Dodgers takeaways: New York Mets show a formidable foe

Nothing mirrored the differing realities of the Dodgers and the New York Mets this week than two late-game bullpen selections throughout their sequence at Citi Discipline.

On Tuesday, the Dodgers had been clinging to a one-run lead within the ninth once they summoned Jake Reed for the save — a way-down-the-pecking-order right-hander who had been known as up from the minor leagues that day.

On Thursday, the Mets known as upon All-Star nearer Edwin Díaz, who got here trotting out of the bullpen within the eighth inning — even with the workforce nursing a three-run lead.

Certainly, the Dodgers are feeling little stress proper now, with a Nationwide League West title locked up and their grasp on the league’s high playoff spot all however safe as they return dwelling for a three-game sequence in opposition to the San Diego Padres starting Friday night time.

The Mets are in a special spot, attempting to carry off the Atlanta Braves of their division and dangle on to the league’s different first-round postseason bye.

That’s why, though the Mets received two of three video games (and 4 of seven total between the groups this season), no alarms had been going off within the Dodgers clubhouse afterward.

“If we do face them in the playoffs, no one is going to care what happened in the regular season,” first baseman Freddie Freeman mentioned. “I don’t think you should read anything into it.”

Added supervisor Dave Roberts: “I don’t think it means anything.”

That doesn’t imply the sequence didn’t reveal something, although, serving up a reminder that the Mets are an actual impediment — perhaps the Dodgers’ largest — on the highway to the World Sequence.

On the finish of the workforce’s East Coast journey, listed here are 4 takeaways on the place the Dodgers stand.

The Mets can pitch — even in opposition to the Dodgers

The Dodgers scored three runs within the third inning of their first sport in New York.

After that, they had been held to simply 5 over the ultimate 24 frames.

It’s what a pitching employees such because the Mets’ is able to doing, particularly when getting contributions from its employees ace (Jacob deGrom pitched seven sturdy innings Wednesday), one other top-end starter (Chris Bassitt went six innings Thursday) and its high relievers (Díaz and Adam Ottavino mixed for 4 innings of one-run ball within the ultimate two video games).

“It’s going to be like that if we do face them in the playoffs,” Freeman mentioned. “Usually in the playoffs, you’re not scoring eight to 10 runs. You’ve got to win the one-run games.”

It was a pertinent level.

Whereas the Dodgers have made a behavior of steamrolling opponents within the common season, even the perfect offenses can run into powerful matchups in October.

It’s what makes the playoffs unpredictable, and sometimes retains the perfect groups from successful.

The Dodgers’ hope is to be taught from their matchups this week, file away the data for a possible rematch and discover methods to create extra constant offense if these golf equipment do meet once more.

However the concept the Dodgers can overpower opponents at will definitely took successful.

“I think we’re two evenly matched ball clubs,” Roberts mentioned. “I think overall, they played better defense and played well enough to win the series.”

Booed once more in N.Y., Joey Gallo adjusting with Dodgers

Joey Gallo knew he had few followers within the Bronx. However even he was shocked by the reception he bought from the orange-and-blue clad crowds in Queens.

Earlier than every of his at-bats, the previous Yankees outfielder, who struggled mightily throughout elements of two seasons with the Mets’ crosstown rival, was noticeably booed throughout his first journey again to New York since final month’s commerce to the Dodgers.

“I mean, I didn’t even play for the Mets, so I don’t know why the … they’re booing me,” Gallo mentioned. “I don’t know. Yeah, New York. They boo a lot of people, though.”

Roberts additionally took word.

“I thought that these Mets fans should be cheering him, because he didn’t play well for the Yankees,” Roberts mentioned. “So I’m kind of a little confused by the boos.”

Actually, it solely made the 28-year-old slugger extra grateful for his new dwelling with the Dodgers — and extra desperate to snap out of a latest stoop that has adopted his scorching begin with the workforce.

After hitting three dwelling runs, gathering 9 RBIs and posting a 1.010 OPS in his first 14 Dodger plate appearances, Gallo has slipped into an 0-for-16 stoop. The stretch has included eight strikeouts to solely two walks. And it has appeared harking back to his play with the Yankees, whilst he’s labored on making adjustments to his swing.

“I think I feel pretty good,” Gallo mentioned. “This last week, I haven’t had good results and whatnot, but have been putting up good at-bats and swinging at strikes. Hits will come. But I’ve been feeling pretty good since I’ve been here.”

Gallo didn’t play Thursday, even in opposition to a right-handed pitcher, with Roberts saying Gallo and fellow slumping left-handed hitter Cody Bellinger “need a day.”

How did Roberts suppose Gallo dealt with the return to New York?

“Really well,” the supervisor mentioned. “Just talking to him, seeing him. I think there was a little bit of some type of emotion coming back into the city. The results haven’t been there …. But I think as far as just kind of seeing his demeanor, he’s fine.”

Is Miguel Vargas a playoff possibility?

A brand new face was within the Dodgers clubhouse Thursday as extremely touted prospect Miguel Vargas joined as a September call-up.

The 22-year-old rookie appeared in simply two video games throughout his first large league stint final month, however figures to get an extended look now that rosters have expanded to twenty-eight gamers.

Roberts mentioned Vargas, who hit .304 with 17 dwelling runs and 82 RBIs in triple A, will get alternatives at third base, in left subject and as a chosen hitter.

“It’s another nice piece to have,” Roberts mentioned. “He showed well while he was here briefly, and this is a good experience, a good opportunity for him and us to see how he shows again in September.”

The larger query: Is there a pathway for him to make a contribution in October on the membership’s playoff roster?

“Sure, absolutely,” Roberts mentioned. “That still comes with not having pressure, just going out and playing. But yeah, it’s a performance-based business and if he plays well, and things break the right way, absolutely. He should be in the conversation.”

It received’t be simple. The Dodgers have had a set group of 13 hitters because the commerce deadline. They’ve depth on the precise facet of the plate, as nicely, with Trayce Thompson and Hanser Alberto.

But when the Dodgers resolve to hold an additional hitter in a shorter playoff sequence, or want to alter course based mostly on accidents or poor efficiency down the stretch, Vargas might have a gap.

He’ll need to play nicely this month, although.

“I don’t want to say it’s an audition,” Roberts mentioned. “I just encourage Miguel to … be himself and take good at-bats, play good defense. Everything else is going to work out the way it will.”

Evan Phillips’ (close to) excellent month

Set-up reliever Evan Phillips won’t ever pitch an ideal sport in his present position. However throughout a stellar efficiency in August, the right-hander had a near-perfect month.

In 12 appearances, Phillips not solely was unscored upon, but in addition retired 35 of the 37 hitters he confronted. Over his final 10 outings, he recorded 27 outs in a row — the equal of 9 consecutive clear innings.

Because of this, his already immaculate ERA has dropped to a minuscule 1.22. On Thursday, Roberts known as him the workforce’s most improved pitcher this season. And as October nears, he’s cemented himself as considered one of their most essential arms, too.

“It’s one of those stretches where, I step up on the mound and just everything is clicking the way it needs to for me to succeed,” Phillips mentioned. “It hasn’t been super overpowering, I would say, but my pitches have just been located where they need to be. The shape of everything with the sinker and the cutter and the slider, everything has been full circle of the point we’ve been trying to get to all season.”