At least it was quick. Two hours, eleven minutes -- Joe West's dream. Tim Lincecum went the distance against a struggling Mets lineup, which managed just six singles and one walk. His career ERA against the Mets coming into tonight was 5.04, the highest vs any National League team. It's now 3.71. The silver lining is that Carlos Beltran played a full nine innings without incident, managing a single in four respectable at-bats. However, he was thrown out trying to steal second base in the fourth inning by Giants catching menace Buster Posey. It's great to have Beltran back -- there's something comforting about that swing.
Another outstanding effort by R.A. Dickey went to waste. He allowed one run in seven stout innings, giving way to knuckleheads Elmer Dessens, Pedro Feliciano and Bobby Parnell. Parns induced a Travis Ishikawa double play to end the eighth inning, cleaning up the mess left by Dessens (0.1 IP, two hits, one run) and Feliciano (0 IP, four pitch BB). It's strange that Jerry Manuel went with Dessens to start the eighth instead of Parnell, considering Parnell's recent eighth inning usage. It's not strange that Jerry burned through three relievers to complete just one inning. Tonight was a prime example of why "Elmer Dessens, high leverage relief pitcher" is a terrible idea. You don't want a guy who pitches to contact, and doesn't profile as a groundball pitcher, appearing in big spots.
Gary and Keith discussed the possibility of Jason Bay losing playing time because of recent struggles, presumably to Jeff Francoeur. I think the discussion occurred during one of the two plate appearances resulting in Bay reaching base, which made me chuckle. Look, I get that Bay has been a disappointment and the lack of power is troubling. But his OBP is still around .360 and his OPS is 87 points higher than Frenchy's. This is a huge gap. Salary and preseason expectations need to be forgotten when divvying up playing time. Only production, and expected production, should be considered. Bay must play everyday, unless he's hurt or goes into a massive tailspin. Also, Angel Pagan went 0-4. This is not the end of the world. No, he is not folding under the pressure of replacing Francoeur, as Bob Ojeda suggested during the postgame show. I really hope that doesn't become a meme. Angel has kicked (well, almost kicked) the "low baseball IQ" thing -- we don't need another fabricated storyline about a good player's character and intelligence.
If the Mets are to lose, let it be to Lincecum. Friday's matchup is Jon Niese vs. Barry Zito.
Unintentionally sexual quote of the game #1: "You make him get it up, and when he does you gotta go with it." -- Bob Ojeda on Lincecum during the pregame show
Unintentionally sexual quote of the game #2: "Dickey is going to go deeper." -- Keith Hernandez
In Beltran's return, Dickey just gets better
Succeeding with his ever-so-mild cheddar
But Lincecum topped him, Mets couldn't jimmy
A lock on their bats secured by young Timmy
Big winners: R.A. Dickey +18.8%, Jason Bay +8.7%
Big losers: Angel Pagan -20.7%, David Wright -12.2%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Josh Thole single +8.3%
Teh sux0rest play: Pablo Sandoval RBI double -11.1%
Total pitcher WPA: +13.0%
Total batter WPA: -63.0%
GWRBI!: Pablo Sandoval
Nice job by astromets; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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