Thursday, May 17, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Mets 9, Reds 4
By Kieran Darcy
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: Every time you want to count this Mets team out, they pull you back in.
The Amazin's rallied from a 4-0 deficit against the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon to win 9-4, splitting a two-game series at Citi Field.
The Mets improve to 21-17 on the season -- 2½ games behind the first-place Washington Nationals in the NL East. The Reds drop to 19-18, three games behind the first-place St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central.
THE BIG HIT: David Wright -- who else? -- hit a double over center fielder Drew Stubbs' head in the bottom of the eighth, scoring Rob Johnson from first base to break a 4-4 tie. Johnson had reached on a surprise bunt that stayed fair down the third-base line.
(The Mets tacked on four insurance runs after that, including a three-run homer by Ronny Cedeño.)
Wright was 2-for-2 with three walks in the game, upping his batting average to .411, which leads the major leagues.
BEFORE THAT: The Mets had plenty of chances offensively throughout this game, but failed to capitalize early on, stranding a runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings against Reds starter Mat Latos.
They finally got to Latos in the fifth. Lucas Duda, who had struck out with a runner on third in the first and a runner on second in the third, lined a double just past the grasp of right fielder Jay Bruce, driving home a pair of runs to cut the Mets' deficit to 4-2.
The Mets picked up a third run in the sixth -- a walk by Ike Davis and a single by Cedeño sent Latos to the showers, and Davis scored on a sac fly by pinch-hitter Mike Baxter. In the seventh, Wright walked and eventually scored on another sac fly, helped by a Stubbs error in center field.
ON THE MOUND: Mets starter R.A. Dickey racked up the strikeouts on Thursday, recording eight of them in six innings of work. He gave up just two hits through four innings -- one of them being a solo home run by Joey Votto, which put the Reds in front 1-0.
Dickey got in trouble in the fifth, starting off the inning by hitting Ryan Ludwick with a pitch, then walking Todd Frazier. A double by Ryan Hanigan plated Ludwick, a sac fly by Latos knocked in Frazier, and then Hanigan scored on a passed ball by Mike Nickeas.
Overall, Dickey went six innings, giving up four runs on five hits, with one walk and those eight K's.
The bullpen did its job, for a change. Jon Rauch and Bobby Parnell each pitched a clutch inning of scoreless relief and Frank Francisco came on in a non-save situation to finish the Reds off in the ninth.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Mets are headed north of the border to Toronto, where they will open up interleague play with a three-game series against the Blue Jays. On Friday night, it's Jonathon Niese (2-1, 3.40 ERA) for the Mets versus fellow lefty Ricky Romero (4-1, 3.88 ERA) for the Blue Jays, first pitch at 7:07 p.m.