With trade rumors swirling the storyline in the day and hours leading up to first pitch at Citi Field Friday night between the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets centered around newborns.
Zack Greinke was scratched from his scheduled start so that he could return to Los Angeles to be with his wife, who gave birth to the couple’s first child Thursday night. Meanwhile Mets left-hander Jonathon Niese’s availability was in question Friday afternoon as his wife went into labor.
Niese wound up taking the mound and opened the game by striking out Joc Pederson, which has become an all-too-familiar occurrence for the rookie center fielder. Howie Kendrick then reached on an infield single and scored on Justin Turner’s RBI single. While it was Turner who came up with the hit, Kendrick deserves some credit for a crafty slide to avoid Kevin Plawecki’s tag.
Spotted an early 1-0 lead, Ian Thomas, making his first MLB start, went to three balls against the first two batters faced, allowed a one-out single, but ended the inning by inducing Daniel Murphy into a 3-6-3 double play. Niese quickly found himself in a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the second inning behind singles by Kiké Hernandez and Jimmy Rollins, and Austin Barnes getting hit by a pitch.
Thomas helped Niese out by swinging at his first offering and grounding into a run-scoring double play. Pederson then doubled down the first base line to extend the Dodgers’ lead to 3-0 before Niese managed to get out of the inning.
Thomas struck out the first two batters faced in the bottom of the second before giving up an infield single to Juan Lagares. Nothing came of it as Mets prized prospect Michael Conforto hit a rocket right to Scott Van Slyke at first base to end the inning.
CONTINUE READING: Justin Turner And Yasiel Puig Provide Run Support