Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Game #54: Pirates 5, Mets 1

R. A. Dickey struck out 10 Pirates and gave up three runs over seven and two-thirds innings. (NYTimes.com)
One bad inning and a stellar night was all for naught.

R.A. Dickey's masterpiece unraveled in the 8th and the Pirates' arms broke the Mets bats en route to a 5-1 victory.

The Bad Stuff:
  • For 7 innings, R.A. Dickey was unhittable. He had already set a career-high for strikeouts (9, eventually 10) and was 6 outs away from his best pitching effort since that one-hitter against the Phillies last July. But that third and final out of the inning proved all too elusive: what was a 7 inning 2-hitter turned into 7 2/3 and 3 earned runs on 5 hits with 2 walks and a crucial HBP. What's even more amazing is that he was doing all this with a bad foot; had he been able to finish the Bucs off, tonight may have gone down in Mets folklore. Alas, it didn't.
  • If the New York bats could have kept up their recent hot streak, we still could be talking about a Dickey win. But James McDonald held the Mets to 1 run on 6 hits in 6 innings, and the Pittsburgh bullpen delivered 3 perfect innings to end the game.
  • Bobby Parnell came in and steepened the hill in the 9th, giving up 2 runs (albeit unearned) in his first appearance after a lengthy DL stint.
The Good Stuff:
  • Count Dickey's first 7 innings on this list. Also making an appearance:
  • Angel Pagan continued his post-DL surge. Batting in Jose Reyes' place at leadoff, Pagan led off the game with an all-hustle double and scored three batters later on a swinging-bunt infield single by Jason Bay. Angel would finish the day 2-4 and is hitting 9-21 since returning to center field on Friday.
Final Analysis:
It was deja vu for R.A. Dickey: pitched great, got no offense, gets the loss. Same old story, the year just ends with a "1" instead of a "0". This one got away.

More Bad News: Ike Davis might be out until the All-Star Break.

Good News for Once: Jose Reyes will probably be back by the end of the Pittsburgh series on Thursday.

Whoa, oh, we're 1/3 of the way there. Whoa, oh, livin' on a prayer. Make that lots of prayers. But we're still livin'.


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