Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dodgers take full advantage of bumbling Mets

Being a Mets fan has got to be tough.

I live in New York, and while it's mostly Yankees and Red Sox dominating the talk, there are still those who show some Mets love.  And after watching how pathetic their defense looked on Friday night, I can't help but feel sorry for them.

Kind of like how people feel sorry for me being a Raiders fan.  But I digress.

The Mets committed three errors, and pretty much handed the Dodgers chance after chance.  A three-run seventh, with thanks to a huge throwing error by Wilmer Flores, broke the game open, as the Dodgers rolled 6-2.  The Giants rolled as well, ending the Nationals 10-game winning streak, so the lead in the NL West remains 3 1/2.

In case any of you wondered why Don Mattingly was so incensed at his defense earlier in the season, this game should show why it's so important.  With the Mets in town, it was a reminder about the last time the Dodgers were in New York, and that was when Matt Kemp put on such an awful display in center, he was booted out of there.

In this game, poor little Flores made one too many errors.  The first one came in the fifth on a Yasiel Puig grounder, which was booted by Flores, then he flat out fell on his face.  The loaded the bases, so naturally that meant Adrian Gonzalez easily grounded to first to end the inning.

The next error was costly, as Gonzalez grounded one to Flores with two on and two out in the seventh.  Considering Gonzalez is about the slowest human alive, that should've ended the inning and kept it a 2-1 game.  But, the throw was way too low, a run scored, and Kemp's two-run double then made it 5-1.  Game over.

The Mets are sixth in the National League with a .985 fielding %, so it's not like they do this a lot.  It just shows how little a margin of error they have.  The Dodgers are ninth at .984, but that's an improvement over earlier in the season.  Making some adjustments in the outfield has helped with Puig in center and Kemp in right.  Plus, Hanley Ramirez being hurt has given more playing time to Miguel Rojas and Errisbel Arruebarrena, who have slick gloves.

The bottom line is that a Major League team should be able to take care of the little things, something the Mets obviously didn't do on Friday.  And for that, Mets fans, I sympathize with you.  That's gotta be rough!

Other thoughts from the game:

* If you thought Dan Haren would last seven innings and pitch great after surrendering a leadoff homer to Curtis Granderson, then I probably would call you a liar.  But he did, as he gave up only two more hits the rest of the way, striking out six, and not walking anyone.  His pitches had great movement on them, and he just looked to be in total control.  Good for him.

* The eighth inning again was not an easy ride, though the Dodgers did escape unharmed.  Brandon League got a couple of outs and gave up one hit.  J.P. Howell has great numbers on the season, but lately has been way too wild.  He walked one, gave up a passed ball, then struck out Granderson looking on a very favorable call.  I guess you could call him "wildly effective."  We'll go with that.

* Good to see Dee Gordon get three hits in the leadoff spot, as he struggled lately.  Also, Justin Turner continued his solid play at third with two hits, including a double, and a stolen base.

* I love watching Arruebarrena throw.  So smooth and in control.  It seriously looks effortless.  If that guy can learn to at least hold his own at the plate, he'll be playing a long time.

* Give A.J. Ellis credit for how he played late in the game.  He took a pitch from Howell right off of his right thigh in the seventh, which obviously hurt.  He then stepped right up the next inning and stroked an RBI double.  He hasn't done much this year, but no one can say he isn't tough.

Saturday will be a big day for the Dodgers.  Zack Greinke will take the mound, as he admittedly has a creaky elbow.  I'll give the Dodgers the benefit of the doubt that they would never start him if they thought it was serious.  I'd look for someone like Carlos Frias to be ready to go in long relief if Greinke can't give them much.  This will be interesting to watch.

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