The Mets won their second game in a row, defeating the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine by a score of 3 to 2. With the win, they pick up a game on both the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals, and now reside 3.5 games out of first place in the N.L. East.
Bobby Parnell made the most of his first chance to close in 2012, replacing the injured Frank Francisco. Parnell came out overthrowing. When Bobby overthrows, he hangs onto the ball a split-second too long, resulting in a supersonic pitch in the dirt. But he settled down after the first batter, and earned a 1-2-3 save. SNY did a tremendous job showing pitching coach Dan Warthen calling the pitches for Mike Nickeas and Bobby Parnell. Warthen called for mostly the hard stuff, but mixed in the Isringhausenesque knuckle curve a couple of times to change things up. The game ended when PH Bobby Abreu skied out to Scott Hairston in left.
David Wright was the Mets’ offensive hero. He hit an RBI double in the first, then golfed a towering solo home run to left center field in the 4th to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
Chris Young (2-1) tossed 6 1/3 solid innings before being lifted in the seventh for Tim Byrdak. Young allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, walked none and struck out 6. Byrdak came on and struck out the speedy Dee Gordon to get the Mets out of the inning.
Terry Collins gets a lot of heat when he mishandles the bullpen. He desreves a lot of credit for pushing the right buttons tonight. He brought Byrdak in to face 2 lefties in the seventh, Jon Rauch in to neutralize the righties in the eighth, and Parnell in to nail down the game.
Former Met Chris Capuano (9-3) had another solid outing for the Dodgers, giving up 3 runs in 7 innings. Capuano gave up 5 hits and struck out 5, while walking none. Capuano did a great job getting through the Mets’ batting order 3 times, something he struggled with last year.
Jon Rauch was, at last, the beneficiary of good defense. After allowing a leadoff bunt single to the Dodgers’ third bseman Elian Herrera in the eighth, he induced a slow grounder up the middle. Daniel Murphy fielded it it to his right, and smoothly tossed it to Ruben Tejada, who stepped on the second base bag, and threw a strike to Ike Davis to complete the double play. Rauch went on to get the final out of the inning.
Andres Torres has been playing a shallow center field the last few games. Like kiddie-pool shallow. He’s basically been playing the classic softball short center field position. It paid off in the first inning, as he caught a line drive off the bat of Herrera. But it burned the Mets in the fourth when Herrera lined a Young offering over the head of Torres for an RBI triple. That hit brought the Dodgers back from a 2-0 deficit to a tie game.
Torres immediately atoned in the fifth inning with an RBI double down the right field line that scored Mike Nickeas.
That was all the offense the Mets needed as Byrdak, Rauch, and Parnell combined to shut the Dodgers down, and secure the team’s 41st win of the season.
As a subtext, this game featured a battle of Hairstons. Brother Scott went 0-3, and Brother Jerry walked as a pinch hitter. They are the sons of former major leaguer Jerry Hairston, Jr., and grandson of the pioneering Sam Hairston.