An 11th inning doomed by a huge Ryan Church baserunning error, fly-ball miscommunication between Angel Pagan and Carlos Beltran and an errant throw by Jeremy Reed handed the Los Angeles Dodgers a mind-numbing 3-2 walk-off win over a defensively depleted New York Mets team early Tuesday.
With the game tied at two in the top of the 11th, Church appeared to score the go-ahead run on a Pagan extra-base-hit, but Dodgers’ skipper Joe Torre noticed that Church missed third and Los Angeles won the appeal to end the inning. Church didn’t argue.
Then, in the bottom half of the inning with a runner on first, Pagan and Beltran did their best Bad News Bears sketch and let a deep fly fall between them. After Mets manager Jerry Manuel intentionally walked the bases loaded with no outs and brought in Beltran as a fifth infielder, reliever Brian Stokes did his best to pitch out of the jam.
He got Rafael Furcal to fly out to left, and then got Orlando Hudson to hit an easy grounder to first that should have at least got the force at home and possibly a double-play. But Jeremy Reed, not exactly a natural at a position he hasn’t really played since college, threw the ball well wide of the plate and the Dodgers walked off with the win.
The Dodgers managed to squeeze out the victory despite managing just five hits.
Not a very nice reward for those of us who stayed up so dang late.
Backing up several hours, Mets starter Tim Redding – after giving up two first-inning runs – made a strong argument to remain the team’s fifth starter. He gave up just two hits and four walks over six innings, and likely would have taken the mound for the seventh if his spot hadn’t come up in the batting order.
Redding lost his no-hitter early when Furcal singled to right to make it 7,520 New York Mets game without a no-no.
The Mets, down 2-0 after the first inning, got one back in the top of the second when David Wright led off with a double, advanced to third on a Fernando Tatis ground-out and scored on a Ramon Martinez ground-out.
They finally tied the game in the eighth when Pagan led off with a double down the left field line and Gary Sheffield poked a dribbler into right field. Dodgers’ second baseman Hudson chased it down and threw a strike to the plate, but Pagan went in hard with a feet-first start through Russell Martin’s plate-block for the tying run.
Pagan, batting in the leadoff spot as Jose Reyes’ calf continues to keep him out of the lineup, went 4-for-5 on the night, and Wright was 2-for-3.
Castillo saved Sean Green from coughing up the game in the bottom of the ninth when Green tossed throw on an infield hit into right field. Castillo backed up first and made a nice grab to keep the winning run 90 feet away, and reliever Pedro Feliciano came to get the final out and send the game into extra innings.