Monday, July 6, 2015
Apparently the recipe for success for the Mets is to just play Steven Matz. Although Matz failed to duplicate the offensive exploits he displayed last Sunday, he still managed to drive in one run while shutting out the Dodgers on 2 hits over 6 innings, striking out 8 in the process. That was all well and good, but an even more pleasant sight was seeing the Mets bats break out for 8 runs and 15 hits, as they lit up Mike Bolsinger and a succession of relievers to take the series finale and, if you can believe it, the Series in toto from the Dodgers with a resounding 8-0 victory.
Last Sunday, the Mets scored 7 runs with Matz on the mound and Matz at the plate driving in 4 of the 7 runs. Basically, the game was the Steven Matz show, with the rest of the Mets as the sideshow. The Mets then had a hard time scoring 7 runs over the following week. Matz's second time around was just as good for the Mets as a whole, although it wasn't the Matz show this time. I guess you could say it was the Matz/Flores Hour, because although Matz gets the ink because of his strong pitching, Wilmer Flores also played a key role, banging out 4 hits and driving in 3 runs, capping off a weekend in which he very quietly managed to rake the Dodgers for 10 hits and 5 RBI in 13 at bats over the 3-game series.
Flores started the scoring for the Mets with a 1st inning RBI single, and subsequently drove in runs with a 4th inning infield hit that Kike Hernandez managed to glove, but could not throw the ball from his tush to get an out, and finished out the scoring with an 8th inning RBI double. Curtis Granderson also drove in a 4th inning run, and Juan Lagares drove in a pair when Yasiel Puig had a fit of vanity and did not catch Lagares' fly ball in the 7th, instead letting it drop for a triple. Even Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy had 3 hits apiece. Hell, even Johnny Monell scored 2 runs. Everyone did a little something to back up Matz and Logan Verrett, who pitched the final 3 innings of the game and earned himself a Save in the process.
Still, Matz ruled the day, as he once again tied his opponent in knots in a rather effortless outing. Matz quelled any concern that the success of his initial outing was a result of playing a Reds lineup that wasn't very good. Against a Dodgers lineup that is markedly better than the Reds, Matz raised his game and didn't allow the Dodgers much of anything. 2 hits, 2 walks, and the only issue is that he wasn't quite as economical as he was last week, and only managed to get through 6 innings and 101 pitches before leaving the game.
So, incredibly, the Mets won 2 of 3 in Los Angeles and no matter how you slice it, it's hard to come away from this weekend feeling bad. Now, the Mets go to San Francisco to take on the Giants, who will be coming back home after an 0-6 road trip and a cross-country flight after a Sunday Night game. They'll also have Chris Heston on the mound on Monday Night, so maybe the Mets ought to have a little payback in mind.