First step achieved. Back to .500. The New York Mets beat the Phillies 8-0 in the opening game of the series and extended their win streak to three games.
Lets not get ahead of ourselves. Remember the last series against the Phils? The Mets won the first game by eight runs, then got hammered the final two games.
R.A. Dickey (1-0) won his first game as a Met by limiting the Phillies to seven hits over six innings. The knuckle baller confounded the Phillies and twice got out of bases loaded jams in the first three innings. He wormed out of one by starting a 1-2-3 double play and ended another with a line out to short.
You think that the Phils would have been a little better prepared for the fluttering randomness of the knuckle ball. They had just faced Tim Wakefield on Sunday, but Dickey only added to their frustration with the pitch, they haven’t been able to push a run across versus knucklers in 14 innings.
“You are used to guys who have everyday stuff, but it’s very rare that you see a knuckleballer. Two in a row is even rarer — like Halley’s Comet,” Howard said. “Tomorrow we get a regular pitcher and try to right the ship.”
Jose Reyes scored three runs and stole a pair of bases. Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur each drove in two runs and David Wright did not strike out [insert joyous celebratory whoop here.] In fact, no Mets player struck out. The last time they accomplished that feat was last September, oddly enough in a game started by Jamie Moyer, last nights starter.
The Mets got 13 hits, scored in six different innings and were 5 for 13 with runners in scoring position. Every starter (save Ike Davis) had a hit and even Mets reliever Raul Valdes got in on the action. In addition to picking up his first major league save with three innings of scoreless relief, he doubled over the head over Jayson Werth, driving in his first RBI and raised his average to .571 for the year.
Tonight the Mets start the other new addition to the rotation. Hisanori Takahashi (3-1, 2.53 ERA) makes his second start for the Mets, his opponent will be Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.06 ERA). With Maine joining Niese on the DL and Perez in the pen, the Mets are still unsure who the 5th pitcher in their rotation will be. There’s a big blank space in between Santana and Dickey that the Mets have until Saturday to figure out.