Dodgers versus Mets … The Showdown at Citi Field (July 24-26)

The National League Western Division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers continued a long east coast road trip this past weekend in a highly competitive four game series against the New York Mets.

The Dodgers are a team loaded with great position players, a solid offense and two “lights out” superstar starting pitchers, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. For their part, the team from Flushing is offensively-challenged, but their young starting pitchers Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom in particular, seem to be almost unhittable at times.

Graphic via mlb

Game one in the four-game series took place Thursday night. Clayton Kershaw, a three time winner of the National League Cy Young Award and a hurler the Mets have never beaten took the mound for the visitors. Ageless Bartolo Colon threw balls and strikes for the home team.

Both pitchers performed well, but Kershaw was better than the 42-year old Colon. He held the Mets hitless for six innings and completed a nine inning 3-hit shutout. The final score was 3-0 as the Dodgers scored early on a home run by Mets killer Jimmy Rollins and tacked on two ninth inning runs off the home team’s bullpen.

The Friday night game went to Los Angeles, as well by a score of 7-2. Left Hander Jonathon Niese started for the Mets and was sent “to the showers” after only three ineffective innings. He gave up six runs. The Mets bullpen held the Dodgers to a single run over the final six innings, but the Mets could muster only a little offense, scoring just two runs.

The game played on Saturday turned out to be “a walk in the park” for the New Yorkers and their run-starved fans. Rookie pitcher Zach Lee started the game for the Dodgers and he woke up the previously dormant Mets bats. The Mets clubbed four home runs, two by their slumping slugger Lucas Duda and one by newcomer-to-the-team Kelly Johnson who was traded to the Mets the day before by the Atlanta Braves.

Graphic via nypost

Michael Conforto, the rookie call-up playing in only his second game produced a four hit game as did Kirk Nieuwenhuis, an outfielder cut by the Mets last month and then reclaimed. Matt Harvey cruised in this game as the Mets pounded the California club by a final score of 15-2.

The Sunday afternoon finale proved to be the best game of the weekend series. The two best pitchers in the National League, Zach Greinke for the Dodgers and Jacob deGrom for the Mets squared off against each other.

Greinke’s scoreless inning streak ended at 45.2 innings in the bottom of the third as the Mets scored an unearned run to make the score 1-0. The home team scored a second run a couple of innings later when their rookie outfielder, Michael Conforto, got hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Mets closer, Jeurys Familia could not shut out the visitors in the ninth inning. They scored two runs to tie the game, robbing deGrom of a much-deserved win.

When the Dodgers failed to score in the 10th inning, the Mets came up with a chance to win. With two runners on base and one out, recent arrival (with Kelly Johnson) Jose Uribe slammed a two strike pitch off the left centerfield wall driving home Curtis Granderson with the game-winning run.

Greinke and deGrom had pitched brilliantly, but neither figured in the final outcome. In the end, these two solid teams ended up splitting the four games.

Graphic via hansgutknecht

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