May 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Justin Turner (10) reacts in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the New York Mets during the seventh inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Bullpen and Defensive Woes Cost Dodgers New York Sweep

Dodgers 3 5 2

Mets 5 8 1

WP- Niese (3-3)               

LP- Perez (0-2)

S- Mejia (2)

HR- Turner (1)

The Dodgers dropped the third game of the series to New York on Thursday afternoon as their defensive inadequateness and bullpen problems reared their ugly head once again. It was a pitcher’s duel for the first four innings as Zack Greinke and Jon Niese only each allowed one run through four, but Greinke had some trouble in the fifth after Justin Turner‘s costly fielding error at third base which allowed the third run of the game for New York to cross the plate.

May 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) makes a diving catch on a hit by New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores (not pictured) during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

May 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) makes a diving catch on a hit by New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores (not pictured) during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Turner made up for his blunder by hitting a beautiful two-run homerun in the seventh to tie up the game, but the tie would be short-lived with Chris Perez coming into the game the next frame. Perez has been awful, and tonight was no exception. He picked up the deserved loss after allowing 2 runs on 4 hits in just 1 1/3 innings. Paul Maholm looked sharp in his first relief appearance since being shifted back into the bullpen in the eighth, but it was too late by that time.

The Dodgers’ offense was only good for five runs as well. Kemp went 0-for-4 with 2 strikeouts and an error in center field, and the only other hits besides Turner’s homerun were doubles from Puig and A.J., a single from Figgins, and a single from HanRam. Kemp also looked really bad in center field on a couple of other plays, and Puig had to cover him out there. That brings up a heated debate: Do the Dodgers eventually shift Kemp to left or right field? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Kemp wasn’t the only one who cost the Dodgers. Puig was doubled up on the base path twice which were costly mistakes as well. Although Puig did make an AMAZING catch in right field which almost deserves a post on its own.

Here’s how it all went down…

Chone Figgins, who is leading off in place of Dee Gordon, singles to lead-off the top of the first. Yasiel Puig strikes out swinging against Jon Niese. Hanley Ramirez singles to center, and Figgins easily makes it to third. Adrian Gonzalez‘s sacrifice fly brings in Figgins to score, and the Dodgers have an early 1-0 lead. Matt Kemp strikes out to end the inning.

Zack Greinke sends down Juan Lugares, Daniel Murphy, and David Wright in order in the home half of the first.

May 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

May 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (21) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Scott Van Slyke becomes Niese’s third strikeout victim to start off the second inning at Citi Field. Justin Turner flies out. A.J. Ellis strokes a double to right field, but Greinke flies out to end the frame.

In the bottom of the second, the Dodgers make both a bad play in the outfield and an amazing one while the Mets tie the game up. Curtis Granderson leads off the inning with a double, but ends up at third on an error by Kemp in center field. Granderson scores on a sacrifice fly by Eric Campbell, and the game is tied at one run apiece. Greinke walks Duda. Then Yasiel Puig makes a highlight reel catch in right field on a hard hit ball by Wilmer Flores. Puig makes a diving backhand catch, and even the Mets’ fans give him cheers on the incredible catch. Greinke is struggling as he walks another man, Anthony Recker with two outs. The inning finally comes to an end as Niese strikes out.

The Dodgers go down in order in the third. Puig is called out on strikes, but the third strike was iffy.

David Wright singles with two outs in the bottom of the third, but A.J. Ellis fires a strike to second to catch him stealing!

In the top of the fourth, Gonzo grounds out, Kemp strikes out for the second time, and Van Slyke grounds out for another 1-2-3 inning for Niese.

Greinke returns the favor by retiring the Mets in order in the bottom of the fourth.

Turner draws a lead-off walk in the top of the fifth, but A.J. grounds into the dreaded double play. Greinke flies out.

May 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

May 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fourth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets take the lead in the bottom of the fifth with back-to-back doubles from Recker and Niese with two outs. This is the first lead the Mets have had in the series. Up pop another error for the Dodgers (#39) as Justin Turner muddles a groundball by Daniel Murphy. That costs a run as Niese comes home on the play. 3-2 Mets.

Figgins leads off the sixth with a walk, and Puig reaches on a force attempt. Daniel Murphy commits an error as he fails to catch the ball cleanly. The Mets challenge the play, but the safe call is upheld. Then Murphy drops a pop up to shallow left field, but the umpires had called the infield fly rule and Hanley is out. Puig is doubled up as he wanders away from first base. It is at the risk of the base runner to run on a dropped ball when the infield fly rule is in affect. Gonzo grounds out to end the strange inning.

