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Mets 7, Nationals 3: Dickey Works Well on Short Rest

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The Mets set the tone early in their first of three games in the nation's capital. With Jose Reyes and Justin Turner on base in the first, David Wright hit bomb, his first-ever home run in Nationals Park. There was no question that the ball was gone off the bat.

In the bottom of the first, however, the Nationals were able to get a run on the board. R.A. Dickey, who uncharacteristically threw a whole lot of fastballs in his start, gave up a one-out double to Rick Ankiel and a two-out single to score him to Michael Morse.

Nick Evans answered the Nationals' run in the top of the second with a dinger of his own, a solo shot that put the Mets up back up by three. In the third, Angel Pagan drove in a couple more runs in the third inning on a single that scored Wright and Lucas Duda, giving the Mets a comfortable 6-1 lead.

Dickey, who was pitching on three-days' rest, kept the Nationals off the board through the fourth inning but allowed a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. After an Ian Desmond triple, Ankiel hit a home run, his second extra-base hit of the game off Dickey, the pull the Nationals within three.

The Mets got a little bit of insurance in the seventh inning on their third long ball of the game, this time off the bat of Lucas Duda. That bat is going to look pretty, pretty good near Ike Davis in the Mets' 2012 lineup.

Dickey stayed in to start the bottom of the inning but was pulled after allowing a leadoff single to Brian Bixler. Tim Byrdak came on and struck out Desmond and Ankiel. With the strikeout of Ankiel, a left-handed hitter, Byrdak has struck out 31 lefties in 91 plate appearances this season.

Terry Collins turned to Ryota Igarashi to finish off the inning, a risky proposition, but it worked out. He gave up a single to Ryan Zimmerman and went to a full count on Morse before striking him out to end the inning with the Mets' lead intact.

The Mets didn't do anything in the top of the eighth, but in the bottom of the inning, Josh Stinson, made his big league debut. He got Jayson Werth to ground out, thanks in part to Jose Reyes' gun of an arm, and then struck out the next two batters to complete his first inning of work.

Stinson's night wasn't over yet, though, and he was the only Met to reach base in the top of the ninth with a one-out walk. With a 1.000 OBP, is there any doubt he'll make the Opening Day roster next season?

In the bottom of the ninth, he allowed a single but quickly got two outs on a double play. After allowing another single, Collins replaced him with Danny Herrera, the left-handed screwballer acquired yesterday in the Francisco Rodriguez trade. He used his slow stuff to notch a strikeout to end the game. I'll cut him some slack for the ridiculously flat brim on his hat since he just joined the team.

SB Nation Coverage

* Traditional Recap
* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Federal Baseball Gamethread

Win Probability Added

Big winners: David Wright, +27.5% WPA
Big losers: Mike Nickeas, -3.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: David Wright three-run bomb in the first, +22.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Michael Morse rib-eye single int he first, -7.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +12.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +37.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Nick Evans

Game Thread Roll Call

Nice job by CTRefJay; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.

Num Name # of Posts
1 CTRefJay 115
2 MetsFan4Decades 115
3 BurleighGrimes 104
4 sj10689 74
5 fxcarden 54
6 aparkermarshall 46
7 santana9237 33
8 Steve Schreiber 28
9 Seaver73 27
10 feslenraster 26