R.A. Dickey's knuckleball was merely mortal on Friday evening, but he was able to pitch through it and the offense gave him a boost with three home runs, as the Mets defeated the Nationals by a 7-3 score in D.C. Dickey, after the game had ended, candidly characterized his signature pitch as "putrid" and credited his conventional pitches with getting him through this outing. Meanwhile, the offense was cooking early as David Wright, Nick Evans and Lucas Duda all hit long home runs.
In the eighth and ninth inning, two of the reinforcements recently added to the roster made their Mets debuts. Josh Stinson, making his big league debut, tossed an impressive inning and two-thirds, striking out two and allowing just a pair of soft singles. The righty also induced a 4-6-3 double play with his sinker. To record the final out, Terry Collins decided to put newly acquired lefty Daniel Ray Herrera into the game and the struck out Jonny Gomes to put the game in the books. If you want to learn a little more about Herrera and Single-A righty Adrian Estrada, both of whom the Mets acquired from Milwaukee to complete July's Frankie Rodriguez trade, you can read here, here and here.
Dillon Gee heads to the hill for the Mets in game two of the series and he will face off against lefty Tom Milone, who will be making his big league debut. Game time is at 7:10 and you can catch the action on SNY.
Josh Thole and Ruben Tejada will still be out for a few more days with their minor injuries suffered in Thursday's game. In other injury news, both Johan Santana and Ike Davis are in Port St. Lucie and will be participating in baseball activities. Santana is scheduled to throw two innings (around 40 pitches) later today with the St. Lucie Mets, while Davis will run, play catch, hit off a tee and take 20 grounders, a repeat of what he did yesterday.
Down on the farm, the Short Season A-Ball Brooklyn Cyclones clinched a playoff berth with a 4-0 victory over the Staten Island Yankees. The Cyclones, who won the wild card, have made the playoffs for the 8th time in their 11 seasons. They join the High-A St. Lucie Mets and the Low-A Savannah Sand Gnats as Mets minor league playoff teams.
John Sickels reviews some of the notable prospects who will play for the Peoria Javalinas, the team where the Mets will send their prospects for this year's Arizona Fall League.
Over at Mets Minor League Blog, Mike Diaz gives his scouting report on former supplemental first rounder and current Binghamton reliever Brad Holt.
Around the NL East
Roy Oswalt was solid over 6.1 innings and John Mayberry hit a home run and knocked in three, as the Phillies beat the Marlins 5-3. After the game, Marlins manager Jack McKeon ripped his team's effort, saying that "it's getting old". I'm sure Jack would know a thing or two about getting old. The Phillies, meanwhile, are now a franchise record 42 games over .500 with the win. Grrrr.
Rookie Braves reliever Arodys Vizcaino allowed five runs in the seventh, allowing the Dodgers to come back and take a lead they would never relinquish. The Dodgers would go on to beat the Braves 8-6. In shocking news, the Braves released infielder Julio Lugo. The news isn't shocking considering how awful Lugo has been on the field the past couple of years. The shock comes from the fact that I had no idea the Braves even had Lugo and that a team in the NL East was actually employing Lugo as a Major League Baseball player. Shocking, to say the least.
Around the Majors
Carlos Beltran selfishly went 4-4 and fell just a double shy of the cycle, as the Giants beat the Diamondbacks 6-2. I guess we should #BlameBeltran for the win, right? In other Giants news, former top prospect Angel Villalona has dropped a $5 million lawsuit against the team and will rejoin the organization. In case you are unaware, Villalona was charged with murder in the Dominican Republic back in 2009 but the charges were dismissed after he came to a settlement with the victim's family.
Carlos Zambrano's suspension ends on September 11th, but the feisty righthander will not pitch again this season.
Interesting article from Mark Simon about the discrepancy between Curtis Granderson's sabermetric defensive stats and his defensive value to the eye.
Is the 1.2 billion dollar bid for the Dodgers legitimate? Speaking of the Dodgers, perhaps you didn't realize, but bankruptcy lawyers make a lot of money. Note to self: become a bankruptcy lawyer in your next life.