LA back to 'winning ways' as Stone's gem secures DH sweep

May 29th, 2024

NEW YORK -- As the old baseball adage goes: Momentum is the next day’s starting pitcher.

In the case of a doubleheader, after a 5-2 comeback win earlier in the day, momentum was the next starting pitcher in about 45 minutes. For the Dodgers, that was , and he delivered a gem, tossing seven scoreless innings to lead Los Angeles to a 3-0 win over the Mets, completing the sweep of Tuesday’s traditional doubleheader at Citi Field.

“In the second game, Gavin was fantastic. He really was,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “I thought he and [catcher Austin Barnes] were in lockstep all night long. Didn’t threaten at all. Got a lot of quick outs, swing and miss. His command with the fastball at the bottom of the zone was good all night long. Mixed in a lot of good changeups.”

Coming into Game 1 having dropped five straight, the Dodgers’ offense was held quiet for seven innings against Mets right-hander Tylor McGill. It looked as if they were headed for a sixth straight defeat, which would have been their longest losing streak in five seasons. But as the Dodgers have done over the years, they found a way to complete the comeback, using timely hits from Teoscar Hernández, Gavin Lux and a successful squeeze play from Chris Taylor in the ninth inning.

The win provided a sigh of relief for the Dodgers. Then it was Stone who did the rest.

Stone has been one of the bright spots for the Dodgers as they continue to navigate through an avalanche of pitching injuries to start the season. The rookie right-hander came into his Game 2 start allowing two or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts, and he continued his dominant run against a struggling Mets lineup.

His worst start was his last one, where he allowed four runs over six innings. This time out, however, Stone’s signature changeup was working from the jump, as he struck out the side in the first inning. He didn’t let up the rest of the way, allowing just three hits and only five hard-hit balls.

“I felt good,” Stone said. “Command was good and the offspeed was good, too. Felt good coming out of my hand.”

For the Dodgers, Monday’s unexpected off-day couldn’t have come at a better time. They were in the midst of their longest losing streak in five years. They’ve had a handful of hitters scuffling at the same time.

After the series opener was postponed due to rain, however, most of the Dodgers players stayed at Citi Field to get some work done. That served as a minor reset for a team that was desperately looking to get back to its winning ways.

“A lot of us took that and kind of ran with that one,” Freddie Freeman said. “We all came in. … I think it was more to keep your body moving, but being able to get off your feet for a whole day was kind of nice.”

The results that came with it were also very welcomed by the Dodgers. In the second game, hit a solo home run, his first of the season. , who has been scuffling for weeks, recorded a pair of hits. The pitching staff and the defense were sharp, too.

Knowing they needed a win, the Dodgers went into Citi Field and got two for the price of one, flipping the momentum back on their side.

“We got some hits when we needed to,” Roberts said. “And today, we sort of had the game in hand because of the way Gavin pitched. But yeah, to get back to our winning ways was a good thing. Now, we have a chance to get greedy.”