LOS ANGELES — Brodie Van Wagenen saw from a prime seat what a World Series team looks like Monday night at Dodger Stadium and what a superstar Cody Bellinger has become for the Dodgers.
Now he has a much better idea of the mountain his Mets have to climb.
Sure, the 6-1 homestand was a nice excursion for the Mets. It took some of the heat off Mickey Callaway, but the heat is right back on the front burner after the Dodgers beat the Mets, 9-5, to put the Mets back under .500 at 26-27.
The Mets made the final out of the eighth inning at third base when with the bases-loaded and one out, J.D. Davis flied to right to Bellinger. Carlos Gomez tried to go from second to third and was thrown out by Bellinger for the double play before Tomas Nido crossed the plate. The Mets also had two runners thrown out at home earlier in the game, Michael Conforto and Nido.
This was a complete victory for the Dodgers. Bellinger also launched his 19th home run of the season, one of three homers the Dodgers hit.
The Dodgers are rolling in the NL West as they upped their record to 36-18. They are a deep and dangerous club and they drove up Jacob deGrom’s pitch count so the Cy Young winner could only go five innings. Then the young arms in the Mets bullpen, Tyler Bashlor and Daniel Zamora were hammered.
Callaway said Bellinger’s throw was one of the greatest in the game.
“It was just an unbelievable throw, you are going to see that on the highlights for the next 30 years,’’ Callaway said. “They are going to be playing it over and over, it’s kind of like one of those throws Vlad [Guerrero] made 20 years ago. It was just an unbelievable throw. When you swing the bats like they do and you play great defense and [Clayton] Kershaw is on the mound, they are going to be tough to beat.’’
DeGrom left with a 3-2 lead before the Met’s young bullpen arms were crushed by the Dodger bats. The Dodgers scored six times in the sixth inning, getting two home runs, one by Chris Taylor off Bashlor and a three-run pinch-hit home run by Kiké Hernandez off Zamora.
Bellinger, who always seems to inflict pain on the Mets, blasted a long home run off deGrom in the third inning, his 19th homer of the season. DeGrom has never beaten the Dodgers in the regular season in nine tries and Bellinger is one of the reasons why he struggles against the Dodgers.
Callaway even gave deGrom his personal catcher in Nido but deGrom had to use everything he had just to make it through five innings.
Bellinger, the son of former Yankee Clay Bellinger, was a fourth-round pick of the Dodgers in 2013. Eight picks earlier the Mets made their own legacy pick selecting L.J. Mazzilli, Lee’s son.
Of course, if the Dodgers knew Bellinger was going to be such a star, they would have picked him higher than the 123rd pick of that draft, but this is one example of how the talent gap has evolved between the two teams.
The Dodgers pounded out 17 hits in their eight innings.
This was only the first game of a four-game series, so the Mets could turn it around, but it will have to be done quickly and they will have to be at their best to beat LA. It is an incredible challenge.
Van Wagenen was here with some of his special consultants, including David Wright, and got a clear picture of the talent gap between the two teams.
There is much work to do and whether Callaway holds onto his job or not, this is going to be quite the challenge.
Callaway knows the ax can fall at any second and there were enough Mets executives running around Dodger Stadium on Monday night but what they saw was the talent difference between the two teams.
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