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Mets 3, Nationals 2: Nick Evans Is Real And He's Spectacular

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As usual, the Mets didn't manage to cobble together much offense against Livan Hernandez, but the three runs they scratched out were good enough behind the wobbly arm of R.A. Dickey. Dickey allowed two runs on five hits, with both runs scoring in the fifth on a Wilson Ramos home run, the first of his career. Dickey had good control all afternoon, throwing 74% of his pitches for strikes, but some of that may be a result of suboptimal knuckler, which missed just three bats in six innings of work.

Dickey threw only 5% fastballs -- four of his 88 pitches -- which is well below his season mark of 16%. It's not clear why he eschewed his "heater" in favor of the knuckler, especially when the latter wasn't generating swings-and-misses with its usual frequency, but the end result was another great pitching line.

The most glorious moment of the game came in the top of the seventh, when Nick Evans, pinch hitting for Lucas Duda (who himself was pinch hitting for Dickey), drove in Josh Thole from second on a double to right that gave the Mets the 3-2 lead which four relievers -- Elmer Dessens, Bobby Parnell, Pedro Feliciano, and Hisanori Takahashi -- would manage to protect over the final two frames.

With the win, the fourth-place Mets extended their lead over the last-place Nationals to nine games, likely ending Washington's dream of a non-last-place finish. Thursday is an off day for the Mets, who return home on Friday to take on the first-place Phillies. Roy Halladay will face Jenrry Mejia in that tilt.

Poem by Howard Megdal

Who is this unknown bat sent from the heavens
Whose timely double helped the Mets come up sevens
Team's chance of winning next year most certainly leavens
If only they could find a spot for Nick Evans