|Manny Acosta hugs catcher Mike Nickeas after earning his first save of the season. (NYTimes.com)|
Lucas Duda doubled in Jose Reyes in the 1st and R.A. Dickey took care of the rest, tossing 7 scoreless innings to hand the Mets a 1-0 series-winning victory over the Marlins.
The Good Stuff:
- Jose Reyes led off the game with a sharp single to left. Two batters later, Lucas Duda sliced a double to the left field corner, allowing speedy Reyes to score. The End.
- R.A. Dickey is used to getting less-than-adequate run support. But on this day, that single, solitary run in the 1st was all the fiery kunckleballer needed. Dickey tossed a 7-inning shutout, allowing just 4 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3. From there on, the bullpen took care of the rest. Young Josh Stinson kept his ERA perfect with a scoreless 8th, and Manny Acosta filled the closers role for the day, striking out 2 in the 9th on the way to the save.
- While New York only managed 5 hits, there are some good offensive numbers to report on the day:
- Jose Reyes' hit in the 1st was all he would get on the day, in 4 plate appearances he went 1-2 and walked twice, bringing his batting average up to .335, 2 points ahead of Ryan Braun in the race for the NL batting title.
- With his run-producing double in the 1st, Lucas Duda continues to make a case for not just a starting spot in right field, but for a permanent fixture in the 3-hole as well.
- The Jason Bay pendulum may be swinging back to the hot side: Bay went 2-4 with a double.
- While the team hit 1-0 with RISP and stranded 8, 1-0 wins are great every once in a while, so this Bad Stuff isn't so bad tonight.
I don't know how these guys do it. Two weeks ago, the bottom had fallen out of this team: everyone and their uncle on the DL, out of playoff contention, 8 games under and sliding fast. Now, incredibly, almost unbelievably, the Mets are back within a game of the .500 mark at 70-71. Simply Amazin'. I will say this right now: if this team finishes above .500 and squarely in 3rd place, Terry Collins should be NL Manager of the Year. I truly believe that had this 2011 season happened with anyone else at the helm, 2011 may have ended up looking more like 2009, when the oft-injured squad was 70-92. That potential 15-game difference would be a major accomplishment, one for which Collins deserves recognition from all the league.
Today's game also marks the last time the Mets will ever set foot in the football stadium of many names, currently posing as "Sun Life" Stadium. So long, abomination-of-a-baseball-park. We knew too much of ye.
Terry's boys don't have time to mark the occasion, however. Tomorrow they return home for a makeup doubleheader against the Braves, kicking off a 9-game homestand and breakneck final stretch of 21 games in 21 days. After Thursday, the Cubs come to town for a weekend set, then Davey Johnson makes his return trip to Flushing when the Nationals stop by for four. Rest up, Mr. Met, and let's get back over .500!