R.A. Dickey knows the deal with the Mets — you can’t allow too many runs because you can’t count on your offense for any support. And it pays to finish the game yourself because you can’t count on the bullpen to close things out. Well, Dickey did the first but was not allowed to do the second on Saturday, but the bullpen held on as the Mets losing streak ends at six.
After leaving the bases loaded in the first inning and two on in the third, the anemic Mets offense finally scored in the fourth. But they needed Dickey himself and an Astro pitcher/catcher collision to do it. After getting runners on first and second with no outs, Josh Thole grounded into a double play. With Dickey coming up with a runner on third and two outs, it looked like yet another scoreless inning. Dickey hit a dribbler, but the Astros battery could not decide who should field the ball, so they smashed into each other. Dickey was safe at first, the runner from third scored and the Mets had a 1-0 lead.
Justin Turner made it 2-0 in the sixth with a scorching line drive over the left field wall. The solo shot was Turner’s first home run of the year.
The Astros got on the board in the seventh. With runners on first and third with one out, one of Dickey’s knuckleballs found the dirt. Thole was unable to block it, and the runner from third scored on the wild pitch to make it 2-1.
For some reason Terry Collins chose to lift Dickey for a pinch hitter to lead off the seventh inning after just 86 pitches, leaving the game in the hands of the shaky bullpen. Dickey allowed one run in his seven innings on five hits, one walk and a hit batter. He struck out two Astros.
Jon Rauch retired the only two batters he faced in the eighth. Josh Edgin was called on to face old friend Fernando Martinez; he retired the lefty on a sliding Scott Hairston catch to end the inning.
The Mets came up with a huge insurance run in the ninth. Scott Hairston and pinch hitter Ike Davis singled, and then Jason Bay singled to drive in Hairston to make it 3-1. Maybe Bay is finally coming around — nah, just kidding!
Then it was to the ninth and Frank Francisco, who was able to get the Astros in order for his 21st save of the season.
Mets win 3-1 as R.A. Dickey wins his 16th game, tying him for the MLB lead.