Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) A missed tag by Amed Rosario on what should have been an inning-ending caught stealing in the first instead turned into a three-run frame for the Dodgers. Los Angeles might have had more if not for Michael Conforto nailing Austin Barnes at the plate for the third out.
2) Steven Matz struggled again, allowing five runs, six hits and two walks while striking out seven in 5 1/3 innings. The southpaw allowed a two-run homer to Justin Turner in the third, but set down the last eight batters he faced, striking out the side in the fourth.
3) Travis d'Arnaud singled in the third and Brandon Nimmo walked in the ninth for the Mets' only two baserunners.
Post-game reaction from Michael Avallone...
It was more of the same for Matz, which was about the last thing the struggling southpaw needed. He continues to say that he's healthy, but something is clearly amiss and it's beginning to soar past a normal slump. Although his first few starts of 2017 looked good, a deeper dive showed clear warning signs. He wasn't striking hitters out and unsurprisingly, his swing-and-miss percentage was incredibly low. It's actually getting to the point where talk of a demotion to the minors wouldn't be that outrageous. It won't happen based on a number of factors, but the fact it's really not an outlandish statement speaks volumes about the level of Matz's struggles the last month.
Of course, the entire complexion of the game might have changed if not for a missed tag by Rosario in the first. D'Arnaud made a perfect throw to nail Turner attempting to steal second which would have been the final out, but the rookie failed to apply the tag. Yes, Turner made a nice maneuver to avoid the glove, but infielders are taught to put the glove down and adjust from there. Instead, Rosario just kept his glove on the ground while Turner slid around it. The play was overturned on review and Matz ended up surrendering three runs to the visitors.
Speaking of the Dodgers, what they're doing right now is so absurd it might as well be straight out of a video game. In fact, I'm not sure winning 44 of 51 games is possible with the realism of today's entertainment platforms, but that's what Los Angeles has done. In real life. Against the best players in the world. Remarkable... >> To follow Michael on Twitter, click here.
News and notes...
The Mets have lost seven of eight to fall a season-worst 11 games below .500 (49-60) for the first time since July 5, 2014. They were swept for a seventh time in 2017.
The Mets were outscored 57-15 while dropping all seven games against the Dodgers this season, which extended their losing streak against them to nine straight overall. It marked the first time in franchise history New York failed to win a game against Los Angeles.
Michael Conforto went hitless in four at-bats, ending his career-high nine-game hitting streak.
Amed Rosario went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and finished his first series Citi Field, 1-for-10, with six strikeouts and one stolen base.
Matz (2-5) has an 11.03 ERA over his last six starts while allowing 46 hits and six homers in 23 2/3 innings. Of the eight baserunners he allowed on Sunday, five came in the first inning. The southpaw has a 9.00 ERA in the opening frame this season.
Cody Bellinger homered off Josh Smoker in the eighth, giving him one in each game of the series and six against the Mets in seven games.
Jay Bruce was held out of the starting lineup with a stiff neck.
The Mets (49-60) are off Monday before opening a two-game series with the Rangers (53-58) at Citi Field on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. on SNY.
Chris Flexen (0-1, 12.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP) makes his home debut in his third career start for New York. The 23-year-old has not pitched past the third inning in his first two outings and was charged with five runs on eight hits in three frames against the Rockies on Wednesday. He was forced to leave his start with a blister on his right index finger.
Andrew Cashner (7-8, 3.36 ERA 1.35 WHIP) starts the opener having won three straight and four of five overall. After posting a 6.14 ERA in four June starts, the 30-year-old has a 2.20 ERA in five outings since, including consecutive performances where he's allowed one run. Cashner is 0-3 with a 6.18 ERA in nine career appearances -- four starts -- against the Mets.