Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Game #97: Nationals 5, Mets 2

For 5 innings R.A. Dickey's knuckleball was dancing brilliantly. Then in the 6th, it tripped over itself and threw off the whole routine.

Dickey allowed 4 runs with 2 outs in the 6th and New York's three hits in the game were far from enough as the Mets dropped their 11th of 12 against the Nationals, 5-2.

The Bad Stuff:
  • For 5 2/3 innings R.A. Dickey was his usual 2012 brilliant self. But a single, homer, single, single, and single+error later he went from a 1-1 tie to a 5-1 deficit. Dickey's 5 runs against (4 earned) ballooned his ERA to close to 3 (2.97) and gave him just his second L of the season and first in about three months.
  • On the other side of the mound, Gio Gonzalez was in control for Washington the whole night, giving up just one unearned New York run on 2 hits in 7 innings for his 13th W of the year.
  • The Mets had just 2 at-bats with RISP, going 1-2.
The Good Stuff:
  • Jordany Valdespin did his best to bring the team back in the 8th, coming off the bench to launch a solo home run to right center. The history-making shot was 'Spin's 5th pinch-hit homer of the season, a club record.
    • With Lucas Duda's demotion to Buffalo earlier today, it should be a no-brainer as to who gets the bulk of his playing time in right field. Valdespin has done more than enough this summer in limited action and can fill in the position of sparkplug left vacant by Jose Reyes' departure. While a potential trade chip just a couple weeks ago, Jordany Valdespin has made himself quite valuable to the club he's on now.
  • The bullpen actually held the fort after Dickey's departure. Manny Acosta, Josh Edgin (who struck out 3 guys in the 8th), and Ramon Ramirez combined for 3 scoreless innings to at least keep the team in striking distance.
Final Analysis:
It seems every night during this awful post-ASB slide at least one part of the team has done its part while others have failed miserably. Some nights starting pitching is great, but the offense and bullpen are dreadful. Other times the team scores a lot of runs but pitching requires them to do even more. Tonight, the bullpen was the group that showed up, but it could not be joined by effective starting pitching or strong offense. The result was a familiar tune: the Mets' 5th straight loss and 11th L in their last 12 games. As with yesterday, there is but one question left to ask: is this the bottom? We'll find out tomorrow.


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