R.A. Dickey‘s magical season is back on course as he looks to become the first 20-game winner for the Mets since 1990 when he takes on the Pirates in the home finale next Thursday. Meanwhile, the knuckleballer became the first pitcher in history to beat the Marlins five times in one season, while almost hitting a grand slam as well.
Mets Offensive Highlights:
The first two runs came from an unlikely source, but they were welcomed by teammates and fans alike. Lucas Duda walked in front of Jason Bay, who hit a 415-foot homer out to centerfield to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead. The scoring continued in the fourth, when Scott Hairston hit his 19th bomb of the season, a fly ball that hit just above the orange line above the center field fence. It was first ruled a double, but after looking at the instant replay, the umpires overturned their original call and allowed Hairston to round the bases. The final run, and eventual game-winning run was scored in the fifth, as Josh Thole doubled to lead things off, then Dickey hit a sharp grounder past second base to put runners on first and third. After Ruben Tejada lined out, Daniel Murphy hit a double play grounder to Carlos Lee, but he fumbled the ball and couldn’t get an out, allowing Thole to score. New York went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position, and stranded 8 runners. David Wrighthad a tough day as he’s in pursuit of the franchise hits record, going 0-for-4 and watching his season average drop to .305.
Marlins Offensive Highlights:
For most of the afternoon, Dickey had Marlin hitters guessing, as he took a shutout into the ninth inning. Greg Dobbs walked and Donovan Solano doubled to put runners on second and third with no one out, and John Buck made the game interesting with a three-run homer off the left field foul pole. It was originally called a foul ball, but after another look at the instant replay, the call was once again overturned. Rob Brantly singled to try and keep the rally alive, but it was too little, too late for Miami. Solano led the offense with three hits, while Gil Velazquez collected two of his own.
Mark Buehrle fell victim to the long ball, as he falls to .500 on the season after earning his 13th loss. The southpaw went 6 innings and gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Tom Koehler and A.J. Ramos both contributed scoreless innings of relief, but enough damage was done for the Mets to take their second straight game.
R.A. Dickey was masterful, as it was clear in the early innings he had his good knuckler with him. He pitched into the ninth innings, registering 8+ IP, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. He gave way to Jon Rauch, who gave up the home run to Buck, which scored all three of Miami’s runs. He was only charged with one, and was able to close out the ballgame once the bases cleared.
With their second straight win, the Mets are now 68-83, giving themselves a 2.5 game cushion over the Marlins to stay out of the NL East basement.
Probable Pitchers Sunday:
New York is going for the sweep Sunday afternoon, and will look to Chris Young (4-8, 4.37 ERA) to give them a strong start. Ozzie Guillen will call upon Ricky Nolasco (12-12, 4.42 ERA) to salvage the final game and avoid getting swept. First pitch in Flushing is set for 1:10pm.