The Mets needed a win in the worst way this afternoon at Nationals Park. Terry Collins turned to R.A. Dickey to give them another solid start and hoped that the offense would kick it into high gear before the ninth inning with their backs against the wall. Well, the New York bats proceeded to score in the first four innings of the ballgame to stake Dickey to a big lead, one that was big enough for the bullpen to hold onto.
Mets Offensive Highlights:
Andres Torres reached on a single in the first inning and David Wright launched a home run in his second straight at-bat, dating back to last night, giving R.A. Dickey and the Amazins to a quick 2-0 lead. Then, once Wright tied him for the club lead in home runs, Ike Davis decided to take the lead back momentarily in the top of the second with a solo shot of his own, his 14th of the season. In the third, Ruben Tejada led things off with a single, followed by a ground-rule double off the bat of Torres. Gonzalez decided to intentionally walk Wright to load the bases, and induced a double play from Scott Hairston, but not before the fourth run of the game came across. Davis added another two-out run with an RBI single. New York continued scoring in their fourth straight inning, as Josh Tholeled off the frame with a walk, followed by a sacrifice bunt by Dickey, allowing Tejada to drive him home. David Wright kept
pouring it on in the fourth, as he hit his second home run of the game, a three-run bomb that scored Tejada and Torres.
Nationals Offensive Highlights:
Ryan Zimmerman answered back in the bottom of the first, launching a solo home run of his own against Dickey, but the knuckleballer was able to settle down after that for the next few innings. Be it as it may, it was much nicer for Dickey to work with a big lead instead of having to try and be perfect to keep the Mets in the game. The Nationals were able to strike again in the 6th, as Mark DeRosa led off with a double, then moved to 3rd with one out after an Adam LaRoche groundout. Michael Morse drove him in with a sacrifice fly to plate the second run of the day for Washington. The Nats continued chipping away in the 8th against Dickey, as Ian Desmond singled and scored on a Michael Morse double. Morse ended up scoring on a throwing error by Wright to extend the inning, bringing home Washington’s fourth run of the afternoon, but Harper couldn’t cash in with the bases juiced and two outs.
Today was not a good day for Gio Gonzalez, as he only lasted 3.1 innings and gave up 6 runs on 6 hits. He also didn’t have his command today, as the Mets drew 3 walks, while striking out twice. He gave way to Craig Stammen, who was trying to eat some innings for Davey Johnson, but got touched up as he surrendered the second home run to David Wright in his 3.1 innings pitched. Henry Rodriguez came in and threw 1.1 hitless innings in relief, giving way to Drew Storen, who made his season debut today, appearing for the first time since being activated off the DL, throwing a scoreless ninth.
R.A. Dickey started off great, but ran into some trouble towards the end of his 7.1 inning outing. He ended up allowing 10 hits and 1 walk on 4 runs (3 earned), while striking out 5. Tim Byrdak followed the knuckleballer, but could only get one out, leading Terry Collins to bring in Ramon Ramirez. He gave up a single to load the bases, but Josh Edgin saved the day by forcing Bryce Harper to fly out with the bases loaded to end the threat. Bobby Parnell came on to close the door in the ninth, although it wasn’t a save situation, and despite his best efforts, he only allowed one run in his inning of work.
David Wright enjoyed a two-homer game, as he, Tejada, and Torres combined for six hits in the first three spots in the lineup. Also, Ike Davis and Justin Turner added multi-hit games of their own. With the victory, R.A. Dickey now has 13 wins on the year, tying him with David Price for the MLB lead, and taking sole possession of first place in the National League.
The win snaps the five game losing streak endured by the Mets and their first victory since before the All-Star break improves their record to 47-45, now 7 games behind the Nationals.
Probable Pitchers Friday:
The Mets return home to Citi Field for the first time after the All-Star break and welcome in the Dodgers as Aaron Harang (6-5, 3.53 ERA) takes the hill against Johan Santana (6-6, 3.59 ERA). First pitch is scheduled in Flushing for 7:10pm.