It took a few days, but the New York Mets finally got their offense on track, as well as their 10-game trip through Southern California.
After consecutive defeats to the Los Angeles Dodgers, when they scored just one combined run, the Mets’ offense looked more like itself Saturday in a 9-4 victory and will try to do more of the same Sunday in the finale of a four-game series at Dodger Stadium.
The Mets got two home runs from Pete Alonso and one each from Francisco Lindor and Eduardo Escobar in handing Dodgers ace Walker Buehler the loss.
In their first 18 innings of the series, the Mets’ offense consisted of a lone Alonso solo home run on Friday.
Despite the Mets’ late five-run lead on Saturday, there was confusion when the Dodgers tried to use infielder Zach McKinstry to pitch the ninth inning. The move was not allowed because of a rule before the 2020 season that requires more than a six-run score difference before using a position player on the mound.
“I hope we don’t see it again,” an amused Mets manager Buck Showalter said when asked about the situation afterward. “I was wondering if the guy they brought in to pitch was eligible to play.”
While Showalter was being credited with knowing the rule, when Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and the umpires did not, Showalter said it actually was the umpires who initiated a rule check with the league office.
“We won today against a really good team, and God bless everybody,” Showalter said as the questions continued. “I thought I was in the Twilight Zone there.”
Perhaps there will be less confusion when New York sends right-hander Trevor Williams (1-3, 3.58 ERA) to the mound Sunday in his 10th appearance of the season and fifth start.
The San Diego native earned his first win of the season Tuesday at home when he held the Washington Nationals scoreless over five innings on three hits.
Williams has five career appearances against the Dodgers, going 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA. In three appearances at Dodger Stadium, he has a 9.00 ERA over 11 innings.
The Dodgers will counter with left-hander Julio Urias (3-5, 2.89), who will try to avoid his fifth loss in his last six starts. He has a 3.72 ERA over his last five starts, but unlike last season, when he was getting 6.4 runs of support per game while winning 20 games, the Dodgers are scoring an average of 2.1 runs per game for him this season.
The Pirates tagged Urias for four runs on eight hits over six innings Tuesday.
“It happens to pitchers at different times in different years,” Roberts said about Urias’ lack of run support. “But I don’t think it hurts him. He will never use that as an excuse.
“I do know that he doesn’t want to put us behind the eight ball early in the game. To his credit, he fought back (against the Pirates) and kept us in the ballgame.”
In four career appearance against the Mets, Urias has a 7.00 ERA in nine innings. Of the current seven Mets hitters Urias has faced, they have combined for just one extra-base hit against him in 32 at-bats.
–Field Level Media