The Mets salvaged the final game of the 3-game series in Washington, D.C., beating the Nationals by a score of 3-1 (Box Score)
R.A. Dickey (W, 9-1) continued to pitch the best baseball of his life, as he tossed 7.1 innings, allowing no runs on 4 hits, striking out 8 and walking 2. He ran his scoreless innings streak to 24.2 frames. It’s the longest by a Mets pitcher since Mike Pelfrey tossed 27 scoreless in 2010. In his last 4 games, R.A. has allowed 1 run, 19 hits, walked 3, and struck out 38.
Dickey used his evolved knuckleball with mastery, throwing his standard 75-80 MPH wobbler, his 60 MPH eephus, and the new one – the riser that appears to skip off the air, as one would skip a stone off a pond. He also mixed in several mid-80s fastballs to keep Nationals’ hitters even more off balance.
Mets Eventually get to Wang
The Mets loaded the bases against Chien-Ming Wang (L, 1-2) in both the second and third innings, but failed to capitalize. With 2 outs in the second, Dickey struck out, then, with 1 out in the third, Daniel Murphy grounded into a 1-2-3 double play to end the inning. Wang struggled with his control, but the Mets had trouble taking advantage.
But they finally broke through in the fifth. Kirk Nieuwenhuis led off the inning with a single. Two outs later, Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer, his 10th of the year, over the tall fence in right-center field. Duda hit 10 HRs in 301 at-bats last year. Today, he hit his 10th homer in his 189th at-bat of the 2012 season.
The Mets added another run in the seventh, when Daniel Murphy singled home David Wright to make it 3-0. Murphy broke an 0 for 19 skid with a 2 for 4 game, including the RBI.
Parnell Gets Out of a Jam
Dickey exited the game in the eighth with 1 man on and 1 out. Bobby Parnell came in and walked the first batter he saw. Then, he induced 2 straight ground balls, the last one to Wunderkind Bryce Harper, to get out of the inning.
Incidentally, Mets radio man Josh Lewin quipped, “If the hype surrounding Harper was a landmass, it would be Greenland.”
The Mets begin a three-game series against the Yankees in the Bronx starting tomorrow at 7:05 PM. Johan Santana will make his first start since the no-hitter. Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to go for the Yanks.