The Matt Kemp figurines may not have arrived at Dodger Stadium in time, but everything else went swimmingly for the Boys in Blue in the 6-2 victory over the Mets. Dan Haren pitched his heart out. After a sudden lead-off homerun served up to Curtis Granderson, Haren reached in and found his inner Kershaw to go on to pitch 6 subsequent innings of shutout work for his 11th win on the year. Haren showed the team that he can still bring value to a rotation dealing with injuries and uncertainty down the stretch. It was just the gutsy type of performance you expect out of a veteran pitcher like Haren on a first-place team.
The Dodger bullpen had a few hiccups including a run allowed by Jamey Wright in the ninth inning, but the offense counterbalanced the bullpen’s shakiness and Don Mattingly‘s strange in-game strategies tonight. Dee Gordon had three hits on the night including a blazing fast triple. Matt Kemp doubled in two runs, and Justin Turner had two hits and was on base three times. A.J. Ellis even got in on the action and had a RBI double in the eighth. Heck, even Dan Haren picked himself up a RBI with a single to help his own cause.
The Dodgers had a 26th man on the field tonight, and that was the awful New York defense. The Mets committed three errors, two of which came from the bumbling glove of Wilmer Flores. The Mets were very gracious in their lackadaisical fielding, and the Dodgers and fans thank them wholeheartedly.
Dodgers 6 11 1
Mets 2 6 3
WP- Haren (11-10)
LP- Niese (7-9)
HR- Granderson (16)
Three pitches. Three pitches in and Dan Haren proceeds to serve up a homerun to Curtis Granderson, and it’s 1-0 New York before I can even fire up my laptop. Haren settles down to retire Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Lucas Duda on three fly outs.
Once again the Dodgers go down 1-2-3 against Niese in the bottom of the second.
Dan Haren strikes out the side in the top of the third! Wilmer Flores, Jon Niese and Curtis Granderson all go down on strikes versus the veteran righty.
The Dodgers tie things up in the home half of the third. A.J. Ellis draws a lead-off walk. Erisbel Arruebarrena singles cleanly to left field. Dan Haren bunts into a double play. Dee Gordon drives in the run on a RBI single to left field bringing home “Cricket.” Puig lines out to Lagares in center, but the Dodgers even things up 1-1.
Turner can’t handle a ball hit to third by David Wright, and he draws an error in the top of the fourth with one out. The Mets challenge an inning ending double play call. Lucas Duda hit a groundball up along the first base line, and Gonzo threw down to second to Arruebarrena who seemingly got the tag down to get Wright. The 3-6 double play call is upheld, and the curtain comes to a delayed close in the inning.
The Dodgers go down in order once again in the bottom of the fourth.
Haren pitches another nice scoreless inning and only allows a two-out single to Lagares and a warning track fly ball to left off the bat of Flores. That ball was barely held in by Dodger Stadium.
Justin Turner leads off the bottom of the fifth with a double that rolls all the way to the center field wall! A.J. Ellis grounds out, and Turner advances to third on the “sacrifice.” Niese unintentionally intentionally walks Arruebarrena to get to the opposing pitcher Haren who is bunting. The Dodgers attempt a squeeze play, and while Haren misses at the plate Turner is caught in a rundown between third and home. Arruebarrena takes third on the play. Haren then proceeds to single to center field to bring in Arruebarrena! The Dodgers take a 2-1 lead. Gordon follows with a single to center. Puig reaches on a fielding error by Flores who falls down in his attempt to handle the Puig hit ball. The bases are loaded with two outs for Gonzo. Of course the Dodgers fail to cash in the bases loaded opportunity, and Gonzo grounds out to first. The Dodgers still take the lead as we head to the sixth.
Haren is in a stride now, and he sends the Mets down 1-2-3 in the sixth. After the shocking lead-off homerun to Granderson, Haren has looked sharp.
Scott Van Slyke doubles to center with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Turner singles to right field, and that’s the red head’s
second base hit of the night. SVS takes third. All is for naught after A.J. Ellis grounds into the deathly hallows of a double play.
Haren pitches another 1-2-3 inning in the top of the sixth. This is the good Haren that we saw at the beginning of the season.
Arruebarrena strikes out to start off the bottom of the seventh, Haren’s night is done as Darwin Barney comes in to pinch-hit for him, but Barney ends up striking out. Speedy Dee Gordon triples to the right field corner with two outs. That’s Dee’s 11th triple of the season. It’s sure fun to watch him fly around the base path. Puig draws a rare walk. Adrian Gonzalez reaches safely on another error by shortstop Wilmer Flores who throws the ball away past Murphy at first. Gordon scores, and the Dodgers tack on an insurance run. 3-1. That’s going to be all for Jon Niese.
Carlos Torres will come into replace Niese with two outs and runners at second and third. The Dodgers are not done by any means, and Matt Kemp doubles to left field. Puig and Gonzo both come home, and the Dodgers take a comfortable 5-1 lead.
Dan Haren pitched 7 innings and allowed 1 run on 3 hits with 6 strikeouts and no walks on 89 pitches.
Jon Niese pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed 5 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits with 4 strikeouts and 3 walks on 102 pitches.
Brandon League will pick up for Dan Haren in the eighth. Lagares singles with one out. League does get the first two outs with some help from Puig in center who picks off a hard hit line drive by Flores for the second out. Don Mattingly will bring in J.P. Howell to pitch to pinch-hitter Eric Campbell. For some unknown reason Mattingly MUST make a pitching change in a 5-1 game with two outs against a pinch-hitter batting .233? Of course Howell can’t find the strike zone, and he walks said .233 hitter. Then there is the obligatory passed ball by A.J. Ellis with Granderson at the plate. The runners advance to second and third. After going 3-2 to Granderson, Howell gets the call on a borderline pitch to strike him out.
Rafael Montero will pitch the bottom of the eighth for the Metropolitans. Justin Turner gets on base again, this time with a
lead-off walk. With A.J. at bat, Turner steals second base. A.J. doubles in Turner, and the Dodgers lead 6-1! A rare Ellis extra base hit. Arruebarrena strikes out a second time, but that’s just the first out of the inning. Montero will be hooked, and old friend Dana Eveland coming into pitch. Andre Ethier hits a ball hard right at David Wright, but it bounces off his glove. It’s ruled a single for Dre who is still coming to the ballpark everyday hoping his name is in the lineup.
That’s the third error of the game by the Mets. Gordon flies out to center. The Mets commit another error when Lucas Duda drops a pop foul. Puig grounds out to third to end the inning, but there are no shortage of laughs at the expense of the Mets in the inning.
Jamey Wright is in for the top of the ninth in order to try to wrap this one up. Daniel Murphy and David Wright hit consecutive singles to start off the inning on a bad note. Lucas Duda brings in a run with a sacrifice fly, and it’s 6-2. d’Arnaud grounds into the game ending double play, and even Jamey Wright can’t squander this one.
The Dodgers improve to 73-57, and they fend off the Giants who won earlier in the night. The Dodgers remain 3 1/2 games ahead in the West. Zack Greinke will start on Saturday after being pushed back a couple days in order to rest his sore elbow. The Mets will send Jacob deGrom to the mound for Game 2.