Daisuke Matsuzaka hurled 7.2 shutout innings as the New York Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds 1-0 this afternoon at Great American Ball Park.
Dice-K was superb, holding the Reds to just four hits and two walks in what was undoubtedly his best performance of the season. Dice-K was an intimidating presence on the mound and displayed improved command while owning the inside part of the plate. He struck out six.
Before I get into the offense (what offense?), I gotta give props to Juan Centeno who called one of the most amazing games I’ve seen all year. Dice-K shook him off just once the whole game and it led to a a hard-hit single by Jay Bruce in the second inning. After that, Dice-K let the rookie call the shots the rest of the way. Centeno also showed off that arm I’ve raved about for two years on MMO when he became the first catcher to throw out speedster Billy Hamilton in the fifth inning. Hamilton may just be the fastest baserunner the game has seen since… wait for it… Rickey Henderson. It was a huge out. Outstanding job by Centeno who should be the backup to Travis d’Arnaud next season.
Eric Young Jr. drove in the only run in the game when he singled to right field to drive home Wilfredo Tovar after reaching on a hit-by-pitch. That was it for the Amazins offensively as Matt Latos and the Reds bullpen held the Mets do just four hits.
Another nice job by the Mets bullpen although Pedro Feliciano made things interesting in the eighth inning, but with runners on 2nd and 3rd he retired the always dangerous Joey Votto. LaTroy Hawkins finished things off and pitched a 1-2-3 9th to earn his 13th save of the season. Wow, what a season for the Hawk…
The Mets wrap up their final game on the road with a series win and a 41-40 road record on the season.
Tomorrow they head back to Citi Field where they begin their final series of the season against the Milwaukee Brewers. Dillon Gee (12-10, 3.54) will oppose Johnny Hellweg (1-4, 7.43) in a 7:10 PM start.