An uncharacteristically poor first inning by R.A. Dickey gave the Astros all the runs they would need to defeat the Mets this afternoon. Until today, Dickey had not allowed a run in the first inning of a game, continuing his early-game excellence from last year.
After a Michael Bourn triple to begin the inning and a groundout on which he scored, the Astros had five consecutive hits and took an early 4-0 lead. Dickey had thrown 45 pitches in the inning, but he was able to keep the Astros at bay through the next few innings, thanks in part to an outstanding play by Justin Turner to save a run from scoring with two outs in the fifth inning.
The Mets threatened to come back by scoring a pair of runs, the first of which came on a Justin Turner single in the third inning that scored Jose Reyes. Daniel Murphy added their second run on a solo home run in the fourth, but the Mets weren't able to do much else against J.A. Happ in his six innings of work.
It was the bottom of the sixth inning that swung the game strongly in the Astros' favor. Dickey allowed a solo home run to Bill Hall, and one out later, he gave up another solo shot to pinch hitter Matt Downs. That was the end of Dickey's day, and he wound up allowing 6 runs on 11 hits through 5.1 innings.
Mike O'Connor retired the only two batters he faced in relief, but Ryota Igarashi ended the bullpen's scoreless streak on a solo home run to Carlos Lee in the seventh, increasing Houston's lead to 7-2. Igarashi got a couple outs in the eighth but also but a couple men on base, and Pat Misch came on and got the Mets out of the inning.
The Mets weren't able to score again until a run-scoring, two-out single by Jose Reyes in the ninth inning, but that's all they were able to do against the Astros' awful bullpen as they lost 7-3.
The Mets' modest three-game winning streak came to an end, but they'll try to take the series from the lowly Astros tomorrow at 2:05 pm as Chris Capuano gets the start for the Mets and Aneury Rodriguez pitches for the Astros.
Big winners: Justin Turner, +3.7% WPA
Big losers: R.A. Dickey, -32.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Murphy home run in the fourth, +8.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Brett Wallace double in the first, -12.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -32.5% WPA
Total batter WPA: -12.4% WPA
GWRBI!: Bill Hall
Nice job by tmu; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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