|Dillon Gee had a no-hitter for five and two-thirds innings as the Mets combined on their second consecutive shutout. (NYTimes.com)|
Dillon Gee pitched the best outing of his young career, while Justin Turner once again gave the Mets all the offense they needed to beat the Nationals 1-0.
The Good Stuff:
- 25-year-old Dillon Gee continues to impress. He took a no-hitter into the 6th and finished with just 2 hits over 7 2/3 strong innings, walking 3 and striking out 3. In a year where starting pitching has been the biggest question, Gee has been the brightest star. His young age is an added plus; assuming nothing goes wrong, he could be in the rotation for many years to come.
- Justin Turner did it with his bat and his glove this afternoon, driving in the game's only run on a line-drive single in the 4th, snagging a foul ball from the seats in the 7th (thanks Mr. Fan for moving your arms so he could get it), and robbing Jayson Werth of the game-tying hit in the 9th with a beautiful stab on a hard groundball (this is where the luck comes in: the throw to first was late and pulled Daniel Murphy off the bag, but umpire Phil Cuzzi awarded the tie to the fielder, calling Werth out).
- Momentum regained after the lucky break, Fransisco Rodriguez buckled down and got his 14th straight save. K-Rod's ERA is down to 0.79 and he's on an 18-inning scoreless streak. When you put up numbers like that, the occasional (or frequent) baserunner in scoring position is excusable. K-Rod walks a fine tightrope, but he walks it well enough to join Ringling Brothers.
- Also worth note: Jason Bay got his first 3-hit game of the year, going 3-4 with a double. He also had a nice catch in the 6th to keep Gee's no-hit bid alive.
- In that same 6th, Washington starter Livan Hernandez grounded one up the middle for hit #1, ending Gee's no-hit bid. Most Met fans are aware: it's the team's 50th season and they've never had a no-hitter. Only the San Diego Padres share that distinction. As NoNoHitters.com points out, that's now 7,849 games without holding the opposition hitless. I would disagree with the site's monicker "Enduring Our 50th Year of Futility" by pointing out that while, yes, we're one of two teams to never accomplish the feat, we've still had far more success than the other guys ('69 and '86 plus two more pennants; the Padres have 2 pennants and no titles). Someday it will happen, but until then, that one pitch that Gee threw to Livan gets the Bad Stuff. But as long as we get ours before San Diego gets theirs, I'm good.
- RISP continues to be a problem; the Mets went 1-7 today and are batting an NL-worst around .220 (the average is .250).
The elusive no-hitter remains just that, but the young guns were a-shinin' and gave the Mets their second straight home shutout. Last time that happened was around a year ago when they held the Phillies to 3 straight goose eggs. With this win, the Amazin's are just one game below .500, a mark that seemed unreachable just a month ago when they sat at a baseball-worst 5-13.
Most importantly, however, the Mets take two weeks' worth of momentum into Yankee Stadium this weekend to face the Bronx Bombers. With the Yankees slumping and clubhouse controversy brewing, this is the perfect chance for the orange and blue to leapfrog into a winning record and steal the Subway Series.
Just a reminder to the infielders as we go cross-borough: two hands when catching a popup, please.