R.A. Dickey turned in another superb outing and the Mets held the Padres scoreless for the second straight afternoon, winning the game and the series, 2-0.
The Good Stuff:
- R.A. Dickey had the knuckler dancing all afternoon, turning in 7.1 shutout innings and 10 strikeouts. It was the first time a Met has thrown back-to-back double digit strikeouts since Pedro Martinez in 2006. R.A. gave up just 3 hits and didn't walk his first man until his last batter, departing to the dugout and tipping his cap to the adoring crowd of 28,361.
- Tim Byrdak came in to clean up Dickey's mess in the 8th, taking down two San Diego hitters to send it to the 9th. Then Frank Francisco came on and retired his 10th, 11th, 12th consecutive batters to secure the victory. "Who is this guy?" quipped Howie Rose when Frank-Frank was through. This is a guy, Howie, who is back on track as a closer and has still technically only blown 2 saves in his 15 tries.
- The Mets got all the offense they needed in the 1st inning: taking advantage of a walk-happy Edison Volquez, Daniel Murphy punched home David Wright with a 2-out RBI single.
- In the 5th, Mike Baxter led off with a double, went to third on a wild pitch, and came home on the very next toss thanks to a passed ball given up by Nick Hundley. It was a Padre gift and gave New York a cushion it would not need in the end but was still so very nice to have.
- David Wright turned in another 0-for, making it his third straight game without a hit. The slump has brought his average down to "just" .382, and it appears the chase for .400 is over before the quarter pole was even out of reach.
- Ike Davis went 0-3 and struck out twice, snapping his brief hits and RBIs streak.
I said it on Thursday after the rain-induced loss: win the next three and it's still a successful series. Well guess what: the Mets did just that, and in grand fashion on this Memorial Day weekend, turning in back-to-back shutouts for the first time in just over a year (not to mention 26 scoreless innings overall).
The team is now comfortably 6-games over .500 as they turn into their toughest stretch of the season: Phillies, Cardinals, Nationals, Yankees, Rays, Reds, Orioles, Yankees. If they can hold their own over this next month, the New York Mets may still be legitimate contenders by the time the All-Star Break rolls around.