New York Mets: A.J. Ellis

Series preview: Mets vs. Dodgers

May, 18, 2014
May 18
8:04
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke at Citi Field.
METS (20-23, fourth place/NL East) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (23-22, third place/NL West)

Tuesday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (1-1, 2.38), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Jacob deGrom (0-1, 1.29) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-2, 3.00), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-3, 2.54) vs. RHP Zack Greinke (7-1, 2.03), 7:10 p.m. ET

Dodgers short hops

Josh Beckett on Tuesday earned his first win since Sept. 30, 2012. He had been 0-6 in 14 starts. Beckett did not pitch after mid-May last season and ultimately underwent surgery to remove a rib. That procedure attempted to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome -- a pinched nerve affecting his right arm. For the season, the 34-year-old Beckett leads the L.A. rotation in WHIP (1.056) and hits per nine innings (6.3). Beckett is throwing his fastball a career-low 35.5 percent of the time. He now throws a curveball a career-high 30.1 percent.

Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched a four-inning simulated game Friday and will reenter the rotation Wednesday, officially pushing originally listed starter Paul Maholm to the bullpen. That also could push reliever Chris Withrow to the minors despite a 2.77 ERA, because Withrow is not out of options. Ryu landed on the DL with left-shoulder inflammation.

Maholm (1-4, 5.40 ERA) enters the series off a start against the Miami Marlins in which he allowed 10 runs (five earned) on 11 hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. Reed Johnson homered against him on a 62 mph curveball, the slowest pitch resulting in a long ball in the majors since Jose Bautista sent a 61.7 mph offering also from Maholm over the outfield wall on May 28, 2013, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Maholm made three relief appearances in March/April, including during the club’s season-opening trip to Australia.


Darron Cummings/Associated PressEx-Met Justin Turner will be at Citi Field with the Dodgers on Tuesday.


Justin Turner, a surprise non-tender by the Mets on Dec. 2, returns to Citi Field as a visitor. Turner (.230, 0 HR, 5 RBIs in 74 at-bats) started five times at third base in a six-game stretch through Wednesday with Juan Uribe dealing with a mild hamstring strain.

• Dodgers outfielders Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig have combined to hit .354 (79-for-223) with 15 doubles, 10 homers and 40 RBIs in May.

Puig lost a pair of lengthy streaks Sunday by going 0-for-3 and getting hit by a pitch on the back of the leg in his final plate appearance. He had produced an RBI in eight straight games, matching the franchise record previously accomplished four times, most recently by Adrian Beltre in 2004. He also lost a career-high 16-game hitting streak. Showing more strike-zone discipline than a year ago, Puig ranks seventh in the NL in batting average (.322) and tied for second in RBIs (35). The story about Puig’s defection from Cuba, which includes black-market smugglers, was chronicled in April in ESPN The Magazine.

Ethier largely has been the odd man out. With Kemp resting Sunday, Ethier started for only the third time in L.A.’s past 10 games.

Zack Greinke has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 21 straight starts. That matches Roger Clemens (1990-91) for the longest streak in the majors since earned runs became an official stat in 1913, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Greinke ranks first in the NL in wins (seven) and third in ERA (2.03), trailing only Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto (1.25) and Chicago’s Jeff Samardzija (1.62). Greinke has thrown six different types of pitches this season.

• Second baseman Dee Gordon leads the majors with 25 steals. That’s 10 ahead of runner-up Eric Young Jr.

• Backup catcher Drew Butera, the son of former major-league catcher Sal Butera, originally was a Mets farmhand. Two years after he was drafted in the fifth round, Butera was sent to the Minnesota Twins with Dustin Martin on July 30, 2007 for Luis Castillo.

No. 1 catcher A.J. Ellis returned from the disabled list Wednesday after missing 34 games with a left-knee injury that resulted in April 8 arthroscopic surgery. Miguel Olivo was dispatched to Triple-A Albuquerque with Ellis’ activation.

