Game Recap: R.A. Dickey Follows Nohan with 5-0 Complete Game win
The day after Johan Santana officially endeared himself to every Met fan by throwing the franchise’s first ever no-hitter, R.A. Dickey took the mound in an effort to silence the Cardinals bats once again. Boy, did he ever. Dickey only kept the no-hit streak going into the second inning until Carlos Beltran led off the inning with a double, but he went the distance, keeping the St. Louis run total to zero in the first two games of this four-game set.
Dickey took his seven wins and opposed Lance Lynn, who’s broken onto the scene and is tied for the MLB lead with eight wins, continually working into the seventh and eighth inning this year. That didn’t happen today, as Lynn only lasted 4.2 innings while the Mets offense forced four walks and 105 pitchers from the St. Louis starter. Even though Dickey said at his locker Friday night that he didn’t want to follow Santana’s performance, he did anyways and the two pitchers have developed into quite the one-two punch so far this season.
The scoring started for New York in the bottom of the second, as the first three hitters reached base to load the bases. Ike Davis
singled, Omar Quintanilla was hit by a pitch, and then Josh Thole hit one of his two infield singles to bring up R.A. Dickey with three ducks on the pond. Then, Matt Adams showed how inept he is at playing the field, as his misplay gave the Mets a 1-0 lead. Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed with a ground out to first, scoring Quintanilla. Andres Torres then grounded out to Rafael Furcal, plating Dickey and giving him a 3-0 lead to work with, which would end up being all the knuckleballer needed en route to his eighth win of the season.
New York didn’t threat again until the bottom of the seventh, when the Mets put runners on second and third with no outs thanks to a Lucas Duda single and Daniel Murphy double. Even though Ike Davis and Josh Thole couldn’t cash in with runners in scoring position, Eduardo Sanchez threw a fastball to the backstop, giving the Mets a 4-0 lead. Then, David Wright gave Dickey a little more insurance after he struck out the side in the top of the eighth with a solo home run to right field, his sixth of the season.
Meanwhile, Dickey was masterful once again, as he continued to pound the strike zone as it only took him 100 pitches to throw the complete game shutout, five less than it took Lynn to get through 4.2 innings. The final line for Dickey: 9 IP, 7 hits, and 9 strikeouts. Once again, he allowed no walks, giving out only one free pass within his last three starts, while punching out 30 hitters.
The win is the second in a row for the Mets, and the second straight complete game by a New York starter. More importantly, we haven’t had to deal with our wonderful bullpen since Wednesday, so maybe a few days off will help them get things straight. They are still tied with Miami for one game out of first place and at 30-23, and join the Nationals, Marlins, and Dodgers as the only 30-win teams in the National League before games finish for the day on Saturday.
R.A. Dickey took all of the credit for today’s pitching performance, but there were three players that helped pace the offense; David Wright, Josh Thole, and Daniel Murphy all registered two-hit games. It was concerning that as a team went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base, but they were still able to put five runs on the board and get the victory.
Probable Pitchers Sunday:
The Mets and Cardinals lock up in game three of their four-game set tomorrow night when Jake Westbrook (4-4, 3.84 ERA) will try and keep the New York bats silent as Terry Collins sends out Jonathon Niese (3-2, 4.55 ERA) to try and keep the scoreless inning streak going for the Amazins. This will be the first time the Mets are on prime time television this season as they will be featured on Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN, with first pitch at Citi Field scheduled for 8:05pm.