After climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and publishing his autobiography this winter, R.A. Dickey took the hill for his first start of the season, and helped the Mets to their second win of the season in as many games.
Following Thursday’s 1-0 victory, the Mets looked to keep the momentum going in today’s matinee against the division-rival Atlanta Braves as R.A. Dickey went toe-to-toe with Met-killer Jair Jurrjens. The game got off to a bad start as Jason Bay mis-played a Michael Bourn fly-ball that went for a double. Following a groundout, Bourn rushed home on a passed ball only to be greeted by Dickey, getting tagged out at the dish. So despite Bay and Thole’s best efforts, the game remained scoreless.
That is until the bottom half of the frame when David Wright went opposite field for the first home run by a Met this season. Landing deep into the visitor’s bullpen, Wright’s dinger would have been out even in the old Citi Field dimensions. Wright has hit the ground running so far, going 5-for-8 in his first two games.
The power stroke would continue for the Mets as Lucas Duda hit not one, but two solo shots in the 4th and 7th innnings, accounting for half of the Mets total runs on the day. Duda showed today in those two homers that he is indeed no fluke, and here to stay.
The only source of offense for the Braves came in the top of the fifth when Martin Prado hit a two run shot off of R.A. Dickey, breaking a streak of 13 2/3 scoreless innings to start off the 2012 season for Mets pitching. Dickey finished the day going six innings, surrendering just the two runs on five hits and four walks while punching out three.
Frank Francisco came on to close out the ninth and handed the Amazin’s a scoreless frame, picking up his second save in as many games.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis also made his major league debut today, going 2-4 with two singles. He will likely split time with Scott Hairston in centerfield until Andres Torres returns.
-Dickey’s knuckleball looked as good as ever. It’s days like that when I think he could throw the Mets first no-no
-I am a bit concerned about Ike. His stance at the plate is different and not in a good way. I’ll chalk it up to rust from missing most of 2011 but I hope he corrects it soon.
-The bullpen looks awesome. Parnell looks to have matured, realizing 93-95mph with command is more effective than 101mph and all over the place.
-Thole looks to have improved offensively somewhat, but as for defense, the guy is awful. Like trying to backhand a knuckleball? Can we get a real catcher in here?
Lucas Duda: For his two solo shots that ended up being the difference in today’s 4-2 victory over the Braves. I expect him to move up to the 5th spot soon after that performance today.
Newly extended Jon Niese looks to complete the sweep of the Braves tomorrow in a Sunday matinee against top-pitching prospect Mike Minor.
Happy Easter Eve everyone!