The Mets didn't play a perfect game in the first of three games in Philadelphia, but there was plenty to like as they beat the Phillies.
For starters, R.A. Dickey was excellent in his second start of the season. Over the course of seven innings, he struck out seven and walked only one. He induced nine outs on ground balls to only four outs in the air, and while he allowed nine hits, only two of them went for extra bases. The Phillies' offense is pretty awful right now, but it didn't make the start any less enjoyable.
Of Dickey's 103 pitches on the evening, 73 were strikes. Via Brooks Baseball:
For a knuckleball pitcher, Dickey has kept the walks to an absolute minimum in his time with the Mets, but it's still pretty amazing that he's able to throw the pitch so accurately and effectively.
It's also worth nothing that Ron Darling claims to have found the secret to Dickey's pickoff move to first base, but he's not going to spill the beans. Either Ronnie thinks it's a balk, or it's something that opposing teams haven't picked up on yet.
In terms of the offense, the Mets fared far better than they usually do against Cliff Lee. Ruben Tejada, who's looking very good at the plate to begin the year, led off with a double. Daniel Murphy doubled, too, and the Mets had an early one-run lead. After consecutive outs by Justin Turner and Ike Davis, the Mets scored two more runs on a very, very long home run to right-center field by Jason Bay. I'd say that was just about as far as Jason Bay has hit a ball since he's been with the Mets.
The bats didn't do a whole lot after the first inning, but Scott Hairston's home run to left field in the fifth inning was clearly gone off the bat. For a second, it even looked like it had a chance at landing in the second deck.
After Dickey departed, the bullpen once again pitched very well. Bobby Parnell allowed a baserunner but retired the other three batters he faced in the eighth inning. Frank Francisco's only mistake in the ninth was serving up a double to Carlos Ruiz, which was sandwiched between strikeouts of John Mayberry and Freddy Galvis.
The game should have ended on a two-out ground ball that went right through the Irish Hammer's wickets, allowing Ruiz to score from second. With his ERA intact thanks to the unearned nature of the run that scored on Murphy's error, Frankie Frank took the opportunity to lower his FIP with his third strikeout of the inning, which wrapped up the Mets' victory.
SB Nation Coverage
* Traditional Recap
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* The Good Phight Gamethread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: R.A. Dickey, +22.9% WPA, Jason Bay, +14.6% WPA
Big losers: Justin Turner, -4.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jason Bay, two-run home run in the first, +16.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Freddy Galvis, solo home run in the third, -9.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +28.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: +21.7% WPA
GWRBI!: Jason Bay
Game Thread Roll Call
Nice job by CTRefJay; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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