Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Dodgers 3
By Matt Ehalt
WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets rallied to keep Matt Harvey from recording his first loss. An inning later, Jordany Valdespin gave the Mets a grand win.
The Mets rallied in the ninth inning and Valdespin hit a walk-off grand slam in the 10th to give the Mets a 7-3 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday night at Citi Field. Harvey, who gave up three runs in six innings, would have been the losing pitcher if not for a two-out RBI single by David Wright that tied the game at 3-3 in the ninth.
Valdespin's walk-off grand slam was the first by a Met since 1991.
THE 10TH: John Buck singled and Ike Davis walked. Marlon Byrd advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt and Lucas Duda was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. Valdespin then cleared the bases.
THE STATS: For the first time all season, Harvey did not last seven innings, and the three runs he surrendered matched his total from his first four starts of the year. The four hits he yielded also matched a season high. Harvey pitched a fantastic game, but Matt Kemp's two-run homer changed his whole night. He threw only 90 pitches, but the team had to pinch hit for him during the sixth.
FALLING BEHIND: One of Harvey's best attributes is his ability to get ahead of hitters. He threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of 23 batters. Kemp, though, was the only batter Harvey fell behind 2-0 during the game. His next pitch, a 95 mph heater, caught too much of the plate and Kemp hit it into the stands to make it 3-1. It was originally ruled a triple before a review ruled it a homer.
HELP YOURSELF: With the Mets trailing 1-0 in the fifth, Harvey jump-started the offense with a double to right field. He came around to score on Ruben Tejada's single. This inning, however, did consume a lot of time, perhaps knocking Harvey a little out of his rhythm as the Dodgers netted a pair in the next inning. Harvey, of course, also had to run the bases that inning.
MISSED CHANCES: The Mets were an abysmal 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position. They had plenty of opportunities to win the game in the first nine innings but consistently came up empty in their attempts.
LAGARES STARTS: Outfielder Juan Lagares made his first career start in center field Wednesday and went 0-for-2 with a walk. He was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning with the Mets down 3-2 and the tying run at third with two outs.
UP NEXT: The Mets will send Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 7.07 ERA) to the hill Thursday looking to win the series. The Dodgers counter with Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-1, 4.01) at 1:10 p.m.