Mets Game 24: Win Over Nationals
Mets 6 Nationals 3
After falling behind 3-2, the Mets fought back and went ahead in the top of the ninth with a bleeder, a blooper, a bunt, a sacrifice fly, and a bouncer — proving that “small ball” still survives and can help win ballgames.
Mets Game Notes
R.A. Dickey pitched well — and well enough to win — but for some reason, to me, he just didn’t look himself, if that makes any sense. His knuckler seems to be spinning too much and his command is nowhere near as fine as it was last summer. I give him credit for doing as well as he did without his “best stuff”, but I wonder how much of his success in this game was due to him or the ineptitude of the Nationals hitters.
Remarkably, Nats manager Jim Riggleman removed starter Tom Gorzelanny after only 85 pitches with one out in the seventh. Gorzelanny was cruising, and the Mets hitters couldn’t figure him out; they managed only one run on four hits and a walk off of him. I’m not sure why he was in a rush to get Tyler Clippard into the game; Riggleman could have waited until the 8th or possibly the 9th — and then might not have had to use LOOGY Sean Burnett as his closer.
Speaking of, for those who think closers are overrated, please explain the theory to Riggleman (and Ozzie Guillen).
As if Riggleman wasn’t doing enough over-managing, in the bottom of the 8th with the go-ahead run on 2B and none out, he had his hottest (only?) hitter — Wilson Ramos — bunting. By the grace of the baseball gods, Josh Thole committed a passed ball allowing the runner to get to third and Ramos to hit; he would up skying a sac fly. I’m a Mets fan but a baseball fan first, so it makes me nuts to see stupid baseball decisions, regardless of who is making them. It doesn’t amaze me that Riggleman was hired to be a MLB manager once; what amazes me is that someone else hired him a second time after seeing how inept he was (see: Fredi Gonzalez, Manny Acta). Being a “good guy” still goes a long way in the old boys’ network.
In the top of the 8th, Jose Reyes ripped a triple to left-center but was called out for over-sliding the third base bag. Third baseman Jerry Hairston, Jr. pushed Reyes’ arm, causing his fingers to lose contact with the bag in the eyes of the 3B umpire. The angle of the SNY camera appeared to show Jose’s fingers staying on the bag, but I don’t necessarily trust a camera over a man standing three feet from the play; angles can sometimes play tricks on the eye. And yes, kids, it is the umpire’s judgment if a “normal tag” pushes the runner’s arm off the base — but you can’t intentionally or obviously push a runner off the base.
Dan Murphy hit a pinch-hit, solo homer in the top of the 8th, allowed Adam LaRoche to reach 2B on a blooper when he didn’t cover the bag (which led to a Nats run), then hit a two-run double in the top of the ninth. Final score for Murph: +2. As long as he keeps driving in more runs than he allows, he should be OK as a second baseman.
Ike Davis extended his hitting streak to 9 games with two hits. However, one of his hits was a fly ball dropped by Jayson Werth that was curiously reversed from error to hit by the official scorer, and hit two was a blooper to left that was trapped by a diving Roger Bernadina.
Although the Nats look like a bad high school JV team right now, they have accomplished a remarkable feat: they are the only team in MLB whose starters have gone at least 5 innings in every game this year. They have been lengthy, but not dominant.
Francisco Rodriguez saved his sixth game and finished his eighth. 47 more to go for the pot of gold.
And while we’re counting up numbers and citing sophisticated stats: six games played by Jason Bay, six Mets wins.
Next Mets Game
The final game of the series starts at 7:05 PM on Thursday night in Washington, D.C. The Mets send Chris Capuano to the hill against Livan Hernandez.