R.A. Dickey had his first poor outing as a Met, giving up five runs on five hits in five innings. Most of that damage came in the third inning, but he seemed to settle down, retiring the final seven batters he faced. Jerry Manuel disagreed, and prematurely removed Dickey after just 78 pitches. He really didn't pitch that poorly outside of the one stinker of an inning. He threw 54 strikes, good for 69.2% of his pitches. His first-pitch strike rate was 68.2% (league average is 58.5%). And 10.2% of his pitches went for swinging strikes (league average is 8.3%). The Mets' LOLpen, namely Fernando Nieve and Ryota Igarashi, gave up five more runs on three longballs in their three innings of work and the one-time 5-3 game was put out of reach.
Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco had a typical game -- seven innings, nine strikeouts, no walks and two home runs allowed. Jason Bay accounted for both homers, taking advantage of the friendly confines at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. He raised his slugging percentage to .448, slowly creeping up to his career slugging of .512.
A few other bullet thoughts:
- Jose Reyes struggled defensively on the turf in Puerto Rico. He's been healthy this season, but the idea of him playing on hard turf right now isn't appealing. He hasn't missed a game since April 9th (seriously). I never thought I'd say this, but an Alex Cora start at shortstop tomorrow night would be a good idea.
- Speaking of Cora, he has played in 40 games after pinch-hitting (and striking out) tonight. That's halfway to the magical 80 games required for his 2011 option to vest. He was the pinch hitter for Dickey and it's debatable who is the better hitter right now. The Mets' bench is unimpressive, but at least put Chris Carter up there if you remove your knuckleballer after just 78 pitches. Cor-ugh is hitting an Argenis-esque .229/.297/.276.
- Pulling Dickey was a bad choice but it wasn't the Jerryball Move Of The Game. That goes to the Marlins for sacrifice bunting in the first inning with a man on second base and no outs. I won't waste any more words explaining why that's a howler of a tactical decision. However, if interested, Joe Posnanski wonderfully tackles the first inning sac bunt issue (via astromets).
Kind of a "blah" game. The bats couldn't get anything going, the Marlins had 11 baserunners and it's like 100 degrees and humid, both at the game and in New York. German beer and sophomoric Dickey puns are the remedy. Tomorrow night features a southpaw battle -- Hisanori Takahashi vs. Nate Robertson.
Beer of the game: Hacker-Pschorr Oktoberfest-Marzen from Hacker-Pschorr Brewery in Munich, Germany
"This beer pours out a clear, light, amber, with just a slight white head. It smells crisp with a little yeast scent coming through. The main flavor I taste in this beer is malt, and also some faint coriander and citrus, very refreshing. This beer is very smooth and goes down easy, and excellent session beer." -- BeerAdvocate review
Beauty of baseball is return to norm
Struggling sluggers at last find their form
Hence Mets get two long balls from Jason Bay
Tremendous hitter now finding his way
Sadly, this rule works on hot streaks as well
Thus R.A. Dickey's unbeaten mark fell
Big winners: Jason Bay +12.8%, Josh Thole +2.6%
Big losers: R.A. Dickey -26.8% (as pitcher), Ruben Tejada -6.9%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jason Bay home run in the second inning, +9.9%
Teh sux0rest play: Gaby Sanchez two-run double, +11.2%
Total pitcher WPA: -32.1%
Total batter WPA: -17.9%
GWRBI!: Hanley Ramirez
Nice job by MookieTheCat; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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