Friday, August 31, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Marlins 0
By Walter Villa
WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey won his 17th game of the season, tying the Reds’ Johnny Cueto for the major-league lead, as the Mets beat the host Marlins, 3-0. The Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez was also bidding for this 17th win Friday night.
Dickey allowed five hits and three walks, striking out seven. He improved to 17-4 with a 2.63 ERA.
It was Dickey’s fifth complete game of the season, which ties him for the league lead. It is the most complete games by a Mets pitcher since Dwight Gooden’s seven in 1993.
POWER SURGE: Counting Ike Davis’ two-run, upper-deck blast to right field on Friday, the Mets have now homered in seven straight games. It’s the second-longest streak of their season. They hit eight straight from May 28 to June 5.
It was Davis’ 18th road homer of the season, which leads the NL. Overall, it’s his 25th homer this season, blowing past his previous high of 19, although, granted, Davis has only played two full years in the big leagues.
Davis had all three of the Mets’ RBI Friday night.
INSTINCTS FOR THE GAME: The Mets scored the game’s first run, thanks in part to the base running of Ruben Tejada. The shortstop led off the fourth inning with a single and went to third on a routine single to left-center by Daniel Murphy. Tejada read the play perfectly and got to third without a throw. After a line-out by David Wright, Tejada scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Davis.
TAKE THAT: The player Tejada replaced at shortstop, the Marlins’ Jose Reyes, got picked off at first base by Dickey with two outs in the sixth inning. Ike Davis made the nifty swipe tag.
TRACKING MURPHY: Before Friday’s game, Mets manager Terry Collins talked about how hard Daniel Murphy has worked on his defense at second base. Collins said Murphy “has proven he’s a major-league second baseman.”
In the second inning of Friday’s game, Murphy seemed to confirm that, making a diving stop of a ground ball to his left. Murphy’s throw was wild, however, and Greg Dobbs was safe at first. Murphy was given an error on the play, a dubious scoring decision.
Murphy also made strong plays on similar ground balls in the seventh.
ROAD SUCCESS: If the goal is to play .500 on the road and then excel at home, the Mets have done pretty well on the first part of the equation the past two years. The Mets are 75-73 on the road the past two years.
INSERT TORRES: Mets manager Terry Collins said earlier Friday that he started Andres Torres in center field because of how big the field is at Marlins Park and because he wanted to support Dickey with good defense as the pitcher makes his bid to win a Cy Young award and, possibly, 20 games.
Torres, who played locally at Miami Dade College, made a strong running catch with a runner on first and no one out in the eighth.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets play the middle game of the Marlins series Saturday night at 7:10 p.m. The Mets will throw rookie Jeremy Hefner against Marlins veteran Josh Johnson. The series concludes Sunday at 1:10 p.m. with the Mets’ Chris Young against the Marlins’ Mark Buehrle.