R.A. Dickey may not have thrown a no-hitter, but he was as dominant as Johan Santana was on Friday night in his complete-game shutout of the Cardinals on Saturday afternoon. After feasting upon the likes of the San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates, both pitchers shut down St. Louis, one of the best offensive teams in the league coming into the weekend.
Now in his third season with the Mets, Dickey has always been unfathomably good at limiting walks considering he's a knuckleball pitcher. Today, he had nine strikeouts without and walks, and it took him just 100 pitches to go the distance.
Dickey's 2.08 BB/9 on the season is even better than the walk rates he posted in 2010 and 2011. At 8.55 K/9, Dickey's strikeout rate is significantly better than it was in either of his first two years in Queens. He now has a 2.69 ERA and 3.31 FIP.
In his last four starts, Dickey has 38 strikeouts and just 2 walks in 29.1 innings of work. In short, he's been excellent.
With all of the pitching the Mets have gotten from their pair of aces in the past two games, it's easy to overlook what the team's hitters have done. After scoring eight runs in a game that Adam Wainwright started last night, the Mets plated five runs today in a game started by Lance Lynn.
In the second inning, the Mets scored three runs, even though the only ball that reached the outfield in the inning was a leadoff groundball single by Ike Davis. Lynn then hit Omar Quintanilla, and Josh Thole, who is by no means a speedster, hit an infield single to load the bases. Dickey came up and hit a weak grounder to first, but an error by St. Louis first baseman Matt Adams allowed Dickey to reach safely and the Mets' first run to score. Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andres Torres grounded out, but the runner on third came home both times and put the Mets ahead by three.
In the seventh inning, the Mets tacked on a run when Daniel Murphy scored on a wild pitch with the bases loaded and two outs. In the eighth, the David Wright hit a solo home run to right field. His opposite-field power looks as good as it ever did; he hit a ground-rule double to right-center field in the first inning, too.
The Mets' four-game series against the Cardinals continues tomorrow at 8:05 pm. Jon Niese will start for New York, and Jake Westbrook will start for St. Louis.
SB Nation Coverage
* Traditional Recap
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Viva El Birdos Gamethread
Win Probability Added
Big winners: R.A. Dickey, +34.4% WPA
Big losers: Kirk Nieuwenhuis, -2.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: R.A. Dickey reaches on an error in the second, Ike Davis scores
Teh sux0rest play: Carlos Beltran's double in the second, -6.5% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +34.4% WPA
Total batter WPA: +15.6% WPA
GWRBI!: R.A. Dickey (no RBI on the play because of the error, but R.A. Dickey)