Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dance, Knuckleball, Dance.

RA Dickey wasn't sure whether he would get his 6th win of the season when Terry Collins pinch hit for him in the top of the 8th. The Mets, however, were able to pick him up with some timely hitting, sending themselves to their hotels with a 3-2 W.

The ball was dancing out of the knuckleballer's hands all night, and outside of a few times of solid contact The Pirates mostly failed to do so, leading to RA's career-high 11 strikeouts. The knuckleball was a beautiful thing to watch yesterday evening.

Mike Nickeas cannot hit for the most part. He seems to, however, have a knack for waiting on breaking pitches and going with them while a runner is in scoring position. You have to give him credit where credit is due. He has also caught RA solidly since Josh Thole went down, and easing into the role of knuckleball backstop is no easy feat. Overall, he has done a solid job since Thole got injured. I can't wait, however, for Josh to arrive from the Port. He has made strides behind that plate, and his bat keeps the lineup more potent close to the bottom.

On a evening where David Wright was off at the plate (0 for 4 with 3 strikeouts, 3 left on base), Lucas Duda did a fantastic job picking his Captain up with an RBI single through the hole between 1st and 2nd, off the glove of the diving 1st baseman. Wright had just struck out, and Lucas came up with 2 on and 2 out. Big time hit by The Duda. Glad we got that extra run as well on Daniel Murphy's grounder that got booted by Pedro Alvarez.

How awesome can Tim Byrdak be? Night after night, he keeps getting his 1 batter. After a double off Jon Rauch in the bottom of the inning, it looked as if we might get out of it unscathed when Murph tried to make the over the shoulder grab off Andrew McCutchen's blooper. It was just too much of a Willie Mays play for the young 2nd baseman to handle, however, and he gave that 1 run right back. In came Byrdak to face the lefty Pedro Alvarez, and man, I loved his pitching sequence. By the end of it, Alvarez was expecting that down and outside slider, but Byrdak flung a upstairs fastball and Pedro swung right through it. Awesome.

Glad to see Frank Francisco back on the upswing. Well-pitched 9th, albeit against the weakest hitting team in baseball. But hey, they burned us the night before so let's give credit where credit is due to Frankie. Keep up the good work.

The Mets look to take the series today at 12:35PM. Jon Niese will take on Charlie Morton. Let's come home series winners, Metsies.


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