Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Game #137: Mets 6, Cardinals 2

Remember that Spring Training game all those years ago when Randy Johnson killed a dove with a fastball? That didn't happen today. But a few Cardinals got stunned by a knuckleball, that's for sure.

R.A. Dickey soared to his major league-leading 18th W and Ike Davis gave him some insurance with a 3-run homer as the Mets salvaged the final game of the series against the Cardinals 6-2.

The Good Stuff:
  • Compared to what he's done earlier in this season, you could say R.A. Dickey was a little off this afternoon: "just" 6 2/3 innings, 8 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, "only" 5 strikeouts on 104 pitches. One of those runs was even a solo home run for St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright! His ERA even increased...from 2.63 to 2.64 (shocking!) That's the perspective Mets fans see Dickey work in nowadays. But when you step back and look at the big picture...dang, son! This guy's good! He may have fell short of the Solid Seven, but R.A. was rock solid en route to his 18th win of the season.
  • Ike Davis's mid-season comeback made another stop at Busch Stadium as he launched a 3-run home run in the 5th inning to make the score 5-1. The blast was Ike's 26th of the year and the 3 RBIs gave him 77, just 2 shy of David Wright's team lead. Since June 12 Davis has hit .266 with an .894 OPS, including 20 of his home runs and 52 RBIs.
  • Daniel Murphy had 3 hits on the afternoon, scoring once. Other New Yorkers who came up big at the plate were Mike Baxter (2-5, 2 runs) and Justin Turner (2 doubles, 2 runs). Lucas Duda, Josh Thole, and Andres Torres picked up the other 3 RBIs.
  • Josh Edgin bailed Dickey out of the 7th inning, while Jon Rauch took care of the 8th and Frank Francisco managed the 9th in easy, if not unusual fashion: Adron Chambers drew a leadoff walk, and after Frank Frank struck out Daniel Delasco, Yadier Molina hit a flyball to right field. In the same fashion as in Monday afternoon's game, the Mets appealed that Chambers did not touch second base while heading back to first to avoid being doubled off. Baxter tossed the ball in to Murphy, who flipped it to Ruben Tejada on second base. Third out, 9-4-6 style, and with the "most anti-climactic 'Put it in the Books' ever" (as Howie Rose described it) and some of the players actually complaining about the freebee the received, the Mets were Wednesday afternoon winners. And as for Monday? Now we're even.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Ruben Tejada was the only starter besides Dickey to go hitless in the game, earning the "Golden Sombrero" with 4 strikeouts in 4 at-bats. Tejada, who once led all major league shortstops in batting average, is now hitting .294; still perfectly acceptable, but kind of disappointing that he appears to have run out of gas.
Final Analysis:
It took R.A. Dickey, who first made it to the majors in 2001, until 2008 with Seattle to get to 18 wins in his career. He's equaled that total in 28 starts in 2012. While not at his absolute best, Dickey pitched as well as he needed to, mostly silencing the Redbird bats and furthering his case for the NL Cy Young Award. As for his team, it may not have been a series win, but they escaped St. Louis with one win in their back pockets and have still won 8 of their last 11. After an off day tomorrow, the fight for third continues on Friday as, for the final time, Flushing plays host to Chipper the Met Killer and the Atlanta Braves.


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