Mets Game 137: Win Over Cardinals
Mets 6 Cardinals 2
R.A. Dickey becomes the first MLB pitcher to reach 18 wins as the Mets salvage the last game of their series in St. Louis.
Mets Game Notes
R.A. had his knuckler dancing inconsistently all afternoon, sometimes throwing outstanding ones, other times, so-so tumblers. However, he did a really nice job of mixing in the fastball at all the right times. Additionally, R.A. took control of the tempo immediately, generally working very quickly, which disconcerted several hitters as they rushed into their stance and didn’t always seem quite ready to hit. Then, as the game moved on, R.A. occasionally disrupted the quick tempo he had set by slowing down just enough to throw off the hitters again. It was a subtle strategy, but it seemed to me to be intentional and effective. Yet another of those “little things” that R.A. does to give him an edge (in addition to fielding his position well, employing a devastating pickoff move, getting bunts down, making contact, etc.). In that way he reminds me of Tom Glavine, Jim Kaat, Tom Seaver, and Orel Hershiser, among other pitchers who did every thing in their control toward winning a ballgame.
The only Cardinal to hit him hard was Adam Wainwright, who touched him for a solo homer. This wasn’t necessarily surprising if you subscribe to the theory that the only way to hit a knuckler is to hit like a pitcher (I can’t remember whose theory that was, but it was someone fairly famous — if you know, help me in the comments).
Offensively, the Mets gave their ace an outburst, scoring six times. The last time the Mets scored six runs was August 16th in Cincinnati. The big blow came from the bat of Ike Davis, who blasted a three-run homer in the fifth to put the game away.
Daniel Murphy remains hot, as he collected three more hits. His OBP has become directly tied to his batting average, which would seem to be a concern. What happened to the Dan Murphy who drew walks and was an on-base machine? Did you know that Murphy walked only twice in the entire month of June and only three times in all of July, before drawing a whopping 7 bases on balls in August? His average is now up to .289 but his OBP is a ho-hum .330 — not bad, but nothing special from someone who has very little power, is usually batting near the top of the lineup, and is in the lineup solely for his offensive skills.
While we’re on the subject of formerly perceived as on-base machines, Josh Thole seems to finally be out of his slump. He went 2-for-4 and drove in his 20th run of the season. His .591 OPS is below the Anderson Hernandez level – ouch.
Mike Baxter and Justin Turner keep on hitting as they’re given chances to play; they had two hits apiece. Some day, someone is going to steal Turner away from the Mets and turn him into an average all-around everyday second baseman or an above-average platoon partner – i.e., a modern Tim Teufel.
There are 25 games left in the season. Somehow, it feels like less. Or maybe I’m just wishing there were less; this second half has been brutal to watch.
Next Mets Game
The Mets have Thursday off as they travel back to Flushing to face the Braves for a three-game weekend series. Game one on Friday night begins at 7:10 p.m. and pits Jonathon Niese vs. Pat Maholm.