Butera, incidentally, has pitched twice for the Dodgers since Wednesday in lopsided losses. He tossed a 1-2-3 inning, topped out at 94 mph and capped the initial appearance with a strikeout of Miami’s Marcell Ozuna. Three days later at Arizona, Butera surrendered a double and then two-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth inning of an 18-7 loss. Butera subsequently recorded two outs, including an inning-ending strikeout of Martin Prado.

Adrian Gonzalez’s 10 homers are tied for third the NL, trailing only Troy Tulowitzki (13) and Giancarlo Stanton (12).

Kenley Jansen has 12 saves in 14 chances and has struck out 31 batters in 18 2/3 innings.

Brian Wilson, who looked so dominant in the season opener in Australia, has mightily struggled. Wilson, 32, has a 9.45 ERA and has allowed 18 hits and 13 walks (one intentional) in 13 1/3 innings. He already has allowed three homers -- a total he has not exceeded since serving up seven long balls in 62 1/3 innings in 2008 as San Francisco Giants closer.

Clayton Kershaw has made two starts since returning from the DL, a trip required because of a strained muscle in his upper back. He’d like to forget the latter outing. Kershaw surrendered seven runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. He allowed four extra-base hits in the second inning alone -- matching the combined total from his three previous starts this season. Kershaw came into the outing with a 25-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, but issued two free passes in a seven-run second inning.

Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 4, Mets 2

August, 14, 2013
8/14/13
12:50
AM ET
LOS ANGELES -- Matt Harvey looked mortal against baseball’s hottest team.

Harvey surrendered four runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings and the Mets lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-2, Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.


Mark J. Terrill/Associated PressMatt Harvey allowed four runs in six innings.


L.A., which has won the first two games of the series, is now unbeaten in 16 straight series (12-0-4). The Dodgers are 39-8 since June 22.

Harvey wriggled free of danger for a while, benefiting from double plays in the second, third and fourth innings. He coaxed Yasiel Puig into an inning-ending twin-killing in the final of those frames, on a 3-0 count with two Dodgers on base.

Harvey’s good fortune ran out. He surrendered a two-run double to Nick Punto in the fifth and a two-run single to A.J. Ellis an inning later as the Dodgers took a 4-1 lead.

Harvey’s final line: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. He threw 95 pitches (61 strikes). His ERA climbed to 2.23.

The four runs allowed by Harvey (9-4) were one shy of matching his season high. He was charged with five runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 3. That also marked the last time Harvey had a multi-walk game. The three strikeouts matched Harvey’s career low.

The Mets’ lone run against Hyun-Jin Ryu came in the first inning, on a one-out homer by Juan Lagares into the left-field corner. John Buck had a ninth-inning RBI single.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (8-8, 3.82 ERA) opposes ex-Met Chris Capuano (4-6, 4.50) in the 10:10 p.m. ET series finale Wednesday. Ike Davis is due to start against a southpaw for the first time since returning from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Series preview: Mets at Dodgers

August, 12, 2013
8/12/13
12:26
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) Ricky Nolasco, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chris Capuano at Dodger Stadium.
METS (54-61, third place/NL East) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (67-50, first place/NL West)

Monday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 1.96) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (8-9, 3.65), 10:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (9-3, 2.09) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-3, 2.99), 10:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (8-8, 3.82) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (4-6, 4.50), 10:10 p.m. ET

Dodgers short hops

• The Dodgers are 37-8 since June 22, matching the best 45-game stretch in franchise history. They also posted that record in 1899 and 1953.

The turnaround spared manager Don Mattingly getting fired, he said last week while revealing a late-May meeting with team president Stan Kasten. The Dodgers were a season-low 12 games under .500 before their current 45-game surge.

"Stan was really honest. He didn't want to do anything but he said, 'Donnie, at some point I got to do something,'" Mattingly said, as quoted by ESPNLosAngeles.com. "I understood it. I was fine with that. I understand. At some point you need a change of voice, a different voice."

Hanley Ramirez (.359, 11 HR, 37 RBIs) continues to experience pain in his right shoulder a week after diving into the stands during a catch attempt at Wrigley Field. He has not started any of the past seven games. The disabled list is a consideration, although the Dodgers lost some backdating ability when Ramirez was used as a pinch hitter Friday. Nick Punto and Dee Gordon have shared the shortstop duty with Ramirez banged up.


