How the Mets/Dodgers Series Might Have Been Different

The Dodgers swept the Mets in a three-game set in Chavez Ravine. But they didn’t blow the Mets away.

This isn’t meant to be a sugar-coating – the Mets don’t have the talent to match up with the Dodgers. But a lucky break here or there combined with a healthy David Wright or Wilmer Flores in the lineup could have resulted in a win or two.

In game one, the Mets were down 3-2 in the seventh. They had the bases loaded and Juan Lagares at the plate. On a 2-0 pitch, Lagares clearly held his swing, but was ruled to have gone around by first base umpire Jeff Kellogg. Later in the at-bat, Lagares took a pitch that appeared to be outside, but was rung up by home plate umpire Chad Fairchild. Instead of walking in the tying run, Lagares was struck out, and the bases remained loaded with two outs. Daniel Murphy hit the ball hard in the gap, but right fielder Yasiel Puig ran it down for the third out.

If Lagares walks, Murphy’s long fly gives the Mets the lead. Of course, he may have been pitched to differently in that situation, so he may have never hit that long fly ball. Nick Punto may or may not have hit a home run to tie the game in the subsequent half-inning, and the Nazis may have overrun Europe and Abraham Lincoln may never have been assassinated. Now we’re starting to get into quantum mechanics and string theory.

Game two was simply a matter of Hyun-Jin Ryu out-dueling Matt Harvey, who didn’t have his best command.

Game three was a heartbreaker. I stayed with the MLB At Bat app until there was one out and one on in the bottom of the ninth, then I fell asleep (this was even a late series for those of us in the mountain time zone). When I woke up, I had a nagging feeling that the Mets had blown it. And they did. The bullpen has been very good since May, but without their closer, the injured Bobby Parnell, they’re bound to blow a few games in the ninth, especially to a team like Los Angeles.

They might have scored another run, which would have kept the Mets in front in the ninth (again, we’re talking alternate timelines here) had Marlon Byrd not been thrown out by Puig in the first.

As a fan of an opposing team, I’m really starting to hate Yasiel Puig. He’s arrogant and flashy, but what I hate the most about him is that he can back it up.

Byrd got a good read on the soft liner to right. He would have been safe against anyone else. But Puig, while on the run and slightly off-balance, fired a seed to third base on a fly and nailed Marlon. It was beyond impressive.

The Mets stayed with the Dodgers in each game, but just didn’t have enough talent, particularly in their lineup, to finish the job. Without Wright, the Mets lineup is very thin. They even missed the injured Flores, who’s already been a key contributor in his first week and a half in the big leagues.

The point is, the Mets were in every game against a team that has a $220 million dollar payroll and has only lost 8 times since mid-June.

This series doesn’t change my observation that the Mets are evolving toward something positive. If they get swept by the Padres, then I’ll be worried.

Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.
  1. Steven A August 15, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    I hope Sandy is being very deliberate in his observations of Ike Davis. To me, notwithstanding his OBP, he is not doing what he is supposed to do, which is drive in runs, and his presence in the lineup drastically changes the offensive potential of the team. Hopefully, Sandy does not have to wait until the end of September to make that conclusions. I would say that starting next weekend, call up Duda and see what he can do over a 100 plate appearance stretch. Not that Duda is the answer, but we need something as a backup if we cannot acquire a proven first baseman in the off season.
  2. DaveSchneck August 15, 2013 at 12:31 pm
    You know what they say about the queen…if she had a pair she’d be king. The thing I find remarkable is that Collins has been taking heat about mishandling
    Flores by allowing him to finish a game that he tweaked his ankle, but not much about leaving in Hawkins last night after he took a direct hit and said it felt like his balls were in his throat when he lifted his leg to throw. Regardless of the outcome, how can he possibly defend that? The guy could barely walk after the game. Unreal.
  3. Joe August 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm
    Mets faced a steamroller but various things made it easier for them to be flattened, including (sorry if some think this is whining) a couple of very dubious ump calls.

    The Mets really should have won a game in the series. At least, made them sweat a tad more. Nice to look at the glass half full here, but reason to be a bit annoyed at the effort here. Given all that occurred, I guess, there is something of an up side.

    LH should be sentenced to doing “wear a cup” PSAs.

  4. DanB August 15, 2013 at 1:07 pm
    One of the differences between the Mets and the Dodgers is that when one of their starters gets hurt, they have the money and talent to get another player. Mets are paper thin and need perfect health to compete. They are a 10 under .500 team. End of discussion. To be better, they need better players.
  5. Izzy August 15, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    Why not do the whiny if if if lines for LA…. There big man where is Kemp???Hmmm out of action… Hmm, where is Hanley he played one game of three because he was hurt. The lines about if so and so was healthy is really the extreme in loser mentality. Guess what Paul Fiesta. Check the DLs. EVERYBODY HAS HURT GUYS. Losers whine about it, winners try their best to overcome it. And of course you hate Puig. He ain’t a good little boy. He ain’t a zombiue like the lord Alderson and his coolie Collins demand from their kids. Puig would be sent down if he were a Met because of the mentality that you and Alderson adhere to. zombie like players only. Be good little boys or we will beg the other team to hurt you. But you get an for the whiniest post of the season. Keep up the work, it fits the losers mentality of the Aldersonistas,
    • Paul Festa August 15, 2013 at 6:01 pm
      Congratulations, you managed to miss every single point I was trying to make.

      And what is a zombiue? Is that anything like drambuie?

    • TexasGusCC August 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm
      LOL, I think this is the first time that I see your point! Puig would still be in AA.
  6. Sidd Finch August 16, 2013 at 1:15 am
    The Mets performance was also aided by not having to face the Dodgers two aces-Kershaw and Greinke in the series.
  7. Dan42 August 16, 2013 at 5:38 am
    Don’t think that Flores will make any difference, unless he replaces Ike in the line up, with Satin playing FB. Don’t understand why they brought Ike back up before he was fixed, especially the way Satin was hitting. Young shouldn’t be playing every day, it made sense when he was hot, at this point it makes no sense to run him out there every day, especially against RHP.

    I would think that Byrd, Murphy, and even Buck should have been traded for decent value before the deadline, won’t happen now since current seat fannies are more important than anything else until at least 2015.