Following a successful 6-2 road trip that was capped off with a three-game sweep of the Pirates, the Dodgers returned home where they greeted the Mets for the start of a four-game set.
Broadcast nationally on ESPN due to the duel of Clayton Kershaw and Jacob deGrom, the game uncomfortably resembled Game 5 of the 2015 NLDS for about five-and-a-half innings. Thankfully that’s where the comparisons ended as the bullpen of the Mets was the one to implode worst and the Dodgers rode their explosive 6th-inning performance to an 9-5 win.
Things didn’t start ideally for Kershaw and the Dodgers, as a bloop double was followed by a one-out walk and a single to plate the game’s first run. Another single followed, but thankfully it was to right field where Cody Bellinger was waiting.
The good guys immediately struck back in their half of the 1st, loading the bases on the strength of three consecutive singles from Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, and Justin Turner. However, the Dodgers only managed to get a single run out of that on a Corey Seager grounder where he narrowly avoided a double play.
In the 3rd, the Dodgers took the lead behind Bellinger’s 19th dong of the year, putting them up 2-1.
The scoring halted until the 5th when Kershaw ran into trouble again. He allowed a single and then surrendered a one-out double that seemed destined to lead to a run. Fortunately the relay from Joc to Seager to Russell Martin resulted in an out and saved another run.
That proved more pivotal as the next batter J.D. Davis yanked a pitch down the line in left for a two-run shot to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.
Kershaw did eventually get through six innings before exiting, turning in what was technically a quality start, as he allowed three runs in six innings and struck out five. However, he also surrendered 10 hits and a walk, counting himself fortunate to not give up at least two more runs thanks to the outfield.
The bats came to Kershaw’s rescue in the 6th after deGrom exited. Chris Taylor tied the game by turning on a pitch and hammering his fourth homer of the year to left, making it 3-3. Singles from Martin and David Freese followed, which brought up a struggling Enrique Hernandez to pinch-hit for Joc due to a lefty being on the mound. Enrique rewarded the faith of Dave Roberts by taking an 0-2 breaking ball the other way for a three-run go-ahead dong to make it 6-3.
Things didn’t get any better for the Mets, as Muncy followed with a single, JT doubled, and Bellinger was intentionally walked to load the bases. Seager was then hit by a pitch to plate another run and Alex Verdugo capped the scoring off in the inning with a sacrifice fly, and the Dodgers ended up exiting the frame with an 8-3 lead.
Pedro Baez entered in the 7th and ran into a bit of trouble after a runner reached on an error by Martin and then a walk, but escaped with a scoreless frame.
The same couldn’t be said for the continuing Joe Kelly experiment in the 8th, as he was immediately greeted by a single and a homer by Adeiny Hechavarria to cut the lead to 8-5. He was allowed to give up another single before being removed from the game.
It&#39;s almost June and Joe Kelly&#39;s ERA is still 9. FIP is 5.36 and DRA is around 6, so there&#39;s nothing really to like right now.&mdash; Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 28, 2019
It’s bad, folks.
Dylan Floro was summoned to get out of the jam and immediately recorded an out, but was then victimized by a bunt single (that was ruled an error on Muncy) and another single to right that loaded the bases.
That led to well-rested Kenley Jansen being summoned for a five-out save. He immediately induced a fly ball to right, which resulted in one out, but Bellinger made a heads-up play and went for the runner at third instead of home and gunned him down for a double play. As a bonus, the runner at third was out before the runner tagging for home crossed the plate, which prevented any run from scoring whatsoever.
What do you honestly say at this point? Ridiculous. Legit NL MVP leader.
The Dodgers got an insurance run in the 8th with a two-out rally. Seager, Verdugo, and CT3 strung together consecutive singles to make it 9-5, with CT3 coming up with his third hit of the night to cap the scoring.
Jansen then continued on in the 9th, notching a strikeout to start but then giving up a triple off the top of the wall in left.
In retrospect that play was amusing because Kenley rebounded with back-to-back strikeouts to end it.
The Dodgers victory puts them at 36-18 on the year, a 108-win pace, and they now lead the NL West by 8 games over the Diamondbacks and Padres. They’re now only a half-game back of the Twins for the best record in the majors.
They’ll do it again tomorrow at a more standard Los Angeles game time of 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST with Rich Hill (LHP/2.67 ERA/4.51 FIP/3.59 DRA) matching up against Steven Matz (LHP/3.63 ERA/4.68 FIP/3.92 DRA).