Brian D. Kersey/Getty ImagesYasiel Puig is a leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year.


• First baseman Adrian Gonzalez departed Sunday’s game in the ninth inning with dizziness. Gonzalez leads the Dodgers in homers (16) and RBIs (72).

Ricky Nolasco was acquired from the Miami Marlins on July 6 for Angel Sanchez, Steve Ames and Josh Wall. Nolasco is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in six starts since joining L.A. He has exceeded 5 2/3 innings only once since arriving, in his Dodgers debut at Arizona.

• Cuban defector Yasiel Puig, a 22-year-old rookie, is hitting .441 (15-for-34) with 12 walks in 10 August games. Puig became the first player since Joe DiMaggio in 1936 to have 70 or more hits and 10 homers in his first 50 major league games.

Writes ESPN.com’s Dave Schoenfield: “Puig got two hits in his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 3, then hit two homers the next game, and has been a lightning rod ever since for his play on the field and for his on-field antics that have upset opponents -- a brawl, a bat flip, a confident attitude, a spikes-high slide that Dusty Baker complained about. He plays the game with the flair of someone who escaped Cuba and enjoys displaying his talent for the entire world.”

• Former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson, returning from Tommy John surgery, signed with the Dodgers and is working his way back. He tossed a perfect inning Sunday with Triple-A Albuquerque. He has another minor league appearance scheduled for Tuesday, the day before he is eligible to be activated from the disabled list. The Mets, including pitching coach Dan Warthen, flew to California to watch Wilson during the offseason, and were disappointed Wilson was not further along in his rehab from the elbow surgery at that point.

• Center field Matt Kemp has been sidelined since injuring his left ankle sliding into home plate on June 21. He shagged fly balls and took batting practice Sunday, signaling a return is getting closer.

• Closer Kenley Jansen had retired 27 straight batters -- the equivalent of a perfect game -- before surrendering a single to St. Louis’ David Freese on Thursday. Jansen became the first Dodger to retire 27 straight since Greg Maddux retired 32 straight from Aug. 13-19, 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• Ex-Met Chris Capuano allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Rays on Friday. The southpaw had combined to toss 13 scoreless innings over his previous two starts, against the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs.

• Reliever Carlos Marmol was acquired from the Cubs on July 2 for reliever Matt Guerrier. Marmol made his Dodgers debut 20 days later, after a minor league stint.

A.J. Ellis sees the most pitchers per plate appearance in the NL.

• Third baseman Juan Uribe became the victim of a hidden-ball trick by the Rays when he stepped off third base Saturday.

• L.A. acquired Drew Butera, a former Mets farmhand, from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named and assigned the catcher to Albuquerque.

Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 7, Mets 2

April, 23, 2013
4/23/13
10:46
PM ET
Jonathon Niese and the New York Mets may have dodged a bullet.

Niese departed in the third inning after being struck on the inside of his right ankle with a comebacker off the bat of Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis. X-rays were negative, and Niese is listed as day-to-day with a bruise.

Meanwhile, after knocking out Niese, Ellis finished off the Mets, too. He delivered a game-tying solo homer against Robert Carson in the fifth, then a tie-breaking three-run shot against Brandon Lyon two innings later as the Dodgers beat the Mets, 7-2, Tuesday night at Citi Field.


Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Jon Niese was forced from Tuesday's game in the third inning after being struck in the lower right leg with a comebacker.


If Niese were to miss a start, Collin McHugh would be the most logical option. He is on the 40-man roster, and is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four starts at Triple-A Las Vegas. Zack Wheeler, hoopla aside, walked six in 4 1/3 innings in his last 51s start. Meanwhile, neither Double-A prospect Rafael Montero (3-0, 1.59 ERA) nor newly signed ex-Yankee D.J. Mitchell is on the 40-man roster. Montero doesn’t need to be added to the roster next offseason, either.

CLAYTON’S PLACE: Clayton Kershaw, who typically dominates the Mets, required 111 pitches to navigate five innings. He departed with the score 2-2 and received a no-decision. It marked Kershaw’s shortest outing since Opening Day 2012, when he lasted only three innings against the San Diego Padres.

