R.A. Dickey went six strong innings, striking out six, the most Ks he has had since his first start of the year. He had to pitch out of an early jam, thanks to the umpiring crew giving Nick Swisher a phantom hit by pitch in the second inning to load the bases, but Dickey got Brett Gardner to ground into a force out to keep the game scoreless.
The Yankees kicked off the scoring in the bottom of the third as Mark Teixera popped a home run just out of the reach of a leaping Carlos Beltran. Now it probably would have been a warning track flyout in the other 29 major league stadiums, but in Teixera's defense, it would have been a homerun in about 60% of American Legion fields.
The Mets struck right back in the top of the fourth as "Buffalo Soldiers" Fernando Martinez and Justin Turner hit back to back two out doubles off Freddy Garcia to knot it at one. The Yankees threatened in the bottom half of the fifth, but Jose Reyes made an excellent diving stop up the middle and threw out Alex Rodriguez by a step at first.
In the fifth, the umpiring crew decided to give the Yankees a make-up call for the blown call against the Nationals. Somehow I am sure this makes sense to Bud Selig. Brett Gardner hit a grounder to Jose Reyes who charged and threw quickly to try and get the speedy Gardner. Daniel Murphy did Reyes no favors by doing a little shuffle around the bag, but his foot was on the bag when he got the throw from. First base umpire Jeff Kellog disagreed, ruling Murphy was off the bag. Jeter followed with a walk to put Yanks on 1st and 2nd with nobody out, but Dickey retired the next three batters in order to preserve the tie.
The Mets took the lead for good in the top of the sixth on a Daniel Murphy blue collar blast that was several rows back into the short porch in right, and thus was a totally legitimate and righteous home run that probably would have flown out of the stadium at Citizen's Bank Park.
The Mets bullpen dominated from there. Mike O'Connor came in and pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, helped out by a comical Curtis Granderson popout on a 3-0 count. Jason Isringhausen matched him in the eigth, fanning Mark Teixera and then getting Alex Rodriguez to flail at a particularly nasty 3-2 cut fastball. K-Rod finished the job with a rare 1-2-3 inning, getting Russell Martin to groundout on one pitch, fanning Jorge Posada and then placing the golden sombrero on Nick Swisher to end the game.
Despite a few rough patches, tonight's R.A. Dickey looked much more like last year's model. The fast knuckleball was routinely getting up into the 80s and had some nice bite in on left-handed batters. Five of his six strikeouts came against left-handed batters, which is nice to see as efties have roughed Dickey up a bit this year. The walks are still a bit higher than you would like, but the groundballs and Ks were there tonight. Dickey's HR/FB% and LOB% figured to regress some this year, and they have, but the real key for him is going to be getting that walk rate back down towards his 2010 levels.
Justin Turner continued to rake, going 3-4 with two doubles and a bunt single that would have been a bunt double if Freddy Garcia didn't get to it, because 'Human Statue' Alex Rodriguez certainly wasn't going to. Just to pile on, even two years ago, A-Rod probably beats out the grounder up the middle in the bottom of the fifth.
Mets pitchers struck out 11 Yankees on the night, including four of the last six they faced.
Tomorrow we go at it again, 7:10 on FOX. Pleasantly, the rapture is scheduled for 6 PM, thus sparing us all one more Buck/McCarver broadcast. Or maybe that is the time of tribulation mentioned in Revelations. It certainly qualifies. Chris Capuano (3-4, 4.78, 43.1 IP, 34 K, 15 BB) takes on A.J. Burnett (4-3, 3.99, 56.1 IP, 42 K, 19 BB).
Big winners: R.A. Dickey, +28.2% WPA, Francisco Rodriguez, +23.2% WPA
Big losers: Josh Thole, -14.8% WPA, Jason Bay, -11.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Murphy home run in sixth, +14.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Teixeira "home run" in third, -11.0% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +78.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: -28.6% WPA
GWRBI!: Daniel Murphy
Nice job by fxcarden; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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