NEW YORK METS: Pitching Continues to be Amazin!
Mets One Game Away From Proving Their Nay-Sayers Wrong
It took R.A. Dickey all of two hours and seven minutes to dispatch the Orioles. Monday's game was his ninth straight win, and eleventh of the season, which leads the Major Leagues. Overall this season, the Mets' starter is pitching at historic levels; not just by Mets standards, but in Major League history. Back-to-back one hitters isn't exactly Johnny Vander Meer like. But R.A. Dickey's last two efforts are about as close as we'll get in my, or our, lifetime, to accomplishing that age old feat.
In his last two starts, he has thrown eighteen innings, allowed two hits, walked two, and struck out twenty-five batters. Monday night, he struck out thirteen Orioles to set a new career best. Monday marked the fourth time this season R.A. has stuck out double digit batters. He now leads the National League with 103 K's. R.A. also leads the National League with an even 2.00 ERA.
In his last nine starts, he failed to pitch beyond the sixth inning only twice. And the most remarkable statistic during R.A. Dickey's stretch, would be his 42.2 consecutive innings pitched without allowing an earned run. Since breaking Jerry Koosman's club mark earlier this month, only one unearned run has been scored against him.
This pitching run is being spoken about in the same conversations, not only along with the previously mentioned Johnny Vander Meer, but along with the Mets' very own Dwight Gooden of 1985, Fernando Valenzuela of 1981, and Mark Fydrich's 1976 season. I've witnessed all three of those seasons. And so far, R.A. Dickey's run most definitely compares favorably with those. What makes Dickey's campaign even more remarkable, is that he is a knuckle ball specialist, who throws his specialty pitch with control, and with a certain degree of power. In that respect, he's one of the most unique knuckle ball pitchers in history.
As far as the game itself, Monday's game was won on the strength of Dickey's arm, but more importantly, victory came off the bat of Ike Davis, who connected on the first grand slam home run of his career.
In Tuesday's affair, Lucas Duda supplied the power. His two run home run in the sixth inning was Duda's eleventh, which came along with his forty-first, and forty-second, RBI of the season. Jordany Valdespin had himself a nice game, going 2 for 4, with two RBI.
Johan Santana pitched six innings and earned his fifth win of the season. He allowed four hits, walked two, while striking out five. Of greater noting, Johan, Bobby Parnell, Miguel Batista, and Jon Rauch, combined on the Mets' eighth shut-out of the season, which leads Baseball.
More important than just the last two games, Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey have established themselves as the most lethal starting duo in the division; if not the National League. That's not a stretch considering the Washington Nationals have let it be known, they will be shutting down Stephen Strasburg at some point this season. In the mean time, between them, R.A. and Johan have pitched four complete game shutouts this month, while accumulating six wins.
Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey have now provided an answer to getting swept by the Reds. The Mets are now 9-9 over this stretch against above .500 teams which started back against the Cardinals; the series in which Johan Santana authored the Club's first no-hitter in history. Wednesday, the Mets will attempt to sweep the Birds with Dillon Gee, and improve their record to a game over .500 for the stretch. It might just be the difference of one game, but should they pull off a victory in game three of this series, the narrative on the New York Mets' season deserves to change dramatically, for they continue to AMAZE. If you remember, this was the stretch many in the media said the Mets would be lucky to end with a .500 record.