Mets 7, Dodgers 3: Now That’s a Gut Punch

wall_newyork_2013-04-24

This is Josh Wall. He’s about to give up a walkoff grand slam to Jordany Valdespin. As you might imagine, Wall isn’t exactly the most popular man in the room among Dodger fans right now, allowing a hit and a walk before an intentional pass and the game-ending blast. Wall was indeed awful tonight, though it’s funny how soon it’s forgotten that he was absolutely stellar last night and is only on the team right now due to injuries.

Nor, I might add, is Brandon League, for what will show up in the box score as a “blown save”, though mainly it was for the crime of allowing David Wright to crack a game-tying single in the bottom of the ninth. That came with two outs, after a phenomenal play by Jerry Hairston and a decidedly less phenomenal play by Carl Crawford, botching a soft fly to left that turned into a double for Mike Baxter.

Nor again, is Don Mattingly, for… well, you name it. For sticking with Wall instead of bringing in Matt Guerrier or Paco Rodriguez, I suppose, even though each had pitched three of the last four days. (And one, I cannot emphasize enough, is Matt Guerrier.) For not having League intentionally walk Wright, as though any sane manager would put the winning run on base. For not having Kenley Jansen close instead of League, even though that’s hardly news and there’s a very good argument to be made against it. For essentially taking out Andre Ethier in place of Crawford for defensive purposes, which is sensible even though it ended poorly. Or for bothering to bring in a fifth infielder before the grand slam, because why does it matter how many infielders you have when the ball is in the stands? (Seriously. That’s an argument.)

If you think I’m just sort of spitballing at what Dodger fans are thinking, well, feel free to go check my Twitter mentions, because Dodger fans are — how to put this properly — FREAKING THE F OUT right now. This is probably the best way to describe it…

The real truth? There’s no one place to put the blame here. Wall was terrible. League hasn’t been missing bats. Crawford, really, really should have made that catch. J.P. Howell shouldn’t have walked in the first two batters he saw in the sixth, putting Ronald Belisario in a situation where even a standard flyball to center led to an inherited run scoring. The lineup should have managed more than four hits against Matt Harvey and four relievers. It’s a team sport. It’s a team loss. It almost always is.

It’s a shame, because the poor ending overshadowed some good news earlier in the game. What can we say about Ted Lilly other than that he was wonderful, better than we could have ever asked for, striking out seven over five one-run innings. Even when the wheels looked like they were going to completely fall off — like when he loaded the bases in the second, and allowed hits to the first three Mets leading off the fifth — he managed to wriggle out of danger and minimize the damage. For a pitcher who we treated as less of a realistic option and more of an emergency joke, it was a phenomenal performance. Mea culpa.

Even Matt Kemp finally showed some life, driving in all three Dodger runs. After hustling down the line to avoid a double play in the first to allow Mark Ellis to score, Kemp stepped in against Harvey with two out and one on in the middle of the fifth. On a 2-0 count, Kemp crushed one deep to the opposite field, just clearing the fence in right, for his first homer of the season.

No one’s going to remember that, of course. It’s just going to be about how many different places to find blame. I’m not pleased with how this season has gone so far either, friends. But good lord… perspective. Please.

164 comments
baeksu
baeksu

Yahoo fantasy league advice update on Brandon League today: 


Wed, Apr 24

Brandon League blew his first save of 2013 in the Dodgers' extra-innings loss to the Mets on Wednesday.

Advice: League entered the ninth inning with a 3-2 lead, but a leadoff double by Mike Baxter was followed two batters later by David Wright's two-out single. Blown save notwithstanding, League is still a passable closer despite the fact that a better option exists on his own team in Kelvin Herrera. With the money the Dodgers are paying him, League won't be removed from the ninth-inning role due to one rough outing.

Sean Shull
Sean Shull

I think are calling the bullpen too often lately. I remember when we used to be able to put in our starter, run them for seven innings, and put in a single reliever. Not four.

Dang88
Dang88

They just ruled it wasn't a home run 1-7

Lobo
Lobo

Mike, when are we gonna kick off the #AJE2NY campaign?

Vin_Skully
Vin_Skully

Crawford seemed lackadaisical on both of his mis-plays in the field last night. I am not sure why, but it worried me a bit... then I realized that I sounded like a Boston fan chalking it up to him not caring and I went to bed instead. I feel better this morning.

plaza234 (Charter Member of Trade Kemp bandwagon)
plaza234 (Charter Member of Trade Kemp bandwagon)

Mike, you're wrong about not walking David Wright. It was a no-brainer to do it. Just because conventional managers wouldnt doesnt make it any less of a wrong decision.  If I know 1 hit ties the game and 1 out wins the game, and I have a choice of pitching to David Wright or John Buck, I pitch to Buck everytime.

Omer (beercoozie)
Omer (beercoozie)

By the way Trader Joe's Mission St. 2013 Anniversary Ale is delicious.

Vin_Skully
Vin_Skully

@Mike Petriello - At first I only watched how similar Yu's release was for such a wide array of pitches and placements (amazing), but then I noticed Pujols... he seems to have very different angles and positioning on several pitches at least.

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

@Mike Petriello I think this about summarizes that cliche about hitters succeeding "3 out of every 10 times" to be considered good. That's awesome. Thx for sharing!

Professor Towel
Professor Towel

@baeksu fucking Yahoo! fantasy updates... they revealed our secret weapon. Kelvin Herrera was going to take the league by surprise and now the plan is ruined!

Purple Drank
Purple Drank

His brother Elian is also the stronger CF option. Kemp is just as passable. That family just oozes talent.

CrzyP
CrzyP

Oh yeah! Kelvin! I forgot about that fella... :/

baeksu
baeksu

Facts are tricky things.  ;-)

Sean Shull
Sean Shull

Why even bother? We lost anyway, and it looked like it was clearly out. They shouldn't be able to go back on calls.

Dang88
Dang88

A Gon out at the plate

Dang88
Dang88

@Lobo Why would we trade AJ to the Mets?

scottmbarrett
scottmbarrett

@Vin_Skully was there last night. the entire Right field section was chanting "Crawford Sucks" before both of those plays. it was annoying. i almost feel like it got to his head! i think he cares more than anybody out there besides kemp & kershaw. he wants to prove his worth. he should've had that second one for sure. 

Mike Petriello
Mike Petriello moderator

Not wrong, because even if you feel that way - defensible, though I disagree - its unrealistic to expect Mattingly to do it. Almost no big league manager would.

Lobo
Lobo

They didn't, it's a joke

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

@Antonio G You just have to basically forget Mickey Cohen was a real person. At first, I was trying to remember if any of the events in the movie were based on facts. Then I was just like, "fuck it, they're shooting shit up and it's awesome."

DeucesWild
DeucesWild

@Antonio G Gangster Squad was pretty dang good BTW. I will be watching it again soon