Mets 3 Diamondbacks 1
After losing four straight, the Mets win two in a row — the right kind of momentum they want as they head into a three-game series in Philadelphia.
Mets Game Notes
For the first five frames, R.A. Dickey seemed unhittable. If not unhittable, certainly impossible to score upon. Over the final four, he was “only” really good. The knuckler was dancing about as well as it can, both hitting the strike zone and dipping out of it in a tantalizing fashion that encouraged contactless swings and mis-hit balls.
Even though the bullpen found a way to get the final outs, I wasn’t pleased with seeing someone other than R.A. on the mound in the ninth. Yes, the Snakes finally scored on R.A., but in my humble opinion he was still the best pitcher the Mets had at that moment. Maybe if the Mets had (a healthy) Mariano Rivera as their closer I’d feel differently, but 100 times out of a hundred, I’ll take a slightly tired R.A. Dickey over Frank Francisco & company in a heartbeat. Beyond the thought that Dickey is a better option, don’t you want to give the relievers a break with the Phillies series coming up? In a game like this, when R.A.’s knuckler is so devastating, I don’t know why he would ever leave the ballgame. If it’s due to fatigue, then someone needs to reevaluate his conditioning program. There is absolutely no reason why Dickey can’t regularly throw 130-140 pitches in one day if necessary — Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver went to 160-180 routinely, and they were throwing 95+ MPH fastballs the majority of the time.
Tough luck for Trevor Cahill, who pitched very well but did so against the wrong opposing starter.
Scary moment when Ruben Tejada hit the ground when running to first base and injured his quad. Justin Turner came in and did a yeoman’s job in his stead. Turner certainly is no shortstop, but he fits the definition of a ballplayer, in that he can adequately perform anywhere on the field and both look comfortable and know what he’s supposed to do in most if not all situations. That’s nothing to take for granted — there are some who play one position every day yet can look awkward and/or are completely clueless on certain plays (these men shall remain nameless to protect the innocent).
Mets fans love to gush over Ike Davis‘ defense, and I agree he has a slick glove. However, this game supported my persistent argument that good defense at first base is not unique right now in MLB — Eric Goldschmidt made several excellent scoops on tough throws in the dirt in this ballgame. I’m not going to say that Goldschmidt is as good as Ike all-around defensively, but I would like to point out that other first sackers make similarly sparkling plays — we just don’t pay as much attention to them because we’re Mets fans.
Love, love, LOVE that 2 hour, 16-minute time of game. Give me a well-pitched, crisply played, quick ballgame over a Yankee – Red Sox snoozefest any day of the week.
Quick games like this usually mean there isn’t much offense — and there were only ten base hits, combined. Again I’m going to say it: this is the NL baseball I remember as a kid in the 1970s, and I can’t be happier — it’s, to me, what baseball is supposed to be.
Next Mets Game
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.