Kershaw retired the first eight Mets before stumbling against an unlikely batter. Carson -- in his first major league plate appearance, and only the 16th plate appearance of his seven-year pro career -- drew a two-out walk in the third. Kershaw then also walked Ruben Tejada. Daniel Murphy and David Wright followed with consecutive RBI singles as the Mets took a 2-1 lead.

Kershaw is now 5-0 in seven career starts against the Mets. His career ERA against the Amazin’s rose to 1.62.

Kershaw entered the game with the third-best ERA in major league history of any pitcher who had made five-plus starts against the Mets (1.37). That trailed only Doc Medich (0.85) and Mark Prior (1.03).

SUPER SUB: Carson took over for Niese in the third and offered a credible appearance in his longest outing since he was a starter with Double-A Binghamton in 2011.

Carson logged 2 1/3 innings and departed after the solo homer by Ellis.


Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Mark Ellis homered twice against the Mets on Tuesday night.


Carson joined the Mets on Sunday when Aaron Laffey was designated for assignment. When Shaun Marcum is activated for Saturday’s start against the Philadelphia Phillies, it is conceivable Carson sticks around and another reliever -- Josh Edgin (who surrendered a two-run double in the eighth to A.J. Ellis) or seemingly less likely Jeurys Familia -- is demoted.

DEBUTANT: Juan Lagares made his major league debut in center field. He entered in the top of the fifth inning on a double-switch when Carson departed. Lagares led off in the bottom half of that frame and flied out to the track in left field against Kershaw. He finished 1-for-2, singling against left-hander Paco Rodriguez in his seventh for his first major league hit.

WEB GEMS: Tejada, whose six errors have received considerable hype, appears to have turned a corner.

He turned in a pair of highlight-reel plays Tuesday night. Tejada leaped to catch a liner from Andre Ethier to strand two in the top of the third. An inning later, Tejada slid to his left and came up firing to retire Justin Sellers at first base for the second out of the fourth.

WHAT’S NEXT: Matt Harvey bids to become the first Met to earn the win in his first five starts of a season since Pedro Martinez in 2006. The franchise record belongs to Frank Viola, who won his first seven starts in 1990.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, only two Mets have gone 5-0 in April: Pedro in ’06 and Dwight Gooden in 1988.

Harvey opposes left-hander Ted Lilly, who is making his first major league appearance since May 23, 2012. Lilly is returning from labrum surgery on his left shoulder.

Series preview: Mets vs. Dodgers

April, 22, 2013
4/22/13
9:15
AM ET

USA TODAY Sports
The Mets face (l to r) southpaws Clayton Kershaw, Ted Lilly and Hyun-Jin Ryu this week at Citi Field.
METS (9-8, third place/NL East) vs. LOS ANEGELES DODGERS (8-10, fourth place/NL West)

Tuesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-1, 3.80) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-2, 1.88), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 0.93) vs. LHP Ted Lilly (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 7.07) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-1, 4.01), 1:10 p.m. ET

Dodgers short hops

• Los Angeles had eight starting pitchers in spring training, but the surplus is depleted. Aaron Harang was traded to the Colorado Rockies, then flipped to the Seattle Mariners, when L.A. seemed like it had a ton of depth. Zack Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone in the altercation with San Diego’s Carlos Quentin (which devolved into Padres president Tom Garfinkel having to apologize for an insensitive comment.) Fill-in Chris Capuano suffered a strained left calf. And now Chad Billingsley landed on the DL Sunday with elbow pain.

Ted Lilly makes his season debut Wednesday, after three minor league starts during which he allowed 24 hits and 15 runs (13 earned) in 17 innings. Lilly is returning from labrum surgery on his left shoulder. He missed the final 118 games of last season. Lilly was ready out of spring training and was upset when he did not make the Opening Day roster.


Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports
Zack Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone courtesy of Carlos Quentin.


Stephen Fife made his season debut Sunday in Baltimore, plugging another rotation spot.

Clayton Kershaw publicly said he did not want to negotiate a contract extension in-season, but the sides are believed to have continued talking hush-hush beyond Opening Day.

