The Dodgers came through in the clutch Saturday night. After a close pitcher’s duel for most of the game, the Mets collapsed in the late innings, allowing the Dodgers to pull away and take a much-needed series win in New York. Tony Gonsolin was in top form on Saturday, pitching five scoreless innings on just 54 pitches, keeping the Dodgers in the game. Mets pitcher Kodai Senga was also impressive, pitching six innings and matching Gonsolin by only giving up one run. He stifled just about everybody except for Mookie Betts, who was electric once again on the offensive side of the baseball.
Reaching base 5 times and going 4-4 with a home run is exactly what Mookie Betts is capable of doing and a big reason why he is an All-Star. After a solo shot in the 3rd to give him his 27th home run of the year, Brandon Nimmo crushed his own solo homer in the 4th to knot things up at 1. That remained the score until an epic collapse in the 8th and 9th innings by the Mets gave the Dodgers the lead. David Peralta hit into a fielder’s choice to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the 8th, and in the bottom half, Caleb Ferguson came on to hold the Mets.
They put two runners on base with no outs to start the inning, but Ferguson limited the damage, allowing no runs and escaping the jam to keep the Dodgers in the lead. In the 9th, the Dodgers threatened again and this time came through due to a series of bad pitching and errors by the Mets. Max Muncy reached on a bad dropped pop up by Brett Baty, then J.D. Martinez singled in a run, and David Peralta put the game out of reach for good with an RBI single of his own. As the boo’s rained down, Even Phillips came on and made quick work of the big part of the Mets lineup to secure a gutsy 5-1 win and win the series.
Here are my three takeaways from the game:
Back to Back “Return to Form” Starts
Much like Julio Urias Friday night, Tony Gonsolin looked like his 2022 self Saturday night. He was dominant and had every pitch working against a struggling, but still formidable Mets lineup. The Dodgers need to see that effort and focus on a more consistent basis. If Gonsolin AND Urias can both pitch like they did in 2022, the staff will be lethal for the last couple of months going into October.
Mookie Betts is Worth The Contract
I understand that this is obvious to many but earlier in the season, there were some doubts amongst Dodger fans if he still had the skillset he showed in his Red Sox tenure and first year in Los Angeles. Yeah, there were actually people that doubted that Mookie Betts was worth the enormous contract that the Dodgers gave him. Well Saturday night, he reached base 5 times, went 4-4, and has 10 home runs in his last 17 games. His slashline is 400/.487/1.033/1.520 with 10 home runs in 78 plate appearances since June 23rd, which is staggering even for a player of his stature. Let’s calm the talk of him being washed completely down from here on out.
The Trade Deadline is Still Essential
A lot of things can be overlooked when you win a bunch of games in a short period of time like the Dodgers have. The trade deadline is one of them. I still believe it is imperative that this team gets two quality arms to support the now reinvigorated staff, and while the bullpen has shown to get their act together lately, there is still room for improvement to supplement any injury. I know the front office understands that as well, and with Andrew Friedman always active at the deadline, I do believe that even if Shohei Ohtani is far-fetched, smaller moves are on the way.
Bobby Miller toes the rubber for the Dodgers against former Dodger Max Scherzer of the Mets Sunday. First pitch is set for 10:40 a.m.