Wild 11th gives Dodgers win over Mets
LA wins appeal in top half of inning, then scores on error
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Monday night won a game, 3-2, only moments after they trailed, 3-2.
It was that kind of game.
It was all Joe Torre could do to keep a straight face when he delivered his deadpan postgame message to the Dodgers as they bounced into the clubhouse.
"OK, guys," Torre said, "tomorrow we'll beat them."
It was just as hard to believe who won this game, even after seeing it, as the first-place Dodgers opened the homestand against the first-place Mets with a bizarre 3-2 win in 11 innings, even though moments earlier it was the Mets who led, 3-2, only to have a run taken off the scoreboard.
"There was something weird going on today," said starting pitcher Randy Wolf, charged with only two runs in 7 2/3 innings but saddled with the sixth no-decision in his past seven starts. "That was the strangest game I've ever seen."
The Dodgers were outhit, 12-5. They went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14 runners. Nonetheless, they are 14 games above .500 for the first time since 2006, they've won five of six, are 15-3 at home and 3-1 in extra-inning games.
And the Mets have only themselves to blame, as they committed five official defensive errors and something even worse on the bases.
After having a run taken off the board in the top of the 11th, the Mets were charged with two of the errors in the decisive bottom of the 11th. The game ended with first baseman Jeremy Reed, part of a five-man infield, fielding Orlando Hudson's one-out, bases-loaded bouncer, only to throw so wide of home plate that the ball nearly wound up in Dodgers owner Frank McCourt's dugout seats.
"I was thinking of breaking it up, but the ball got there so fast I didn't have a chance," said Mark Loretta, who scored on the play.
The winning run that shouldn't have scored was brought home by Loretta, who also was responsible for taking away the Mets run that should have scored when he saw that Ryan Church -- apparently scoring from first on Angel Pagan's two-out triple off Ramon Troncoso -- missed third base.
"On that play, when there's no throw, there's nowhere else to go if you're the third baseman but to the base and see if he steps on it," Loretta said. "He didn't. It's just kind of a habit."
Loretta called for the ball, made the appeal, umpire Mike DiMuro agreed and ruled Church the third out, taking the run off the board.
"We certainly got lucky," said Torre. "To be in extra innings and something like that, I don't know if I've ever seen it."
Then Loretta led off the winning rally with a walk against Brian Stokes. Center fielder Carlos Beltran and left fielder Pagan miscommunicated as Xavier Paul's fly ball fell between them for an error on Beltran, with Loretta taking third and Paul second.
Juan Pierre was walked intentionally to load the bases for Rafael Furcal, with the Mets bringing in Beltran as a fifth infielder. Furcal flied to left to bring up Hudson, who couldn't get the ball out of the five-man infield but got the Dodgers a win, anyway.
"It was just wacky," said Loretta. "Never seen anything like it."
The Dodgers scored twice in the first inning off Tim Redding, set up by Furcal's hit-and-run single. Pierre scored the first run on a contact play, racing home from third on Hudson's soft bouncer to first baseman Fernando Tatis. Furcal scored on James Loney's sacrifice fly.
The Mets scored in the second off Wolf on a double by David Wright and an RBI groundout by former Dodger Ramon Martinez, called up earlier in the day. They tied the game in the eighth after a leadoff double by Pagan.
Two outs later, with Cory Wade relieving Wolf, former Dodger Gary Sheffield fisted a ball between first and second base. Second baseman Hudson, shifted near the bag, chased the ball down in shallow right field, but Pagan beat his throw to the plate.
"For all that happened at the end, Wolf was the story," Loretta said. "He kept us right there into the eighth. I'm sorry he didn't get the win."
Wolf has a 1.45 ERA in his past five starts, but this time he pitched to contact, was more economical with his pitches and lasted longer than he has in any of his nine starts.
"That's the best he's pitched in a long time," said Torre. "His pitch count  made it tough to make a decision to take him out."
Wolf lowered his ERA to 2.72.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.