Delayed one hour by rain, the game began as a pitchers' duel. R.A. Dickey was outstanding in eight innings of work, allowing only one run on nine strikeouts and one walk. Dickey kept the Athletics off balance all night, throwing his fastball an uncharacteristic 35 times in 100 pitches while making them look silly with the knuckleball. Gio Gonzalez was just as dominant for the A's in seven innings of work, racking up eight strikeouts of his own while matching Dickey with one run and one walk.
The Mets' first scare of the game came with a runner on first in the second inning with one out when Scott Hairston allowed a routine fly ball to center field to drop several feet in front of him after somehow losing it in the air. Dickey got out of the unnecessary jam with a comebacker to the mound on which he made a nifty throw to second base to begin an inning-ending double play.
Both pitchers kept the game scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Hairston doubled, and Ronny Paulino followed up with an infield single to short. Lucas Duda came up next and grounded a ball through the right side to score Hairston and put the Mets on the board. Unfortunately, Ruben Tejada and Dickey each struck out to end the inning, but the Mets had a one-run lead.
The lead didn't last very long, though, as Dickey allowed a solo home run to Kurt Suzuki with one out in the top of the fifth inning. It was the only mistake Dickey made in his outing, but he went right back to mowing down the A's after the home run.
After the seventh inning, the rules of National League baseball came into play. The A's pinch hit for Gonzalez in the top of the eighth inning, but their efforts to score were once again fruitless against the masterful Dickey. In the bottom of the inning, Dickey was pulled for Angel Pagan, and although Pagan didn't reach base, Jose Reyes took a temporary break from his recent pop-up funk with a bomb to right-center field that resulted in a triple. Justin Turner singled Reyes in a moment later, and the Mets regained a slim lead.
Turner stole second base as Carlos Beltran struck out, and he was able to advance to third as Kurt Suzuki threw the ball into center field. Jason Bay followed up with a strikeout, his third of the night, and the Mets handed the game over to Francisco Rodriguez.
The key word about the Mets' lead was "slim." After a one-out double by Coco Crisp, Frankie struck out Hideki Matsui for the second out of the inning. The Mets then allowed Crisp to steal third base without a throw, and Rodriguez had two strikes on Conor Jackson, who proceeded to hit a game-tying single. Rodriguez got out of the inning without further damage.
The Mets threatened to win the game in the bottom of the ninth when Willie Harris led off with a pinch hit single off left-handed reliever Craig Breslow. Ronny Paulino, Lefty Crusher, was then inexplicably asked to lay down a sacrifice bunt, which he did. So Harris was on second base, and Duda flew out, Tejada walked, and Pagan struck out to end the inning.
Jason Isringhausen threw a scoreless tenth inning, and the Mets had another shot to win the game after Beltran walked with two outs and stole second base despite the fact the Brian Fuentes had him picked off at first. Beltran beat the throw from first base to second, but Jason Bay grounded out weakly, looking more and more like his normal Met self than the guy who showed up in a Bay uniform last night.
Tim Bydrak put a couple men on base in the eleventh and gave way to Pedro Beato, who got out of the inning without allowing the inherited runners to score. Beato stayed on to pitch a scoreless twelfth, and after the Mets again failed to score, Bobby Parnell set down the A's in order in the thirteenth.
With one out in the bottom of the thirteenth, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy singled, and after Angel Pagan flew out, the A's opted to pitch around Jose Reyes to load the bases and put the winning run on third base. On the very next pitch, Justin Turner was hit by a pitch, forcing in the winning run in a four-inning for the Mets' first walk-off win of the season.
Unintentionally hilarious quote of the game: "What's a bee doing out late at night? It's dark. I've always been afraid of bees." - Keith Hernandez, discussing his fear of bees in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Big winners: Justin Turner, +37.8% WPA, R.A. Dickey, +35.9% WPA, Pedro Beato, +32.7% WPA, Jose Reyes, +18.2% WPA
Big losers: Angel Pagan, -29.9% WPA, Francisco Rodriguez, -23.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Justin Turner walk-off hit by pitch in the thirteenth, +34.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Conor Jackson game-tying single in the ninth, -31.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +61.5% WPA
Total batter WPA: -11.5% WPA
GWRBI!: Justin Turner
Nice job by SuperSantana; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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