After losing a tough one Friday night, the New York Mets got back to their winning ways Saturday afternoon with a 9-3 win at the new Marlins Park.
Ricky Nolasco couldn’t find the plate early, walking Andres Torres and Kirk Nieuwenhius to begin the game. David Wright, with his .400 avg against Nolasco, plated Andres Torres on a single to left field.
RA Dickey made quick work of the Marlins in the 1st, but in the 2nd they tied the game on 3 singles in a row (8,001 games without a no-hitter.) The 3rd single led Giancarlo Stanton to get caught between 2nd and 3rd, and what looked like a possible disaster turned into a routine rundown as RA Dickey stayed alert and ran to the empty 3rd base bag to tag Stanton out. The next two batters went quietly to limit the damage to 1 run.
In the top of the 3rd, after getting Cap’n Kirk to fly out to center, Nolasco had the unfortunate luck of having to face “The New Franchise” once more, and David Wright made him pay, hitting an opposite bomb to right field to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.
In the top of the 4th, after Ike Davis popped out to 1st base, Ronny Cedeno and Mike Nickeas both singled, setting up a sacrifice bunt for the knuckler RA. The next batter, Andres Torres, appeared to line out to the center fielder, but in fact caught a piece of the catcher’s glove in his swing and reached 1st base on an interference call. Up walked Kirk Nieuwenhuis, looking to cash in when the Mets do their best work: with 2 out. After a solid at-bat, he waited on a low change-up and hit a ground-ball single through the hole to right field to plate Ronny Cedeno for the 3rd run.
The Mets reached the top of the 5th looking to tack on more. Lucas Duda started the inning off singling to center field. Daniel Murphy hit a ground ball up the middle, which bounced up and hit Ricky Nolasco‘s back. The ball ricocheted to Hanley Ramirez, who came in and threw the ball to 1st. Lucas Duda recognized the absence of a fielder at 3rd base and rounded 2nd with the intention of arriving at the next base safely. With Daniel Murphy safe at 1st, the Marlins had no play and were stuck with nobody out and runners on the corners. Ike made the 1st out of the inning, softly grounding out in front of the plate and sending Murphy down to 2nd. Ronny Cedeno grounded out and the Marlins got the 2nd out they needed by tagging Duda at home. Just as it appeared the Marlins might get themselves out of the Mets’ threat, Nolasco’s lack of control reared its ugly head once more as Mike Nickeas was hit on the chest to load the bases. RA Dickey walked up to the plate, and a huge scare was sent through the pulse of the Mets and their fans as the Knuckleballer was hit on his right wrist, forcing in a run. He grabbed it in pain as Collins and the head trainer, Ray Ramirez, ran out to check on him, but once they did so he tightened his grimace and walked down to 1st. After Andres Torres plated two with a single, that was it for Ricky Nolasco, as Ozzy Guillen made his way out to bring in Mike Dunn. The southpaw struck out Cap’n Kirk, and the Mets took a 6-1 lead into the bottom of the 5th.
Met fans everywhere held their breath, waiting to see how Dickey’s wrist would hold up. While our new foe Jose Reyes singled with 1 out, Dickey was able to get Omar Infante to ground into a double play. He was beginning to throw more fastballs, but his knuckleball, however, kept on knuckling.
RA Dickey finished with a 6-inning, 9-hit, 2-run line to improve his record to 5-1. Whether the Mets will give the wrist an X-ray remains to be seen.
The Mets tacked on 3 more runs in the 6th, 8th and 9th, finishing the afternoon with 9 runs on 16 hits and 4 walks. David Wright, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy went a collective 10-16, each collecting at least 3 hits (with Wright going 4 for 6, raising his average to .402.)