Friday, April 13, 2012

Post Game: Mets Take Opener in Philly 5-2

The New York Mets (5-2) defeated the Philadelphia Phillies (3-4) 5-2 tonight behind 7 spectacular innings from R.A Dickey and a Jason Bay home run.

R.A Dickey (2-0, 2.08 ERA) picked up his 2nd victory of the year behind 7 incredibly strong innings, allowing only 1 run while striking out 7. Dickey's strong outing represented his 14th consecutive quality start, the longest stretch in the majors. Although Dickey allowed 9 hits, he was able to induce ground balls when needed and the infield did the rest, with the only run coming from a solo shot from rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis.

The offense busted open against Cliff Lee, who held a minuscule ERA against the Amazin's coming into the game over 3 career starts. After Ruben Tejada opened the game with a double, Daniel Murphy quickly mimicked Tejada's success by driving him in with a double of his own. Murphy would come around to score on Jason Bay's 1st home run of the season, a 2-run shot that would prove to be a quintessential part of the Mets victory this evening.

Bobby Parnell (2.45 ERA) recorded his 2nd hold of the season as he came in relief of Dickey in the 8th inning. It's been noted that Terry Collins likes to utilize the ferocity of Parnell's arm to contrast Dickey's slow, methodical style of play. Parnell is quickly becoming a major piece to this club with decreased velocity and increased precision. Coming in with a 3-run lead, Parnell was able to bridge the gap to the 9th, which was a huge problem last year.

Frank Francisco was able to lock down the 9th in a non-save situation as he made his first appearance since Sunday afternoon. Francisco allowed 1 unearned run on 1 hit and struck out the side. Francisco looked dominant in the inning but was forced to face Shane Victorino after Daniel Murphy allowed the final out of the inning to slip by the bottom of his glove, which allowed Freddy Galvis to come around to score.

With the victory tonight, the Mets improved to 5-2 on the season, an impressive mark considering it took the Mets 18 games to get past the 5-win mark in 2011. The Mets will look to take the series in Philadelphia tomorrow afternoon at 4:10 PM ET as Jonathon Niese will look to build on the momentum of his dominant first start.

Boiling Points:
  • Although he drew a walk in the top of the 9th inning, Ike Davis went 0-3 and is now batting .043 on the season. It may be a matter of time until Davis breaks out as he managed to avoid a strikeout tonight, making solid contact in each of his at-bats.
  • Lucas Duda had his first RBI since last Saturday as he hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 9th to give the Mets an important insurance run. He didn't look great at the plate, though, and may be suffering from the absence of David Wright from the lineup.
  • Scott Hairston hit a towering home run that almost went to the 2nd deck, his first of the season. Kirk Nieuwenhuis pinch hit for R.A Dickey in the top of the 8th and singled in his only plate appearance.
  • A Mets win tomorrow would tie them for their high-water mark for 2011, which didn't come until July 29th last year when the club was 55-51.