Dodgers play­ing the deep cuts

They hit five homers to erase 3-0 deficit and are 43-7 in last 50.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - DODGERS 7 NEW YORK METS 4 By Andy McCul­lough

NEW YORK — The 1912 New York Giants were a for­mi­da­ble bunch. Run­ning the team from the bench was Hall of Fame man­ager John McGraw. Christy Mathew­son won 23 games and saved five oth­ers. Larry Doyle hit .330 and was the Na­tional League most valu­able player. At one point dur­ing their charmed sum­mer, the group went 43-7.

“I think some guys in the club­house here think I was on that team,” cracked Rich Hill, who is, at 37, the old­est pitcher on the Dodgers. “Un­for­tu­nately, I missed that.”

But he has not missed the per­for­mance of the 2017 Dodgers, who took a 7-4 vic­tory over the Mets on Satur­day to im­prove their record to 43-7 since June 7. No ma­jor league team has per­formed bet­ter over a 50game stretch since McGraw and Mathew­son and Doyle prowled the Polo Grounds, ac­cord­ing to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The 2013 Dodgers came

close. This cur­rent club has sur­passed even that.

“What was the 2013 team, 42-8?” Justin Turner said. “Got ’em!”

On Satur­day, Turner was one of five Dodgers to homer as the team over­came a three-run first-in­ning deficit and showed off their of­fen­sive fire­power de­spite fail­ing to record a hit in the first four in­nings.

Chris Tay­lor and Cody Bellinger com­bined to tie the score in the sixth. Yasiel Puig broke the dead­lock in the sev­enth. An in­ning later, Turner ended a 13-game drought without a homer. In the ninth, Corey Sea­ger emp­tied Citi Field with a two-run shot.

Am­bushed for three solo homers in the first, Hill re­cov­ered to strike out eight and didn’t give up an­other run. The bullpen kept the Mets quiet un­til Ross Stripling al­lowed a solo homer in the ninth.

All 11 runs in the game scored on home runs.

“We win in dif­fer­ent ways,” man­ager Dave Roberts said. “Those guys slugged early. We slugged late. Con­sis­tent con­tri­bu­tions from all these guys through­out the lineup.”

The Mets blood­ied Hill in the first. He paid for a belth­igh, 0-1 fast­ball to out­fielder Michael Con­forto in the first at-bat of the in­ning. The ball landed in the Dodgers’ bullpen.

Two bat­ters later, Hill fed first base­man Wilmer Flores an­other fast­ball at the waist. Flores drove this one just be­yond the fence of the left-field party deck.

Four pitches af­ter Flores’ homer, out­fielder Cur­tis Gran­der­son at­tacked yet an­other mis­placed fast­ball. All three pitches re­ceived punishment for their lo­ca­tion.

“Just a few pitches left over the mid­dle of the plate,” Hill said. “Some­times those trans­late to pop flies. And those trans­lated into fly balls.”

In charge of the lead was a 27-year-old right-han­der mak­ing his 10th ap­pear­ance in 2017. Seth Lugo posted a 2.67 earned-run av­er­age in 2016, but his ERA this year was 4.53 head­ing into Satur­day.

De­spite his mid­dling sta­tis­tics, Lugo kept the Dodgers off bal­ance. He is­sued a one­out walk to Sea­ger in the first in­ning, but re­tired the 14 other hit­ters he faced to start the day.

The Dodgers re­mained in search of their first hit when the fifth in­ning be­gan. With two outs, Yas­mani Gran­dal whacked a changeup into the right-field cor­ner for a dou­ble. A rally ap­peared pos­si­ble, with Yasiel Puig up next. But Mets man­ager Terry Collins de­fused the sit­u­a­tion by in­ten­tion­ally walk­ing Puig. Hill struck out to strand the run­ners.

That only de­layed the in­evitable. Lugo could not com­plete the sixth. Tay­lor ham­mered a hang­ing slider for a solo shot, his 15th home run of the sea­son, to lead off the in­ning and get the Dodgers on the board. Be­fore this sea­son, Tay­lor had home­red once in the ma­jors.

“That was the goal com­ing into the year: I wanted to hit for more power, I wanted to drive the ball,” Tay­lor said. “But if you would have told me I would have 15 homers at this point, I would have been shocked.”

Two bat­ters later, Turner sup­plied a sin­gle. The ta­ble was set for Bellinger. He did not wait long. Lugo missed up­stairs with a fast­ball. A slider sailed too far in­side. Rather than chal­lenge Bellinger with a 2-0 fast­ball, Lugo tried to fool him with an­other slider. It crossed the heart of the plate. Bellinger made it dis­ap­pear over the fence in right.

“It’s hard to get through [our lineup] mul­ti­ple times,” Bellinger said. “It was just a mat­ter of time.”

The on­slaught had only be­gun. Puig lined the first pitch of the sev­enth in­ning just over the fence in left. It was his 21st homer of the sea­son, as he continues to build on his ca­reer high.

An in­ning later, Turner con­nected with a 90-mph fast­ball down the mid­dle from Mets re­liever Paul Se­wald, hit­ting it over the cen­ter-field fence to add some in­sur­ance. There was more where that came from. In the ninth, Sea­ger det­o­nated a 91mph fast­ball deep into the sec­ond deck in right field. An ex­o­dus of Mets fans soon fol­lowed, an­other group as­tounded by the 2017 Dodgers.

“We’re just very con­fi­dent,” Tay­lor said. “We un­der­stand that at any point in the game, we can go off.”

Mike Stobe Getty Im­ages

BUILD­ING on a ca­reer-best sea­son, Yasiel Puig hit his 21st home run to break a 3-3 tie in the sev­enth.

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