There are no words to describe what R.A. Dickey has done this year. With tonight’s win, he becomes the MLB’s first 10-game winner, and even though he let up an unearned run in the bottom of the 9th, his 32.2 scoreless innings streak broke Jerry Koosman’s franchise record. The knuckleballer continues to make his case to start the All-Star game, and he’s enjoying a lot of run support, something that he could never get last year.
Mets Offensive Highlights:
A night after scoring double digit runs, the New York offense exploded again, starting with getting to David Price en route to nine runs and 14 hits. Every position player in the starting lineup registered at least one hit, as Andres Torres, Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, and Mike Nickeasall enjoyed multiple hit games. Dickey and Price both matched zeroes until the Mets were able to break the seal in the 5th inning. Davis got things started with a double to right field, and scored the first run of the game off a Nickeas single. Torres doubled to left to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs, and Murphy continued the Mets dominance with two outs by driving them both in with a single.
Like most of the night, Dickey retired the Rays in order in the bottom of the inning, allowing the offense to get right back to work. Scott Hairston and Jason Bay both singled to start the inning in front of Vinny Rottino, who doubled down the right field line to stretch the lead to 4-0. Ike Davis bounced a single over Carlos Pena‘s head to drive in another run. That was it for Price, but not for the Mets, as Nickeas singled, followed by another RBI single by Omar Quintanilla. In the 9th, Andres Torres singled and Murphy doubled in front of David Wright, who doubled in both of them, becoming the last starting position player to get a hit.
Rays Offensive Highlights:
There’s not really all that much to say here, because the Rays did next to nothing against R.A. Dickey. B.J. Upton recorded the only hit in the 1st inning, which was a bouncing ball that Wright couldn’t bare hand. That was pretty much it, as Dickey didn’t walk anyone last night while registering a career-high 12 strikeouts. Tampa avoided the shutout in the 9th, though; Elliot Johnson reached base on a Wright error, then advanced to 3rd base on two passed balls. Desmond Jennings grounded out, and with the outfield back, Johnson scored the lone Tampa run.
David Price started off well, but it was the patience of the Mets lineup that eventually was his downfall in the middle of the 6th inning. This outing ended up being one of his worst of the year, as he only went 5+ IP, 9 hits, 7 runs, 3 walks, and 8 strikeouts on 109 pitches. It only took Dickey 106 to get through 9 innings.
As for Dickey, his line was almost spotless, throwing 9 innings, giving up 1 hit and striking out 12. This was his second complete game on the year, and not only does he continue to lead the MLB with 10 wins, but his ERA is now a miniscule 2.20.
This is the Mets second straight win, and it’s coming at a good time as they’re keeping pace with the red-hot Washington Nationals. The Braves have lost four in a row, so New York is now tied with Atlanta for second place at 34-29, 5 games behind Davey Johnson’s club.
Ike Davis recorded his second consecutive multi-hit game after not getting two hits in a game since May 7th. Also, he almost doesn’t have the lowest batting average (.181) on the team anymore. Jason Bay singled to left for his first hit since coming off the disabled list, but his average still sunk to .183.
Probable Pitchers Thursday:
New York will be going for a sweep at Tropicana Field this afternoon with first pitch scheduled at 1:10pm. Johan Santana (3-3, 2.96 ERA) will look to bounce back from his poor start against the Yankees, now on regular rest. He will be facing 2011 AL Rookie of the Year, Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 2.65 ERA).