Backed by an enormous offensive effort highlighted by a two homerun game by David Wright, R.A. Dickey held the first place Washington Nationals at bay to grab his 13th victory on the season and more importantly end the Mets six-game skid.
In one of the more prominent matchups of the season, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey took the mound going head-to-head with the Nats’ all-star southpaw Gio Gonzalez. It quickly however became very clear that this wouldn’t be the pitcher’s duel it was shaping up to be on paper. Gonzalez quickly allowed a base hit to Andres Torres which was followed by a first-pitch, moon shot off the bat of David Wright that landed over the bullpen in left center to stake the Amazin’s to an early 2-0 lead. Come the bottom half of the frame however, Ryan Zimmerman deposited a 79mph knuckleball in almost the exact same spot to cut the lead in half.
Fully aware of how the games have played out as of late, the Mets decided that a close game wouldn’t be sufficent, so instead of scraping across a run here or ther, they went on a rampage. Ike Davis hit a solo homer in the second, then after a Scott Hairston RBI groundout, Davis drove in another run, this time it would remain in the ballpark and he would settle for a single and a pair of RBI-steaks.
The fourth however was where the major damage was done. Ruben Tejada got in on the action, scoring Josh Thole on a base hit o his own, then was quickly accompanied on the basepaths by Torres before Wright stepped into the batter’s box. With a 1-2 count, he went yard again, this time going the other way to right center to hand Dickey and the Mets a 9-1 lead.
Dickey did not have great command of his knuckler for the majority of this game, forcing him to throw more fastballs, yet adjusted to squirm his way into the eighth inning before being lifted for Tim Byrdak. With exception to the Zimmerman home run, Dickey held the fort down for the majority of the game, fooling the Nats hitters and getting oout of jams despite not having his best stuff. Dickey ended the evening with a final line of 7 1/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on ten hits while walking one and punching out five, earning his league leading 13th victory on the season.
The bullpen however continued to be awful, but this time around the offense was able to score enough runs despite the ‘pen’s best effort. TIm Byrdak came in and after punching out Bernadina got a ground ball, but Wright threw it away and allowed an unearned run to cross. Byrdak was then relieved for Ramon Ramirez who allowed a hit before Edgin came in to end the threat after also allowing a single. Then in the ninth, with a five-run lead, Parnell came in and let three runners reach base, one of them scoring before he finally ended the game, striking out the rookie Sandy Leon swinging to give the Mets a MUCH needed victory.
Hero Of The Game:
David Wright, for his two home runs and continuation of his MVP caliber year. McCutchen is certainly up front, but if Wright stays this hot, he’s in the MVP conversation.
-Could this have been any bigger of a win for the Mets? Season is on the brink and they come out and pound one of the best pitchers in the game this season to get out of D.C. with a win.
-R.A. Dickey and David Price both got their 13th victories of the season, now leading their respective leagues in that category. Dickey has now won 11 straight, moving into third place all time in Mets history behind only Seaver and Gooden.
-Wright has now homered three times in his last two games to draw even with Ike Davis for the club lead in home runs at 14 while also boosting his average back up to .353.
-Andres Torres had a two hit game and scored three times, now 10-for-21 since the All-Star break. FInally he is starting to hit!
-In addition to Wright and Torres, Ruben Tejada, Ike Davis and Justin Turner all had multi-hit games.
-The Mets apparently discussed Luke Gregerson with the Padres, but shot down the idea of a swap of him for Daniel Murphy. Alderson has also been linked to Grant Balfour, Brett Myers, Jonathon Broxton, Francisco Rodriguez and Huston Street to name a few.
Mets come home and open up a series with Matt Kemp and the Dodgers behind JOhan Santana starting Friday at 7:05pm.