LOS ANGELES — The weekend didn’t quite go the way in which the Mets imagined it might to open their 11-day, 10-game tour of Southern California, but their rules of engagement became pretty clear: Leave the hotel doors open, the tv on and be certain Pete Alonso keeps swinging.
After spotting the Los Angeles Dodgers the primary two games of a four-game set, the Mets stormed back Saturday and Sunday to earn a split. They slipped past the Dodgers’ two best starting pitchers, ambushing Walker Buehler and outlasting Julio Urías. Despite still being without their very own best starters, the Mets nevertheless headed for his or her next stop on the trip, San Diego, sporting the National League’s best record at 37-19.
“Last man standing, I assume. I don’t know,” Mets Manager Buck Showalter said, before adding of the Dodgers: “They’re a very good team. I’m really happy with our guys battling back these last two days.”
Third baseman Eduardo Escobar, whose 10-pitch struggle with Brusdar Graterol produced an eighth inning sacrifice fly in Sunday’s 5-4, 10-inning thriller, said the 4 games “felt like a playoff atmosphere.” Designated hitter J.D. Davis, who doubled home the go-ahead run within the tenth, said the weekend shows “we’re just nearly as good as they’re.”
Growing evidence would suggest he’s correct.
With the team’s aces, Jacob deGrom (stress response, right shoulder) and Max Scherzer (oblique), back home on the mend, the Mets narrowly avoided what would have been one other disastrous injury when Francisco Lindor, the team’s All-Star shortstop, checked into his hotel suite upon the Mets’ arrival in Los Angeles and promptly slammed his right middle finger in a door. He wound up with a fracture within the tip of the finger, sat out Thursday night’s series opener and regarded himself fortunate to be back within the lineup the subsequent day.
The pain was so severe within the moment, Lindor said, that he jogged around his suite for a couple of minutes hoping it might calm down. He was thankful that the fingernail remained intact and the door didn’t catch any more of his finger.
“I feel like if it was somewhere higher, it might probably be surgery or something,” he said.
The Mets were blanked 2-0 in his absence on Thursday, then lost, 6-1, in his return on Friday night. And each Lindor and Showalter said they knew exactly what was coming that night: Mookie Betts opened the underside of the primary inning with a tough ground ball to Lindor, whose throwing was tested straight away.
“I haven’t anticipated a ground ball this much in years,” Lindor said afterward through a sparkling — and relieved — smile. “I knew that first one was coming to me.”
Back on the team hotel, Lindor said the accident scene had been left intact, indicating that the harmful door was one leading out to his balcony.
“The door was still open,” he said, still smiling. “I ain’t touching that door. I’ll cope with the sun.”
Hands proved to be an enormous theme of the weekend. Through the series it was revealed that one in all Scherzer’s dogs, Rafi, had bit his owner’s pitching hand.
Scherzer said he missed at some point of throwing, assured everyone in a tweet that all the pieces can be all right and said “that is literally a non story.” Considering his $43 million salary, and the way much the team will depend on him because the calendar turns to October, Scherzer might forgive the Mets and their fans for caring.
Within the absences of Scherzer and deGrom, who threw a 19-pitch bullpen session on Saturday in Latest York, other starters like David Peterson and Trevor Williams are stepping up. The Mets now are 6-0 in Peterson’s starts this season despite his unusual exit in the course of Mookie Betts’ fourth-inning at-bat Saturday.
Peterson had limited the Dodgers to at least one run over three and two-thirds innings, and was facing Betts with one on and two outs and the Mets clinging to a 5-4 lead. Betts scalded the primary pitch he saw down the left-field line for a foul. Showalter immediately appeared, calling for reliever Colin Holderman, who promptly retired Betts on a called third strike to finish the threat.
With Showalter deftly maneuvering the pitching to his liking all weekend, as he has so often this 12 months, Alonso was in a position to take over on Saturday. He smashed a two-run homer within the third after which drilled a three-run blast over the right-center field fence within the seventh. His five R.B.I. within the 9-4 win gave him 53 in 55 games.
Informed that his second homer Saturday moved him right into a tie for tenth place on the Mets’ all-time home run list at 122, Alonso said, “That’s sick. I didn’t know that. I just need to keep it going.”
“He’s hot. His nitro zone is down within the zone and all of the damage he’s done to us has been down,” Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts said, expressing frustration with a few of his pitchers. “A man that may hit a line drive out to right-center field at night at Dodger Stadium, if he touches it, it’s 100 miles an hour, he’s pretty dangerous. So while you don’t execute, you actually are going to pay.”
Not less than Sunday’s comeback got here during a day game, allowing their fans — including one particularly — to be well-rested entering the workweek.
“The grit on this team is amazing,” said Steven A. Cohen, the team owner, who was in Los Angeles for the series, on Friday afternoon. “Just watching them come back, how fun is that? You’re never out of it. The actual problem is now I can’t turn the TV off. I’ve got to stay awake and watch. Before, you might turn the TV off and say, ah, you’re not going to come back back. You’ve got to go away the TV on now.”
And, after all, you’ve got to go away the doors open.
“Avoid the doors,” Lindor said. “Please stay away, I’m telling you.”