Game Recap: R.A. Dickey Denied 19th Win in 5-3 Loss

By Matt Musico

R.A. Dickey pitched very well against the Nationals…in fact, he pitched well enough to tie Gio Gonzalez for NL lead with 19 wins. Even though the Mets scored three runs at home for the first time in what seems like an eternity, it wasn’t enough to preserve the win for the knuckleballer. However, it was nice to see the offense have some kind of pulse tonight.

Mets Offensive Highlights:

New York had an immediate chance to break the game wide open on Jordan Zimmermann and the Nats in the bottom of the first, as they loaded the bases with only one out. Like most of the time in the second half, they weren’t able to cash in, and were held scoreless until they put together a rally in the fifth inning. Ruben Tejada singled with one out and came around to score on an RBI double from Daniel Murphy. David Wright followed him with an RBI single, giving the Mets a short-lived lead. After falling behind again, they stayed dormant until Scott Hairstonpinch hit in the ninth and tied his single-season high with his 17th homer of the season. Tejada was the only Met with a multi-hit game, as he racked up three hits.

Sep 11, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey has a conversation with home plate umpire Rob Drake at the end of the 5th inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Tim Farrell/THE STAR-LEDGER via US PRESSWIRE

Nationals Highlights:

The more I watch this team, the more I wonder how anyone is going to beat them in October. They immediately put pressure on Dickey in the first inning, as Jayson Werth singled to lead things off, followed by a double from Bryce Harper. Ryan Zimmerman made it worthwhile with a sacrifice fly to plate the first run. In the seventh, Kurt Suzuki singled in front of the pitcher’s spot, and Tyler Moore made his pinch-hitting appearance memorable with his ninth home run, re-taking the lead for Washington. They added insurance in the ninth inning, as Suzuki singled in Danny Espinosa and Harper hit an RBI single, his fourth hit of the night as he continues to take the place of Chipper Jones for the biggest Met killer.

Pitching Highlights:

Dickey put together a solid outing, but he was unable to slip a knuckleball past Moore to leave the game with a lead. He went 7 innings and allowed 3 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 2. Jon Rauch turned in a scoreless eighth as he continues his fantastic run, but Frank Francisco couldn’t record an out in the ninth, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits and a walk, as he needed Josh Edgin and Manny Acosta to bail him out of a jam.

Zimmermann threw 104 pitches in 5 innings of work, so his lack of length prevented him from factoring in the decision. Tom Gorzelanny threw a scoreless sixth and earned his fourth win of the year, as Christian Garcia, Michael Gonzalez, and Drew Storen are all credited with holds as they bridged the gap to Tyler Clippard, earning his 31st save of the season.

The Mets continue their current spiral, as they’ve now lost five games in a row and have dropped to 65-77 on the year, now 6 games behind the streaking Phillies for third place in the NL East.

Probable Pitchers Wednesday:

The Mets are once again trying to avoid a sweep at home, as Matt Harvey (3-4, 3.04 ERA) makes his second-to-last start of the season against John Lannan (2-0, 3.46 ERA), as he takes the place of recently shut down Stephen Strasburg. First pitch at Citi Field is set for 7:10pm.