Saturday, August 25, 2012

Game #127: Mets 3, Astros 1

The way the Mets had swung the bat, "three's a crowd" began to seem like pure fact at Citi Field. Today New York got that crowd, and it stood behind R.A. Dickey's dancing knuckleball.

Dickey tossed the Solid Seven for his 16th win and Justin Turner led an offensive "barrage" to give the Mets a 3-1 streak-snapping victory over the Astros.

The Good Stuff:
  • While he only struck out 2, R.A. Dickey pitched for contact and looked like a Cy Young winner doing it, allowing 1 run on 5 hits and a walk in 7 strong innings. With only 86 pitches to his name he probably could've (and should've for the sake of fans' health) pitched the 8th and maybe even the 9th.
  • But Jon Rauch, Josh Edgin, and Frank Francisco made Dickey's line stand up with 2 relief innings and were finally able to put away the worst team in baseball.
  • On the other side of the frame, New York finally got all the offense it needed and then some:  Dickey drove in the first run on a swinging bunt in the 4th, then Justin Turner launched his first home run in more than a year, a solo line drive over the slope of the old Great Wall of Flushing, in the 6th. In the 8th, Jason Bay lined a 2-out single into right to give the Mets 3 runs in a game for the first time in more than a week.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Thinking of 3 runs as a barrage means there's some pretty bad hitting going on, but you adjust your expectations in this situation; 3 runs means progress today, so rather than "Bad Stuff" this would probably file under "Aw Man Stuff."
  • The only questionable decision was pinch-hitting for R.A. Dickey with Jordany Valdespin in the bottom of the 7th. Yes, it was late in the game and more runs would've been nice, but considering the bullpen behind Dickey (although Jon Rauch has been solid lately) and the man on the mound, I probably would've left R.A. in to hit. But that's why they pay Terry Collins to run the ballclub, not me.
Final Analysis:
A win! A win! An actual W! First time in a week and it snaps a 6-game losing streak. Is this the start of a 10-game winning streak? Probably not. But at this point you take it game by game and enjoy wins when they come. Way to go.

It was great to see R.A. Dickey win again; #16 doubles his win total from last season. With about 7 starts to go, he's 3 away from equaling his W total in 2010 and 2011 combined and 4 away from becoming the Mets' first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990. With a potential Cy Young Award still in the picture as well, Robert Allen Dickey will be our main focus of entertainment as Mets fans the rest of 2012.


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