The 2015 Mets have settled on an interesting formula for trying to win ballgames:
1) Ask your young starting pitcher to be perfect.
2) Hope to score a run, or maybe two if feeling saucy.
3) Pray nothing goes wrong defensively.
It worked last night, as Noah Syndergaard  pitched one of the best games of his downy career. But it didn’t work tonight, and it won’t work most nights.
You could squint a bit and find positives in tonight’s game. Matt Harvey  reported for duty to find his fastball AWOL — he couldn’t control the pitch all night and wound up walking five and running his pitch count to 100 over five innings. Not a line to text Mom about, but Harvey did a pretty nice job improvising, a lesson every young pitcher has to learn sooner or later. He reprioritized, showed the Dodgers a mix of offspeed stuff, and departing having allowed only three runs.
Three runs, alas, is more than what the Mets’ offense can match most nights. The team fought back with a flurry of offense in the eighth and ninth, drawing to within 4-3, but Curtis Granderson  struck out against J.P. Howell  to end it.
(Sign of age: I briefly confused J.P. Howell with Jay Howell  before realizing the Mets’ tangle with that Howell came a shocking 27 years ago. Christ I’m old.)
As usual with a Mets loss, that one-run deficit at the end left us examining plays not made — tonight, the grumbling was over the ball hit by Alberto Callaspo  with one out in the 7th and runners on the corners.
Alex Torres  tried to spear the ball as it bounced by him, then Ruben Tejada  and Wilmer Flores  got in each other’s airspace near second. The ball ticked off the end of Flores’s glove and wound up as a run-scoring infield hit.
It wasn’t a grotesque flub or ruled an error — in fact, whether gloved by Torres or Flores, it would have been a mildly nice play that brought an appreciative fist pump. But it was a play not made, and enough to beat the Mets .
Most nights, something like that is.