Mets 5, Dodgers 4

Within minutes of me informing Aram Tolegian, who is covering the game for us today, that the Dodgers were about to take their first two-game lead in the NL West since May 19, the Dodgers blew the lead in the ninth, another example of how Jonathan Broxton might not be ready for the closer role. He had trouble throwing strikes throughout the ninth inning, especially after Carlos Delgado reached on that tough play in the first that James Loney perhaps should have made, although it was ruled a hit. The tying run scored on an error by Matt Kemp, who, as good a hitter as he already is, needs a little work in the outfield. The Mets scratched out a run in the 10th off D.J. Houlton. The Dodgers almost scratched one out in the bottom of the 10th off Billy Wagner, but they ended up leaving the tying run on third and the winning run on second when Nomar, who had homered earlier in the game, took a called third strike. By the way, Russell Martin is 3 for 23 since sitting out on Tuesday night. The boys fall to 55-44 and remain one game up on the Pods. Off to Houston in the morning (early). Talk to you when I get there.

Dodgers 8, Mets 6

Penny went 6 1/3 and became the first Dodgers pitcher to start 12-1 since Phil Regan went 14-1 in 1966. Saito obviously wasn’t available again, because he never warmed up in the ninth and Broxton got the final five outs in order, with three strikeouts, after Beltran’s homer chased Beimel. Beltran is 6 for 13 for three home runs and a double in the series. All three of his homers have come in the eighth inning. Dodgers go to 55-43. Pods play later. Arizona won and will stay 4 1/2 back. Colorado lost and will fall 5 1/2 back.

Bats come alive

Sosa’s second time through the order wasn’t so good. The boys exploded for five in the fourth, the big blow a three-run jack by Matt Kemp, then added two more in the sixth when Ruben Gotay made a wild relay on what would have been an inning-ending GIDP by Martin. But Beimel just gave up a two-run shot to Carlos Beltran, so this is a long way from being over. Not sure of Saito is available — Grady says he isn’t going to identify his available relievers to the media before the game anymore because it tips off the other team — but Brox is coming on now to replace Beimel. Dodgers 8, Mets 6, top 8

Penny settling in, but is it too late?

He walked the leadoff man in the second, and it wound up costing him a two-run inning. He got two quick outs in the third, but Carlos Beltran got him for a two-out single, and David Wright followed with a homer to right-center. Mets haven’t had a hit since, and the Dodgers got a run back in the third when Penny doubled and scored on Juan Pierre’s single, extending Pierre’s hitting streak to 14 games. But Jorge Sosa is pitching WELL for the Mets, even better than Oliver Perez last night. … By the way, another thing I never got into the paper last night was that Mets Jose Valentin, who spent a season with the Dodgers two years ago (most of it on the DL), broke his right tibia when he fouled a ball off his leg last night. … Mets 4, Dodgers 1, bottom 4

Betemit not going to Yankees

One of the hot rumors of the day, which you likely will read somewhere on the internet, is that the Dodgers are about to trade Wilson Betemit to the Yankees for reliever Scott Proctor. Let me be the first to nip it in the bud, because it ain’t going to happen, according to a very reliable source I just spoke with. Although it WAS discussed at one point, it never really got off the ground. … Forgot to get this in the paper last night, but Jeff Kent has tied Willie Mays for 33rd place on the all-time doubles list with 523 and Yogi Berra for 68th place on the all-time home run list with 358.

Mets 4, Dodgers 1

From the Dodgers’ perspective, this game was lost when Roberto Hernandez came in and allowed the first three batters he faced to reach and score, turning a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 deficit. But don’t lose sight of the performance of Oliver Perez. This guy is finally blossoming into the pitcher he was always supposed to be, and as good as the Dodgers have been offensively of late, he took them to school tonight. They got their hits, putting a man on base in six of the eight innings that began with Perez on the mound. But time after time, he came up with big pitches at big times, and the Dodgers were helpless to do much about it. Dodgers went 0 for 8 w/RISP. Hope they’re not falling back into old habits. They fell to 54-43 and stayed tied with the Pods, 4 1/2 games ahead of the fading Snakes and the surging Rox.

Tonight’s lineup … and an oops on my part

I wrote in today’s paper that the tentative target date for Wolf to return is Aug. 1. Not sure how that happened, but I read the calendar wrong. If he pitches on Wed. at Inland Empire and returns five days later, that would put him on track to return July 31, not Aug. 1. Five days later is actually July 30, but the Dodgers are off that day. My bad.

SS Furcal
CF Pierre
C Martin
2B Kent
LF Gonzo
3B Nomar
1B Loney
RF Kemp
RH Tomko

Mets 13, Dodgers 9

Interesting that six recent former Dodgers took part in this massacre, including Aaron Sele, who was awarded the victory by scorer’s discretion because Tom Glavine didn’t go the requisite five innings. As bad a night as it was, though, it provided even more evidence of just how bright the Dodgers’ future is. James Loney and Matt Kemp, batting seventh and eighth, respectively, took good at-bats all night (well, most of the night). Some of these young kids take at-bats like they have been in the league for 10 years. Meanwhile, Hu and LaRoche continued to sizzle tonight. Vegas beat Portland 14-6 tonight, with Hu going 3 for 4 with a double and LaRoche going 2 for 5 with a home run. … Dodgers fall to 54-42 and back into a first-place tie with San Diego. This bullpen is in trouble, especially with Tomko going tonight. But Grady did a good job of staying away from Broxton and Saito tonight, and Hendrickson did a good job of eating two innings. Also Roberto Hernandez had a nice Dodgers debut, retiring the Mets in order in the seventh.