyun-Jin Ryu in the first inning.
Ryu got into some hot water in the second inning, but Enrique Hernandez saved his bacon from the outfield. The Metropolitans were threatening after a walk to Lucas Duda, a wild pitch and a Jose Reyes single. Luckily the ball hit by Reyes was knocked down by Justin Turner at third to save a run. Hernandez then made a great running catch on a fly ball, encroaching into left field, and threw an arrow to nab Duda at home.
Then Cody Bellinger doubled and Kiké went yard, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
The Mets pulled within one run after a solo shot by Travis d’Arnaud in the fourth.
Ryu worked his way out of quite a few jams on the night, but some great defense behind him helped including a nice play by Bellinger at first, Justin Turner at the hot corner and some solid glove work by Chris Taylor at shortstop, his first start there this year. Ryu’s line: 5IP, 5H, 2R, 2BB, 3K on 86 pitches (52 strikes).
The Dodgers also were running wild on Matz, stealing three bases against him (two by Austin Barnes and one by Bellinger). With the three SB tonight, the Dodgers have 40 stolen bases on the season. Matz went 6IP with 3R, 3H, 5BB, 8K on 107 pitches (61 strikes).
Even though Grant Dayton was warmed up and Kenta Maeda exists, Dave Roberts went to Chris Hatcher in the sixth. Hatcher took over for Ryu, inheriting a high-leverage one-run game situation against the heart of the NY order. The Mets took advantage right on cue, tying up the game 3-3 on a Duda two-out RBI double to center field.
Luckily, all the Dodgers needed was one bat off the bench, a bench filled with big bats, to break the tie. Joc Pederson proceeded to crush the first pitch he saw from Paul Sewald in the seventh inning, an absolute bomb.
Big bats aside, you take runs however they may manifest. The Dodgers gladly accepted two runs in the seventh on two bases-loaded walks. There was a Baez at-bat alert with the bases loaded and two-outs in the seventh. It was a very questionable decision by Roberts at the time considering it was still a one-run game, but there was no shortage of dramatics (and giggles) when Jerry Blevins walked Baez on four pitches to bring in the fifth run of the night for the Dodgers. Blevins then walked Austin Barnes to bring in yet another run, and Terry Collins had finally seen enough.
Roberts used Hatcher, Grant Dayton, Pedro Baez, Luis Avilan and Kenley Jansen out of the pen for four combined innings of work. Despite a fielding error by Bellinger in the eighth to load the bases for the Mets, Jansen was able to pitch out of the jam and preserve the lead by inducing a pop-up to escape trouble. Kenley came back in the ninth to finish off the sweep, sending the Mets down in order.
— Ned Colletti (@realnedcolletti) June 23, 2017
That’s a lot of homers.
Luckily there was no residual drama from the Yasiel Puig–Wilmer Flores altercation the night prior. Although the two teams will meet up again at Citi Field for a three-game series in August. Any way you slice the apple, the Mets are bad this year.
With the win, the Dodgers improve to 48-26 and 29-10 at home. The Rockies lost again to the D-backs 10-3 earlier in the day, so the Dodgers are now in first place and 1 1/2 games ahead of the Rockies and D-backs in the NL West.
The Rockies head to L.A. for a much anticipated three-game set over the weekend against the Dodgers. Friday’s series opener features Alex Wood (7-0, 1.90 ERA, 2.14 FIP), who is looking for his eighth straight win. Wood has not allowed a home run at home this year, and he’s struck out 42 batters in 33 1/3 innings at Dodger Stadium. Rookie Kyle Freeland (8-4, 3.42 ERA, 4.61 FIP) will face the Dodgers for the third time this season. First pitch is at 7:10 PM PST/4:10 PM EST on SportsNet LA.