Recap: Florescruciating defense and hitting to match

Jeffrey Litt
August 23, 2014
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Four total errors, including two by Wilmer Flores and general offensive ineptitude after the third pitch of the game doomed the Mets as the Dodgers won the first game of the series 6-2.

Jonathan Niese was reasonably effective, striking out four and walking three, however his outing was largely wasted by sloppy defensive play and a lackluster offensive performance by the Mets. Niese was given an early lead as Curtis Granderson took the third pitch of the game deep to give the Mets a 1-0 lead to star the game. Unfortunately this is the only lead the Mets would enjoy this evening.

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After Granderson's home run in the first inning, the game remained quiet until the third. A third-inning walk to A.J. Ellis proved costly, as Erisbel Arrubarrena singled, putting runners on first and second, bringing up the pitcher. Dan Haren then bunted into a double play, but allowed Erisbel Arrubarrena to advance to third in the process. The hot-hitting Dee Gordon then singled to drive in Arrubarrena, tying the game at one apiece

The Dodgers struck again in the 5th inning, starting off with a double from former Met Justin Turner, bringing his average up to a scorching 0.367 in August. A.J. Ellis then grounded out, allowing Turner to advance to third on the play. Jonathan Niese issued a walk to Arrubarrena to put runners at the corners. The Dodgers then attempted a suicide squeeze with Dan Haren at the plate. In a stroke of luck for the Mets, Haren missed the bunt causing Justin Turner to be caught in a rundown, eventually leading to him being erased from the basepaths, but allowing Arrubarrena to advance to third in the process. The Mets luck did not last long, as a seeing-eye single by Haren past a diving Daniel Murphy scored the go ahead run for the Dodgers, making the score 2-1. Dee Gordon followed the miscue with a single, putting runners on first and second. Yasiel Puig hit what should have been a routine ground ball to Wilmer Flores, however, Flores booted the play while falling rather unceremoniously on his face in the process and all baserunners were safe. Thankfully, with the bases loaded, Niese induced a groundball from Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning without further damage.

The Dodgers threatened again in the sixth inning, with Van Slyke legging out a rare double in defiance to the arm of Juan Lagares. Replays showed that Van Slyke may have been out but because Collins had used his challenge unsuccessfully earlier in the game on a call at second base involving David Wright they could not argue the decision. Another single by ex-Met Justin Turner put runners at the corners, however a double play ball from Murphy to Flores to Duda ended the threat.

In the bottom of the 7th, the Dodgers further extended their lead. The scoring rally began with a Dee Gordon triple. Yasiel Puig then walked to put runners on the corners. Adrian Gonzalez then hit a ground ball to Wilmer Flores, which should have resulted in an easy out, however he committed a throwing error, allowing Gordon to score and Puig to reach third safely, while putting runners on the corners. This chased Jonathan Niese from the game with a final line of 8 hits, 5 runs, 2 earned, 3 walks and 4 strikeouts. Carlos Torres was then rudely greeted by Matt Kemp, who promptly hit a two run triple to put the game thoroughly out of reach at 5-1.

The Dodgers would tack on one more run in the 8th inning. With Rafael Motero pitching, Justin Turner walked and then promptly stole second base. A.J. Ellis then drove him home with a well struck double to give the Dodgers their 6th and final run, which was more than enough to put away the quiet Mets bats this evening.

Daniel Murphy and David Wright singled in the 9th to give the Mets their only real threat of the day after the first inning, and a sacrifice fly by Lucas Duda drove in Murphy to bring the score to 6-2, but a double play ball by Travis d'Arnaud ended the game in short order.

The Mets will look even the score tomorrow when Jacob deGrom faces Zack Greinke

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Win Probability Added

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Big winners:Curtis Granderson, 5.9% WPA; Juan Lagares, 2.5% WPA
Big losers:Lucas Duda, -11.4% WPA; Jonathan Niese -13.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Curtis Granderson solo home run, 38.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Dan Haren go-ahead single, +15.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -20.0%
Total batter WPA:-30.0%
GWRBI!: Adrian Gonzalez reaches on error, Dee Gordon scores in the 7th

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