LOS ANGELES -- The goal at the outset of any series, even against a team now nine games below .500 such as New York Mets, is to simply come out ahead. Obviously, it’s best to get the sweep, and I imagine the Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t arrive at Chavez Ravine collectively content to rest on their laurels. Nobody enjoys being on the business end of a lopsided loss, and the Blue got handed a lulu.
But at the end of the day, they’ve maintained a healthy lead in the division despite a slew of recent injuries, and are getting progressively healthier. All things considered, life could be much worse.
How it happened: After a promising three-up, three-down first inning for starter Kevin Correia, the floodgates opened quickly, and the metaphorical water escaping could have capsized Noah’s Ark. Correia was hit hard and often to the tune of seven hits, which doesn’t sound like much, until you consider he lasted only three innings and three of those seven hits left the yard and Lucas Duda’s homer looked like it was shot from a cannon into right field. Coors Field was impressed by that dinger.
To be fair, some spotty fielding also hurt Correia, and only five of his seven runs allowed were earned. But again, that whole “dude was only on the mound for three innings” thing. For all intents and purposes, the righty threw batting practice for New York, and put his team in a deep hole from Jump Street.
Hits: Despite being 41, Bartolo Colon continues to chug along. He rendered the Dodgers largely helpless, but Adrian Gonzalez clearly didn’t get the memo that Colon was a riddle to solve. Gonzalez notched three hits in as many at-bats against the big righty. Two went for extra bases, and the single sent Dee Gordon across the plate.
Matt Kemp capitalized on Gonzalez’s first-inning double and drove in the first baseman to create an early, if ultimately fleeting, lead.
Carlos Frias can never really anticipate entering a game, much less as early as the fourth inning, to spell the shellacked Correia. The middle reliever was undoubtedly surprised to hear his number called so early, but answered the bell in mostly strong fashion. His tired (and incomplete) fourth inning of work clearly reflected one too many, but on the whole, he did a nice job.
Misses: Hanley Ramirez’s return meant, in theory, two things: more pop for an inconsistent Dodgers offense, and a left side of the field more defensively vulnerable. Take a wild guess which hypothesis came to fruition.
With men on first and second and no outs, Kemp grounded into what should have been a double play. Except it wasn’t. Suddenly, Yasiel Puig opted to round third and try to score. Maybe he forgot how many outs the Dodgers had. Maybe he was aggressively trying to cut a deep deficit. What’s for certain, however, is Puig had virtually no chance of actually being safe. Thus, the Mets’ first triple play since May 19, 2010.
Scott Van Slyke stumbled and landed on his butt while fielding Juan Lagares’ seventh-inning sacrifice fly. Who knows whether he could have otherwise gunned down Daniel Murphy, and in the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if the Dodgers lose by seven or eight? But Van Slyke looked decidedly annoyed by the mishap.
Stat of the game: 1,248 feet, otherwise known as the combined estimated distances Correia’s three allowed home runs traveled. For those doing the math at home, that’s a lotta ball flight. Although if you’re gonna get touched up, might as well go big.
What’s next: A day of rest, followed by a three-game set in Arizona against the Diamondbacks. Roberto Hernandez will open the series for the Dodgers, and he’s slated to match up against Trevor Cahill.