Jamey Wright will take over for Zack Greinke in the bottom of the sixth. Greinke pitched 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (1 earned) on 4 hits with 4 strikeouts and 2 walks on 101 pitches. Wright strikes out Granderson. Campbell and Duda both ground out in the perfect inning by Wright.

The Dodgers come back to tie things up in the seventh on a two-run homerun by Justin Turner! SVS walked prior to Turner’s long ball to left, and it’s a whole new ball game.

Chris Perez is in for the bottom of the seventh, and he is immediately in trouble and coughs up the lead to the Mets. Flores singles, and a wild pitch allows Flores to move over to second. Bobby Abreu‘s fly ball moves Flores to third. Lugares singles in the run, 4-3 Mets. While Perez is busy coughing up the lead for the Dodgers, Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow are exiled to Albuquerque.

Daisuke Matsuzaka is in for the eighth in relief of Jon Niese. Niese pitched 7 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits with 5 strikeouts and 3 walks on

May 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) holds up his glove after making a diving catch on a hit by New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores (4) as Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (27) jumps over him during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

May 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) holds up his glove after making a diving catch on a hit by New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores (4) as Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (27) jumps over him during the second inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

97 pitches. Puig doubles to deep center field with two outs. Remember that amazing catch by Puig? The Mets return the favor as Eric Campbell makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Hanley to left field, and then Puig is once again doubled up which ends the inning.

For some reason Chris Perez is in for a second inning. It’s not like he hasn’t already blew this game, and it’s still just a one-run deficit. He immediately allows a lead-off single to Wright in the bottom of the eighth. Granderson then proceeds to triple to right center field, and the Mets now lead 5-3. Campbell strikes out, and Mattingly will finally hook Perez who now has a 5.68 ERA. Paul Maholm will be the fourth pitcher of the night for the Dodgers. Duda reaches on a fielder’s choice, and Granderson is out at home. Flores strikes out, and Maholm mops up the Perez mess.

Jenrry Mejia is in to pitch the top of the ninth for the Mets. Gonzo flies out, Kemp flies out, SVS strikes out swinging.

The Dodgers drop to 25-23 on the season. They’ll now head to Philadelphia for a three-game set in the City of Brotherly Love to finish off the road trip.

Tags: Featured Jon Niese Los Angeles Dodgers Popular Zack Greinke

  • O M

    How is shifting Kemp to left or right even an option ? I presume that means he continues to play every day.
    The only question should be – why is that overhyped and underproducing memory not competing for an outfield position like everyone else?

    • LasordasLair

      Well I think putting Puig in center and moving Kemp to left or right would improve the defense, but that’s not gonna happen. First of all they’ll never ask him to do that, and even if they did he would probably throw some kind of hissy fit. It’s not even worth it.

    • Stacie Wheeler

      My idea would be to prime Puig to play some center field in case Kemp continues to struggle. I agree that Mattingly’s decision to say that Kemp had locked in the center field role was a bit presumptuous, but then again Kemp was sulking when he didn’t start so maybe he thought that announcement would give him less of a distraction?

      • O M

        Both of you have good ideas, Stacie and LL.
        Here’s what I would do: Puig (RF), Ethier (CF), Crawford (LF)
        Crawford gets the start only because his bat has come alive over last dozen games. Once Crawford’s bat cools off, Van Slyke moves in. Get V.S. more at bats!
        Let Kemp play CF when Ethier needs a rest or his bat gets cold. I don’t mean just check Ethier’s BA, as he is an excellent situational RBI hitter. Ethier may not hit as many long balls anymore, but he can have a low BA and still be in the top 4 or 5 RBI leaders on the team. He’s miles ahead of Kemp and CC in RBI’s and plays less than both of them.
        In additon, he can play all 3 OF positions.

        • Stacie Wheeler

          Ethier will get his 10-12 HRs, and like you said he has versatility and can play all 3 OF positions. Ethier also still has a good arm, far better than CC. With Joc knocking on the door, I see Kemp either accepting time at other positions otherwise he may be on the trade block instead of Ethier or CC. SVS has his occasional pop, but I don’t see him getting many more starts unless Wade Miley is pitching! How about: CC LF, Puig CF, Kemp RF?

          • O M

            I don’t think Kemp’s double play bat warrants starting every day.

            I could go for Ethier in RF. Your CF Puig idea is intriguing.