Terry Collins chuckled Friday when asked about the Dodgers’ wealth of talent. The team with the best record in the majors rolled into Flushing for a three-game series, and the Dodgers ran new acquisition Yu Darvish to the mound at Citi Field for the series opener against Mets ace Jacob deGrom.
“They’re loaded,” Collins said of the Dodgers.
Darvish pitched seven shutout innings and gave up just three hits and one walk while whiffing 10, and home runs by Chris Taylor, Yasiel Puig and Flushing Enemy No. 1 Chase Utley paced the Dodgers to a 6-0 win. The Mets, who had four hits total, dropped to 49-58, while the Dodgers improved to 77-32.
“They’ve done a great job of having enough backup plans. If something happens, they’ve got a quality replacement. Certainly, the production they’re getting out of (Cody) Bellinger and Justin (Turner) – and if you said this was gonna happen without the first baseman (Adrian Gonzalez), it’s amazing,” said Collins.
The Dodgers wasted no time making a statement, as leadoff batter Taylor opened the game with a solo home run off deGrom after a nine-pitch at-bat. Corey Seager doubled in the next at-bat and Joc Pederson drew a two-out walk and stole second later in the inning before deGrom finally whiffed Yasmani Grandal to escape further damage in the first inning. Cuban slugger Puig slugged a solo homer off deGrom in the top second, and Utley – who was booed relentlessly Friday during every plate appearance – silenced the crowd of 41,187 by smashing a two-run homer off Mets reliever Josh Smoker in the sixth.
Darvish, who was acquired by the Dodgers from Texas Monday, made his Dodgers debut and was masterful. Using 99 pitches, he went deep into the game, and limited the Mets to three hits. He struck out the side – Curtis Granderson, Neil Walker and Amed Rosario – in the seventh. DeGrom gave up three runs on five hits in five innings, whiffing eight Dodgers.
Rosario, the stud shortstop prospect who made his Mets home debut Friday (his fourth major league game overall), had one of the three hits off Darvish – a fifth-inning single – and also had his first career stolen base that same inning. He finished the night 1-for-3.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Michael Conforto, playing center, ran full speed and made a nifty back-handed catch of a Yasiel Puig’s screaming liner in the top eighth for the third out.
Chase Utley’s sixth-inning home run. The two-run blast off Josh Smoker put the game out of reach.
STAR OF THE GAME
Yu Darvish. In his Dodgers debut – on the road no less – Darvish tamed the Mets’ lineup, pitching seven shutout innings while striking out 10 and walking one.
1. Jacob deGrom had his first career stolen base when he swiped second base in the third inning after hitting a leadoff single.
Curtis Granderson. The Mets right fielder went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Amed Rosario. The Mets’ top prospect had one of three hits off Darvish, and Rosario also collected his first career stolen base, in the fifth inning.
Saturday, 4:05 pm at Citi Field. RHP Seth Lugo (5-3, 4.53) vs. LHP Rich Hill (8-4, 3.35)
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