Mets open West Coast trip by splitting series with Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — The weekend didn’t quite go the way the Mets imagined to open their 11-day, 10-game tour of Southern California, but their...


LOS ANGELES — The weekend didn’t quite go the way the Mets imagined to open their 11-day, 10-game tour of Southern California, but their rules of engagement have become pretty clear. : Leave the hotel doors open, the TV on, and make sure Pete Alonso keeps rocking.

After scouting the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first two games of a four-game series, the Mets stormed back Saturday and Sunday to earn a split. They outshot the Dodgers’ top two starting pitchers, ambushing Walker Buehler and outlasting Julio Urías. Though still without their best starters, the Mets nonetheless headed to their next stop on the journey, San Diego, sporting the National League’s best record at 37-19.

“Last man standing, I guess. I don’t know,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said before adding of the Dodgers, “They’re a really good team. I’m really proud that our guys have been fighting for the last two days.

Third baseman Eduardo Escobar, whose 10-pitch struggle with Brusdar Graterol produced a sacrificial fly in the eighth inning on Sunday 5-4, a 10-inning thriller, said the four games “felt like a playoff atmosphere.” Designated hitter JD Davis, who doubled the go-ahead at home in the 10th, said the weekend shows “we’re as good as them.”

More and more evidence suggests that he is right.

With team aces Jacob deGrom (stress reaction, right shoulder) and Max Scherzer (oblique) back home on the mend, the Mets narrowly avoided what would have been another disastrous injury when Francisco Lindor, the team’s All-Star shortstop, checked into his hotel suite when the Mets arrived in Los Angeles and quickly slammed his right middle finger into a door. He was left with a broken fingertip, sat out the series opener on Thursday night and considered himself lucky to be back in the lineup the following day.

The pain was so intense at the time, Lindor said, that he ran into her suite for a few minutes hoping she would subside. He was grateful that the fingernail remained intact and the door no longer caught on his finger.

“I feel like if it was somewhere higher it would probably be surgery or something,” he said.

The Mets were shut out 2-0 in his absence on Thursday, then lost, 6-1, when he returns Friday evening. And both Lindor and Showalter said they knew exactly what was coming that night: Mookie Betts opened the bottom of the first inning with a hard ground ball to Lindor, whose throw was tested right away .

“I hadn’t looked forward to a ground ball so much in years,” Lindor said afterwards with a bright, relieved smile. “I knew the first would come to me.”

Back at the team’s hotel, Lindor said the crash scene had been left untouched, indicating the dangerous door was the one that led to his balcony.

“The door was still open,” he said, still smiling. “I will not touch this door. I will take care of the sun.

Hands turned out to be a big theme of the weekend. During the series, it was revealed that one of Scherzer’s dogs, Rafi, had bitten his owner’s pitching hand.

Scherzer said he missed a day of pitching, assured everyone in a tweet that everything would be fine, and said “it’s literally a non-story.” Given his $43 million salary and the extent to which the team will rely on him as the schedule turns to October, Scherzer could forgive the Mets and their fans for being worried.

In the absence of Scherzer and deGrom, who kicked off a 19-pitch bullpen session Saturday in New York, other starters like David Peterson and Trevor Williams are stepping up. The Mets are now 6-0 in Peterson’s starts this season despite his unusual outing midway through Mookie Betts’ fourth inning at bat on Saturday.

Peterson had held the Dodgers to one run over three and two-thirds innings, and faced Betts with one over and two outs and the Mets clung to a 5-4 lead. Betts burned the first pitch he saw down the left field line for a foul. Showalter immediately appeared, calling reliever Colin Holderman, who quickly retired Betts on a called third strike to end the threat.

With Showalter deftly maneuvering the pitching to his liking all weekend, as he has done so often this year, Alonso was able to take over on Saturday. He broke a two-run homer in the third, then drilled a three-run blast over the fence to right-center in the seventh. His five RBIs in the Victory 9-4 gave him 53 in 55 games.

Told that his second home run Saturday tied him for 10th on the Mets’ all-time home run list at 122, Alonso said, “It’s sick. I did not know. I just want it to continue.

“He’s hot. His nitro zone is down in the zone and all the damage he’s done to us has been reduced,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, expressing frustration with some of his pitchers. guy who can hit a line to right center field at night at Dodger Stadium, if he hits it, it’s at 100 miles an hour, he’s pretty dangerous. So when you’re not performing, you’re really going to pay.

At least Sunday’s comeback came in a day game, allowing their fans – including one in particular – to be well rested heading into the work week.

“The courage of this team is incredible,” said team owner Steven A. Cohen, who was in Los Angeles for the series on Friday afternoon. “Just watching them come back, is it fun?” You are never out of it. The real problem is that I can’t turn off the TV anymore. I have to stand and watch. Before, you could turn off the TV and say, oh, you’re not coming back. You have to leave the TV on now.

And, of course, you have to leave the doors open.

“Stay away from doors,” Lindor said. “Please stay away, I’m telling you.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Mets open West Coast trip by splitting series with Dodgers
Mets open West Coast trip by splitting series with Dodgers
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