Kershaw became the second-youngest Dodger to reach 1,000 career strikeouts on Wednesday, at 25 years, 29 days. Fernando Valenzuela accomplished that feat at age 24 years, 303 days.

Kershaw enters the Citi Field outing off a loss to San Diego in which he matched a career high by surrendering three homers. Still, Kershaw has been exceptional this season. He is not getting run support. L.A. has scored a combined seven runs in his four starts.

Kershaw is 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA in six career starts against the Mets.

• The Dodgers acquired catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Rockies on April 6 for Harang. The trade brought in a backup for A.J. Ellis that will allow 25-year-old catcher Tim Federowicz to get regular playing time in Triple-A. All three were on the active roster this weekend in Baltimore, but that is expected to change.

Hyun-Jin Ryu was named to seven straight South Korean All-Star teams before joining the majors this season. He is viewed as a No. 3 of 4 starter. The Dodgers paid a $25.7 million posting fee to Ryu’s South Korean club, plus owe him $36 million in salary over six years.

Hanley Ramirez, who is on the disabled list after undergoing right thumb surgery, may return quickly -- by the end of the month -- after initial projections of mid-May. Ramirez suffered the injury in the final game of the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic championship run, while diving awkwardly for a groundball.

L.A. has not announced whether Ramirez will play shortstop or third base when he returns, although the educated guess is shortstop. Both spots having gaping voids. Shortstop Justin Sellers is hitting .174. Third baseman Luis Cruz is hitting .087.

• The Dodgers took on $250 million in payroll in the Aug. 25, 2012 mega-trade with the Boston Red Sox that brought in Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto.

• Cuban defector Yasiel Puig -- who signed for $42 million -- is hitting .333 with three homers and nine RBIs through 48 at-bats with Double-A Chattanooga. The 22-year-old right fielder may eventually make Andre Ethier expendable -- or, perhaps, Matt Kemp … if Kemp continues to struggle. Puig is briefly sidetracked in the Southern League because of a sprained left thumb.

• The struggling Kemp -- who finished second in MVP balloting just two years ago, behind Ryan Braun -- injured his shoulder last August in Colorado and had left surgery for a partially torn labrum in October. He had only one Cactus League homer and has not gone deep this season. Kemp is signed through 2019.

• The Dodgers’ most common batting order:

Crawford, lf
Mark Ellis, 2b
Kemp, cf
Gonzalez, 1b
Ethier, rf
Ellis, c
Cruz, 3b
Sellers, ss

• The Dodgers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 7-4 win Sunday at Baltimore. Kemp, who started the season slowly, went 3-for-5 to lift his average to .235. He produced his sixth RBI.

• Manager Don Mattingly appears on the hot seat. His 2014 option has not been picked up.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Dodgers 0

June, 30, 2012
6/30/12
10:04
PM ET
Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: On June 1, Johan Santana tossed the organization’s first no-hitter. The southpaw closed the month by allowing three hits over eight scoreless innings Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

And with Ike Davis surging back over the Mendoza line with a three-run homer and double, the Mets beat Los Angeles, 5-0.

The victory moved the Mets to within one game of their first-ever four-game series sweep of the Dodgers.

Los Angeles, minus injured sluggers Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, has been shut out five times in its past six games.

Davis’ three-run homer in the sixth against Nathan Eovaldi after an intentional walk to David Wright staked the Mets to a five-run lead. Once the subject of demotion talks, Davis now ranks second on the team in RBIs with 45, trailing only Wright’s 50.

Of Davis’ 11 homers, six have been three-run shots, while another has been a grand slam. He has six homers and 24 RBIs in his past 19 games.

With a 2-for-4 performance, Davis’ average also moved to .203, only its second time over the Mendoza line this season.

Santana is now 5-0 with a 0.50 ERA in five career starts against the Dodgers.

DOUBLE TALK: Before Davis’ three-homer gave the Mets breathing room, the Mets followed the same blueprint twice to produce runs. In the second, Davis doubled, advanced to third on Lucas Duda’s flyout and scored on Daniel Murphy’s sacrifice fly. In the fifth, it was Murphy who doubled, moved to third on a groundout to the right side of the infield by Kirk Nieuwenhuis and scored on a sac fly by Josh Thole for a 2-0 lead.

