I've talked about before how when the Dodgers win games, it's usually because of small ball. For one night, it was nice to see them put it out of the park.
The Dodgers rode the home runs of Rafael Furcal, Blake DeWitt, and Matt Kemp en route to a 5-1 win over the New York Mets. The combination of the long ball and solid pitching was more than enough to put the Mets away.
First things first, Chad Billingsley has figured out how to avoid the bad innings that plagued him to start the year. While he wasn't picture perfect, he got the big outs when he needed them in going 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 K. Joe Torre wanted him to go 7, but a leadoff walk to the putrid Luis Castillo was more than enough reason to pull the plug. The strikeouts were down, but so were the runs, which is the important thing at the end of the day. The 1st inning alone was enough to show how nasty he can be by forcing Jose Reyes to pop out to 3rd and K'ing Ryan Church and David Wright swinging.
Oliver Perez was the opposing starter, and he really didn't look to have anything going. Furcal's homer was on an 0-2 count with a pitch right down the middle. The Dodgers only had 7 hits, but a surprising homer by DeWitt and then the 2-run shot to right by Kemp was plenty of scoring on this night.
The other main contributors were Juan Pierre and Russell Martin. Pierre was again in the #2 hole, and was 1-3, 2 R, BB, SB. Martin was 2-3, RBI, SB. The bullpen of Joe Beimel, Jonathan Broxton, and Takashi Saito pitched 3 hitless innings, K'ing 4. Great stuff all around.
Even though it's only 1 game, I've gotta be honest here - the Mets just do not impress me much. They're certainly not awful, but at 16-14, I thought they'd be better. It seems to me that the key to beating them is by keeping Jose Reyes and David Wright off base. Carlos Beltran is hitting a measly .221, and Moises Alou and Carlos Delgado are shells of their former selves. That organization will have plenty of decisions to make if they miss the playoffs again, and at this rate, I think that's very possible with the Phillies and the Braves lurking.
Both teams are back in action Tuesday night with Hiroki Kuroda getting the ball. He hasn't won a game since... well, his 1st start. But, a 3.82 ERA and 1.27 WHIP shows that he deserves better fate. Hopefully it'll be win #2 tonight.