The implosion started in the 7th inning, as the beleaguered Mets relief staff gave up five runs over two innings to allow Mark Ellis and the Dodgers a 7-2 series-opening victory.
The Bad Stuff:
- This ballgame was trouble right from the start, as Jonathon Niese walked the bases loaded in the 2nd inning. The benefit of a double play allowed him to escape with just one run against, but Niese would be out of the game in the next frame after Mark Ellis's line drive ricocheted off his right leg. X-rays came back negative, revealing only a bruise, so things seem to be fine there (for now...).
- Six innings would prove to be too much heavy lifting for the worst bullpen in the National League.
- Newly-promoted lefty Robert Carson gave up the tying home run to Ellis in the 5th.
- Ellis struck again in the 7th, this time against Brandon Lyon, lacing a two-out homer of the three-run variety over the sloped corner of the left field wall to make it 5-2.
- Another Ellis, A.J. Ellis, brought the nail in the coffin in the 8th with a two-run double to provide the final margin.
- New York got two runs off Clayton Kershaw in the bottom of the 3rd. L.A.'s ace temporarily unraveled, starting with a two-out walk to Carson, who as a relief pitcher was making his first-career MLB at-bat (his OBP as of now stands at an impressive 1.000). After Ruben Tejada fought for a signature full count walk, Daniel Murphy pounced on a hanging slider for an RBI single up the middle. David Wright followed with a line drive single of his own to score the then-go-ahead run.
- Tejada and Murphy both had Web Gems in the field, with Ruben soaring high to snag a Jerry Hairston line drive in the 3rd (#1 on ESPN's segment) and Daniel making a nice jump throw to rob A.J. Ellis of a base hit in the 4th (#4 on ESPN's segment).
Well, the bullpen sucks (5.52 ERA collectively), but we knew that already.
Initial news is good for Jonathon Niese, but knowing the state of the Mets medical staff, any sort of misdiagnosis is not out of the question. If you'll recall, it was just a knee bruise for Ike Davis as well.
Remember two years ago when we couldn't put Daniel Murphy anywhere in the field? Not so much anymore. It was just a matter of finding a place for Murph and making him stick to it, and after a full year of work at second base, he not only looks serviceable, he is exceeding expectations as a fielder. Now that he has a glove to match his fantastic bat, it all but guarantees him a place in the Mets' future, and maybe even an All-Star appearance this season.
The boys had a rough go of it tonight, but the beauty of baseball is that there's always another game. And the next one is the latest installment of The Matt Harvey Show. Whoa baby.