Queens, NY — The Mets (59-57) lost to the LA Dodgers (71-46), 2-1, after Cody Bellinger smashed a tie-breaking doubled off right-hander Yennsy Diaz with one out in the top of the 10th inning at Citi Field in front of 38,669 loud fans. The Mets on Sunday will face Max Scherzer to try to avoid the sweep.
Will Smith homered in the seventh for the first hit off New York starter Taijuan Walker who till that point was unhittable.
Walker was staring at a no-hitter for 6 1/3 innings, which marked the longest he’s even taken a no-no in his career. It’s even more impressive considering he has struggled a bit since the All-Star break.
The 10-inning win was the second in two nights for Los Angeles, who were 1-12 in extra-inning games entering the series opener Friday.
“We’ve been battling,”Mets Walker said. “We’ve been right there every single time. We just haven’t been able to get that extra run across or we haven’t been able to get that shut-down inning. But these are tight games. it’s a playoff team, playoff atmosphere, and we’re right there with them.”
Dodgers Walker Buehler was like a surgeon for seven innings, and the bullpen retired all nine batters they faced. That made two runs hold up, it was the second win over the Mets on Saturday night at Citi Field. Buehler’s season ERA is now 2.09, the best in the Majors among qualified starters.
NY suffered two tough losses. They were right at the cusp in both games. A timely hit here or there, and they would’ve put one in the win column.
“Playing these games, they make us better,” said manager Luis Rojas, who was ejected in the seventh for arguing balls and strikes. “We’re bitter because of the two losses now, but they make us better because it’s felt like a playoff atmosphere out there just going from pitch to pitch with a lot of stress.”
In the series opener, Smith homered in the 10th to give the Dodgers the W.
Conforto: “Obviously we want to win by three, four, five runs, but when we’re in it until the end anything can happen. We’ve shown that we can get those big hits earlier in the season and we’ve shown that at home. Obviously we show up every day to win. We haven’t done that the past two days. But we’re onto the next one. We’re going to show up tomorrow ready to go for Sunday Night Baseball.”
In the series’ second game, Bellinger scorched a double past a diving Pete Alonso at first base to score the go-ahead run. And in the bottom half, two Mets struck out and another grounded out as they failed to tie the game.
The NY Mets scored a run off Buehler — a long Conforto homer that saw the seats in centerfield in the fourth — and then got shut down by the Dodgers three relievers after that.
“I think everyone knows what’s on the line, what’s on the table,” said Dodgers outfielder Bellinger. “We just try and take care of our business and that’s the only thing we can control.”
In the 10th, Yennsy Diaz (0-2) struck out Chris Taylor before Bellinger, who just hooked a go-ahead double foul down the first-base line in the seventh inning and smoked one a few feet inside the first base line to score runner Corey Seager from second.
Phil Bickford (2-1) got the final two outs of the ninth inning and struck out the first two batters in the 10th before Corey Knebel retired Brandon Nimmo to earn his third save of the season.
“I’ve been going in the right direction the last couple weeks,” Walker said. “Obviously, the results haven’t been what I want them to be, but body-wise, arm-wise, velo, and everything, my stuff has been getting better since the All-Star break and I’ve been going in the right direction.”
Dodgers: RHP Max Scherzer (9-4, 2.67 ERA) will make his third start since his acquisition from the Washington Nationals.
Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (0-0, 6.75 ERA), who missed the first four months with a hamstring injury, is slated to make his fourth start with New York.