Mets Game 63: Win Over Rays

Mets 9 Rays 1

R.A. Dickey didn’t throw the second no-hitter in Mets history … or did he?

Meanwhile, the Mets continue to work on their Pythagorean Won-Loss record in response to Nick Jablonski’s blog post.

Mets Game Notes

The Rays’ third hitter of the game, B.J. Upton, reached base on what was scored as an infield single to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Not another Ray had a hit for the rest of the evening, prompting the Mets to lodge an appeal with the commissioner’s office to have the official scorer’s “hit” call turned into an error. It was a tough play — a bouncer to David Wright that Wright attempted to field with his bare hand. The ball took a funny bounce away from Wright’s hand and no throw was made. I watched the play six times from the single camera angle provided by SNY and came away inconclusive — it’s hard to determine whether Wright had a legitimate chance without seeing how far down the line Upton was when the ball bounced past Wright. My gut tells me the official scorer got it right, as Upton can get to first base faster than most. But there’s also a part of me — the same part that’s also a huge R.A. Dickey fan — that thinks, “hmm … if Wright successfully barehands it, he might have a shot …” If that’s true, you have to look at it this way: would Wright have made the play because a Major Leaguer is expected to make that play, or because Wright goes above and beyond what is expected from a MLB third baseman? If it’s the former, then it’s an error; if it’s the latter, then it’s a hit.

Then there’s a part of me that doesn’t want it to be a no-hitter after the fact, as it didn’t — and won’t — have the true “feel” of a no-no. We weren’t on the edge of our seats from innings seven through nine wondering if it would happen, for example. Certainly, R.A. didn’t have the pressure of the no-hitter on his mind in the later innings — and that should count for something, shouldn’t it?

Imagine if Johan Santana didn’t throw his no-hitter — how would you be looking at this game? Would you have wanted the Mets’ very first no-hitter to happen like this, after the fact? And if your answer is “no,” then does that influence your perspective on how that appeal should be treated?

Aside from the one-hitter spun by Dickey, there was another avalanche of offense from the men in orange and blue. Just where the heck is this coming from? Don’t the Mets know that the Rays have the best pitching in baseball, and therefore have no business scoring twenty runs in two days against them? Not to mention, it could be argued that the men making the biggest contributions should be in Buffalo right now?

Dickey, by the way, threw 106 pitches in his complete-game effort. Rays starter David Price threw 109 pitches before leaving the game after five innings.

Don’t look now, but Ike Davis is swinging the bat with authority and starting to exude confidence. He had two hits and a walk and is 5 for his last 8 (or 6 for his last 10, whichever seems more impressive to you). Ike is now hitting .181, and only 50 points away from hitting his weight.

Next Mets Game

The final game of the series is Thursday afternoon getaway day style — a 1:10 p.m. start. Johan Santana goes to the hill against Jeremy Hellickson.

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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.
  1. Joe June 14, 2012 at 12:12 am
    I think Wright might have made the play (who knows) but it wasn’t in any way obvious. How often do they ever overturn these things? No real reason to do it here and part of the point of a no hitter is the stress of it.

    Anyway, Dickey got the team scoreless inning streak. Just in time since in effect three errors (two pass balls, even if not E on box score) gave Tampa a pity run in the 9th.

    Is Dickey starting the All Star Game?

    • Joe June 14, 2012 at 12:13 am
      Oh. Congrats to Terry Collins for being picked to be on the NL coaching staff.
  2. argonbunnies June 14, 2012 at 3:35 am
    Two things on the Rays’ “hit”:

    1) If Wright had used his glove and made a quick transfer and throw, I think he would have had Upton. I’m saying this based on how quickly the ball got to Wright off the bat. If that same ball clanks off Wright’s glove instead of his hand, it’s an easy “error” call, right? The only reason it wasn’t called an error is because Wright made it look harder than it was.

    2) Upton is fast… but also lazy as hell. The odds that he was busting it all the way through the first base bag on that play are well below 100%.

    As for the weirdness of getting awarded a no-hitter after the fact, I think it’d be only fair to make up for the weirdness of the shutout suddenly disappearing in a few seconds of 3 errors. R.A. oughta get some sort of shiny achievement for one of the most dominant games I’ve ever seen pitched. (I mean, your average no-hitter has a few line drives at guys. Aside from Joyce, the Rays couldn’t come close to hitting R.A. It was a level of “these guys have no chance” I haven’t seen since Randy and Pedro were in their prime.)

    • DaveSchneck June 14, 2012 at 8:25 am
      Good points. I thinkt he hit will stand although from a monday morning QB POV I think Wright should have gloved it based on your points. I know DW isn’t perfect, but his error in the 9th bothered me more than anything else. He made a crappy throw the inning before, and he frankly scares me every time he has to throw. Why can’t he hit the 1B in the chest every time on “routine” balls? Anyhow, I don’t want to be picky off two big bounceback wins and a great game pitched by RA.
      • gary s. June 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm
        He has the yips when he has time to think about throwing.All the more reason why i think if he uses glove he might have gotten him, because he usually is on target when he charges ball.Did you see the 27th out in Cains perfecto?It took a throw from deep third to record the out.My first thought was Wright never gets the ball there on the fly.I thought having the big target in Davis had cured the problem.I guess the yips are tough tto get rid of
  3. Brent June 14, 2012 at 8:12 am
    R.A. Dickey game score of 95. Is that the highest ever for a knuckleballer? Usually, even a great game by a knuckleballer has some walks and fewer strikeouts. This recent string by R.A. is all the more impressive with the control and K’s!
  4. Crozier June 14, 2012 at 8:31 am
    Complete game with 12 strikeouts and no walks. I bet that happens less often than no hitters these days.
    • Crozier June 14, 2012 at 8:38 am
      Though I should add that Matt Cain’s performance does have Dickey beat. But not by much.
  5. Brent June 14, 2012 at 8:42 am
    Okay, more perspective. 2000-2009, Mets had 5 GameScores 90 or over: Shawn Estes 92, Tom Glavine 92 & 92, Pedro Astacio 90, Pedro Martinez 90: . 2010 R.A. Dickey 91, Jonathon Niese 91. 2011 Chris Capuano 96. Santana’s no-hitter week and a half ago 90. R.A. GameScore 95. So 5 so far 2010-2012 – including a 95 & 96!
    • Paul Festa June 14, 2012 at 11:19 am
      It’s definitely a more pitcher-friendly era than it was in the late 90s, early 00s. It’s not exactly 1968, but it’s fairer than it was a dozen years ago.