Nieve Struggles Again, Mets Lose 5-3

R.A. Dickey made his first start as a Mets filling in for the recently DL’d Jon Niese and delivered a quality start, but the bullpen faltered and the Mets lost 5-3 to the Nationals

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey went out for his first Mets start, going a solid 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits with 4 walks and two strikeouts. His knuckleball was dancing around the plate, and getting some swings-and-misses. He seemed to be in control minus the 4th inning, but a great effort none the less. Could R.A. hold a spot in the rotation? It really depends on the Mets ability to score runs – knuckleballers will get hit around.

The bullpen seemed out of it today, with 4 pitchers needed to finish off the last 2 innings. Raul Valdes began the 7th inning and gave off a double to the new Met killer Roger Bernadina. Fernando Nieve came out, and just looked awful, giving up the inherited runner from Valdes and two runs of his own. Oliver Perez, in his first relief appearance since Sept. 2002 (When he had talent?) walked Adam Dunn and then convinced Josh Willingham to line-out to Luis Castillo. Manny Acosta worked a 7-pitch perfect 8th inning. This bullpen is beginning to look tired, especially Nieve.

David Wright received the day off, and Fernando Tatis started in his place and went 1-3 with a possible rally-igniting home run off of Nationals close Matt Capps in the 9th. Angel Pagan, showing off his wheels hit his 3rd home run of the season the hard way – by running the bases hard and scoring. The only other player to account for an RBI was Jeff Francoeur with a sacrifice fly in the 6th inning. No Met player had more then one hit today.

The Mets batting order 1-4 (Reyes, Castillo, Bay, Davis) went 1-15 with a run, a walk and 2 strikeouts both courtesy of Ike Davis.

Livan Hernandez and his junkballing ways just seem to perplex the Mets hitters, making this his 2nd quality outing against the mets this season, allowing 2 runs over 13.2 innings. The Mets need to kill these soft-tossing pitchers if they want to utilize their speed.

Game Ball

R.A. Dickey, hands down. Could Jerry Manuel have asked for anything more? He delivered the definition of a Quality Start.

Special Moment

Angel Pagan making the shoe-string catch and initiating the triple-play in the 5th that got the Mets out of trouble.

Up Next

The Mets will send John Maine to the mound with the hope he will not repeat his last performance, and he will square off against Luis Atilano of the Nationals. Game Time is 7:10 PM