Friday, August 13, 2010

He's just so radickeylous

Make that an MLB-leading 18 shutouts for the Mets, thanks to R.A. Dickey's phenomenal performance Friday night against the Phillies.

Dickey threw the 35th one-hitter in Mets history, facing just two more than the minimum 27 batters, walking one and striking out seven. The lone hit, of course, was by opposing pitcher Cole Hamels, who blooped a single to right in the sixth. Figures.

It was the second complete-game one-hitter by the Mets this season, the previous tossed by Jonathon Niese. It was also the 14th complete game in MLB this season featuring one or less hits in this, the year of the pitcher.

Dickey's gem was the second straight complete game for the closer-less Mets, who will get Frankie Rodriguez back on Saturday. K-Rod reportedly agreed to anger management and will address his situation to the media when he returns.

In the meantime, for two games since the K-Rod incident, the Mets bullpen was quiet thanks to Johan Santana and Dickey, whose combined excellence gave the Mets their first back-to-back wins since June 23, an incredible stretch. The shutout Friday was necessary as the Mets scored just one run, the eighth time this month the offense has scored three runs or less.

Then again, when it comes to the Phillies, the Mets don't need more than one. The Mets have blanked the Fight-less Phils four straight times at Citi Field, outscoring them 17-0 in the process.

The lone run was knocked in on consecutive two-out doubles in the eighth by David Wright and Carlos Beltran, and wouldn't it be nice if that duo starts heating up? Jerry Manuel started a lineup of all righties against Hamels, who kills lefties, starting Mike Hessman at first.

Hessman validated the move by blasting a pitch leading off the fifth over the orange line atop the left-field wall. It was originally ruled a home run, and despite replays that clearly showed the ball hitting the railing above the line as a fan tried to grab it, the umpires — after a long 10-minute delay (which told you something was up) gave Hessman a ground-rule triple.

Runner on third and no outs? Still tough for the Mets to score. Jeff Francoeur and Henry Blanco looked awful striking out, and then Hamels walked Ruben Tejada to face Dickey, who grounded out to end the threat.

The Mets displayed great defense again, especially early, with nice stops by Reyes and Hessman. After that, the Phillies were flailing at Dickey's outstanding knuckleball, which he threw 102 times, against just three fastballs.


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