Like they have so many times this season, Terry Collins and the Mets turned to knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to help the team get back on track and in the win column. Coming off a one-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays, Dickey was brilliant once again, becoming the first pitcher to throw back-to-back one-hitters since 1988 and only the third since 1945 to do so.
Mets Offensive Highlights:
Both Dickey and Jake Arrieta hooked up for quite a pitcher’s duel throughout the first part of the game, as neither team put any runs across through the first five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, Dickey helped himself by starting the inning with a leadoff single. Kirk Nieuwenhuis flied out to center, followed by a double by Jordany Valdespin, putting runners on second and third for David Wright with one out. He lined out to J.J. Hardy, but Lucas Duda walked with two outs, bringing Ike Davisup with the bases loaded. Davis responded with his first career grand slam to center field, giving the Mets a 4-0 lead, and effectively ending the game for
the Orioles. New York added another run for good measure in the eighth; Valdespin tripled and Wright kept his hitting streak alive with an RBI infield single.
Orioles Offensive Highlights:
There was not much the Baltimore offense could do Monday night, as they were completely baffled by R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball. If it wasn’t for Wilson Betemit‘s single in the fifth inning, the Mets would have had their second no-hitter at home in nearly three weeks. Betemit also walked, as well as opposing pitcher Jake Arrieta, but that was all the baserunners Dickey would allow.
Although nobody will be talking about him today, Jake Arrieta pitched pretty well up until he gave up the grand slam to Davis in the sixth. He lasted 7 innings, gave up 6 hits, 4 runs, and 1 walk on 4 strikeouts. New York also touched up reliever Kevin Gregg in his one inning of work. Arrieta was coming off his best start of the season against the Pirates, but he gets his ninth loss of the year, and his ERA balloons up to 5.83.
On the other hand, not enough can be said about R.A. Dickey’s performance. In giving up that one hit in his 9 innings pitched, he walked 2 hitters, while striking out a career-high 13 for his MLB-leading 11th win, further proving his case to be the start for the National League in next month’s All-Star game. His 99 innings pitched this season ranks fourth in the league, his 2.00 ERA is tied with Brandon Beachy for first, and his 103 strikeouts are more than any pitcher this season.
Ike Davis has now hit in nine consecutive games. During that time, he’s hitting .462 and has risen his season average by 38 points in just about a week. Dickey has compiled a 0.18 ERA in his last six starts, and hasn’t allowed an earned run in 42.2 innings, the most by a Met since Dwight Gooden’s 49 inning streak in 1985. To make things even more impressive, the knuckleballer is the only pitcher in MLB history to start five straight games without giving up a run and striking out eight or more hitters.
The victory puts the Mets back in the win column for the first time during their current home stand, improving their season record to 36-32. The Nationals and Braves both lost their third straight game, so New York now has sole possession of second place, 4 games behind Washington.
Probable Pitchers Tuesday:
Johan Santana (4-3, 3.23 ERA) is looking to finally get back on track since his June 1st no-hitter; even though he got the win down in Tampa, he still didn’t pitch very well. He’s definitely happy to take the mound at home again, where he is 3-1 with a 1.30 ERA. Buck Showalter will run out Tommy Hunter (3-3, 5.58 ERA). He got his first win since April 24th in his last start, but has also given up 17 homers in 71 inings pitched this season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10pm.
Topics: David Wright, Game Recap, Ike Davis Grand Slam, Jordany Valdespin, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Lucas Duda, Matt Musico, Mets Game Recap, New York Mets, R.A. Dickey, R.A. Dickey Tosses One Hitter, Rising Apple, Second Straight One-hitter, Wilson Betemit