|R.A. Dickey is 1-5 with a 5.08 earned run average so far this season. (NYTimes.com)|
Carlos Lee got his 2,000th and 2,001st career hits, the second one a line-drive home run, and the Astros got to Mets' starter R.A. Dickey early. The result? A 7-3 New York loss in Houston.
The Bad Stuff:
- When you're a knuckleball pitcher, you need the knuckler to dance. If the knuckler refuses to dance, you've got a problem. R.A. Dickey's got himself a problem. Last year's breakthrough starter lost the game in the 1st inning, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits in that frame. Dickey settled down for the next 4 frames, but got knocked out in the 6th after back-to-back jacks by Bill Hall and Matt Downs, finishing his 5 1/3 innings with 6 runs and 11 hits against him. I hate to say it, but based on what we've seen these first couple months, it seems Dickey's 2010 was a fluke. I hope he proves me wrong.
- Conversely, Astros' starter J.A. Happ kept the Mets' bats contained in his 6 innings, giving up just 2 runs on 5 hits. He had some control problems early, walking 3, but eventually settled down. There wasn't much NY could do against this southpaw, despite his 5.00+ ERA.
- A day after his clutch homer, David Wright was right back in his rut: 0-3 with a walk. One plus, however: no strikeouts. Ronny Paulino also had a rough day, going 0-4 and leaving 5 runners on.
- The bullpen's scoreless streak also came to an end in the 7th when Ryota Igarashi served up a solo shot to El Caballo Lee.
- New York still managed some offense against the Astros' arms: after a Jose Reyes double in the 3rd, Justin Turner brought him in on a line-drive base hit. In the next inning, Daniel Murphy turned on a perfect fastball and smashed it into the right field stands. And Reyes got himself an RBI in the 9th, bringing Jason Pridie home on a single.
All-around, not the best day for the Mets. It wasn't the most agonizing loss we've had this year, but it still goes in the books as one that got away.
Finally, one for the Freak Injury category: Carlos Beltran was scratched from today's game due to swelling in his right eye. No idea what he could have done to make that happen; apparently he just woke up with it this morning. Hopefully it's nothing too serious; NY really can't lose anyone else.