OFF-BASE: About the only blemish Saturday: Andres Torres’ baserunning. Torres was doubled off first base on Wright’s routine flyout to right field in the first inning. In the third, Torres was picked off first base by catcher A.J. Ellis.

FIELD OF DREAMS: Mets infielders had four stellar fielding plays in a tight game early. Wright barehanded Elian Herrera’s fourth-inning bunt attempt and retired him at first base. Two innings earlier, Murphy ranged to his right to initiate a stellar 4-6-3 double play on Scott Van Slyke. Santana also turned in two fielding gems.

WHAT’S NEXT: Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw stands between the Mets and a four-game sweep. Kershaw (5-4, 2.72 ERA) opposes Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.42) in the ESPN-televised series finale at 8 p.m. ET Sunday. The Mets have not swept a series of any length at Dodger Stadium since taking a two-game set in 1990. Kershaw is 4-0 with a 1.39 ERA in five career starts against the Mets.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 9, Dodgers 0

June, 30, 2012
6/30/12
1:16
AM ET


Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey rebounded from a blemish against the Yankees to toss eight scoreless innings, Daniel Murphy went deep again while matching a career high with five RBIs and Ruben Tejada reached base a career-high five times as the Mets beat Los Angeles, 9-0, Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Dickey might have been flirting with a no-hitter into the late innings had one fly ball been pursued more urgently.

Until A.J. Ellis’ clean single in the seventh, the knuckleballer limited the Dodgers to a lone hit -- a two-out single by opposing pitcher Aaron Harang in the third, on a fly ball to which center fielder Andres Torres reacted slowly. Dickey ultimately allowed three hits, plunked a batter (more later) and issued one walk while striking out 10 during a bounceback outing after surrendering five runs against the Yankees.

Dickey won his career-high 10th straight decision. He became MLB’s first 12-game winner. He reached double digits in strikeouts for the MLB-leading fifth time this season, and sixth time in his career. He went 5-0 with a 0.93 ERA and three complete games in six starts in June (besting his 4-0, 1.83 in May).

Dickey-Harang actually was an appropriate matchup, just as Chris Young-Chris Capuano proved that way in the series opener a night earlier.

Harang is mentioned in Dickey’s memoir. The knuckleballer wrote that whenever he has a bad day, he has “a strange custom: I go on my laptop and surf baseball Web sites until I find somebody who had an even worse day than me.” Harang qualified for one of Dickey’s pick-me-ups, for allowing seven runs in 4 1/3 innings with San Diego at Colorado on May 14, 2011. That same day, Dickey had allowed six runs in 5 1/3 innings at Houston. Dickey found solace that Harang struggled worse.

Friday night, Harang allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and four walks (one intentional) in 5 2/3 innings.

RUBY FRIDAY: Tejada went 4-for-5, was hit by a pitch and scored twice. The hit by pitch seemingly prompted Dickey to respond by plunking Dee Gordon with two out in the sixth, which actually was only L.A’s second baserunner all game at that point.

HAMMER TIME: Murphy’s two-run double capped a three-run fifth that upped the Mets’ lead to 5-0. Two innings later, Murphy launched a three-run homer against right-hander Shawn Tolleson that staked the Mets to an 8-0 lead. It was Murphy’s third homer in three games. He had snapped a 352 at-bat long ball drought Wednesday with a two-homer day at Wrigley Field.

The five RBIs matched Murphy’s career high, which he also produced on May 27, 2009 against the Nationals.

The Mets had grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third on David Wright’s RBI single and Ike Davis’ sacrifice fly. Lucas Duda pushed the lead to 3-0 in the fifth -- ahead of Murphy’s outburst -- with an RBI single that snapped an 0-for-15 drought. Davis went 1-for-4 and is now hitting .198.

WHAT’S NEXT: Johan Santana (5-4, 3.00 ERA) opposes right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (0-4, 4.04) on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.284 7 38 57
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 16
RBIL. Duda 51
RD. Murphy 57
OPSL. Duda .850
WB. Colon 9
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 112