Nick Punto’s Heroics, Hyun-Jin Ryu’s Arm Lead Dodgers to 4-2 Win over Mets

Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Matt Harvey of the New York Mets matched up for a marquee pitching duel on Tuesday night – and Ryu emerged as the victor in the Dodgers’ 4-2 win over the Metropolitans.

Harvey, who came into the game having only allowed 3 earned runs in 29 1/3 innings since the All-Star Break (and a tiny .163 opponents’ batting average in that span), was brought down to Earth a bit thanks to the Dodgers’ juggernaut of an offensive attack: L.A. put up four runs on Harvey, a pitcher who had only given up more than three earned runs three times this season (in 23 starts).

With one out in the first, Mets center fielder Juan Lagares lined a 1-0 offering from Ryu over the short wall down the left field line for a solo homer, shooting the Mets out to a quick 1-0 lead. Daniel Murphy followed with a first-pitch single to left before Marlon Byrd grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Harvey sailed through a 1-2-3 first, hitting 97 on the gun (while striking out Carl Crawford) and 98 (catching Mark Ellis on a called third strike).

Yasiel Puig led off the bottom of the second with an infield single, as third baseman Justin Turner (filling in for the injured David Wright) couldn’t throw the ball to Josh Satin in time to retire the speedy outfielder. Skip Schumaker promptly grounded into a 1-6-3 double play, wiping the bases clean for A.J. Ellis – who grounded to short for the third out.

Juan Uribe turned around a 95-MPH fastball from Harvey in the third, lining a single up the middle to lead off the inning. On a 3-2 pitch, Nick Punto cracked a hard liner to Murphy at second, who snagged it and threw to first to catch Uribe off the bag for a double play before Ryu grounded to short for the third out.

In the fourth, a one-out single by Marlon Byrd and a dribbler up the third base line by Josh Satin in no-man’s land put runners on first and second for the Mets. Byrd advanced to third on a fly to right from Justin Turner before Ryu got John Buck to ground into a fielder’s choice to end the threat.

Carl Crawford walked and Mark Ellis singled leading off L.A.’s half of the fourth, seemingly putting the Dodgers in business. After Adrian Gonzalez popped out, though, Puig swung on 3-0 and hit into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play as Harvey worked his way out of a big jam.

To his credit, Ryu continued to keep the Mets down while the Dodgers squandered chances to break through against Harvey. Two comebackers and a fly out kept things at 1-0 Mets heading into the bottom of the fifth.

With one out in the bottom of the frame, A.J. Ellis walked and advanced to third on Juan Uribe’s single to left (his second hit of the night). Given a prime scoring opportunity, Nick Punto took advantage – his double down the left field line plated both runs and turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 Dodgers lead.

After Ryu wrapped up a 1-2-3 sixth, the Dodgers got busy again with the bats: singles from Mark Ellis and Puig (the second hit for each player on the night) and a Schumaker ground out put runners on second and third with two outs – and A.J. Ellis brought both in with a two-run single to left, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 4-1.

After keeping the Mets at bay through seven, Ryu finished his night with a very fine line of 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (on 107 pitches).

Harvey’s final line, as he was replaced in the seventh by Gonzalez Germen: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (on 95 pitches).

Ronald Belisario came out of the Dodgers bullpen to begin the eighth and allowed a leadoff single to pinch-hitter Mike Baxter but the hit didn’t amount to anything in terms of a Met rally.

In the ninth, Kenley Jansen allowed a one-out walk to Josh Satin. Justin Turner launched a fly to left-center but Crawford ran it down at the warning track for the second out. John Buck singled just past the reach of Punto at shortstop, bringing the Mets a run closer at 4-2 – but pinch-hitter Ike Davis grounded to second to wrap up the Dodgers’ 4-2 win.

When asked what the Dodgers’ game plan was going into a match up with the tough Harvey, Don Mattingly said “Ryu is the game plan when you got a guy like Matt Harvey out there.”

Given Ryu’s success earlier this season in high-profile games, Mattingly also said that “I was kind of expecting this tonight”, regarding Ryu’s performance.

On the gritty Punto, who stole the show yet again for L.A., Mattingly commended the infielder, saying “He’s smart, he’s prepared, it’s a no-maintenance situation most of the time”.

Tomorrow night, the Dodgers will go for the three-game sweep behind Chris Capuano (4-6, 4.50 ERA), who matches up against Dillon Gee (8-8, 3.82 ERA) at 7:10 p.m. PDT.

Notes

  • Before the game, Mattingly said that shortstop Hanley Ramirez would be in the starting lineup on Wednesday night, noting that he basically feels 100% dealing with the shoulder injury he suffered crashing into the stands at Wrigley Field on August 4th.
  • Matt Kemp‘s progress continues to improve regarding his ankle injury that’s kept him out of the lineup since hitting the D.L. on July 23rd.