R.A. Dickey and his amazing knuckleball keeps on floating along, as the potential All-Star game pitcher continues to make history at Citi Field. It was the combo of Dickey and Ike Davis that lead the New York Mets (36-32) to a 5-0 shutout over the Baltimore Orioles (39-28) in Monday Night baseball action.
“I have not seen anything like this before in my career,” said Mets manager Terry Collins after the game. “When you think about guys like Koufax and the Seaver and those guys-the greats of the greats…this guy (R.A. Dickey) is just amazing.”
Dickey became the first pitcher to throw back-to-back games with one hit or less since Toronto’s Dave Steib in 1988; the last National Leaguer to accomplish the feat was Jim Tobin for the 1944 Boston Braves. R.A. was able to record his Major League best 11 game tonight, while also extending his winning streak to a career-high nine consecutive decisions.
The accolades do not stop there for the knuckleball specialist, who tossed his second complete-game shutout of the season, while recording a career-high 13 strike outs-which was the second consecutive game of double-digit strikeouts.
“The pitch selection is pretty easy, it is about command and how he is able to control it is unbelievable,” Collins said of his starter.
R.A. has not allowed an earned run in five straight games, as the only other Mets pitcher accomplishing that feat was Dwight Gooden in 1985; the righty has not allowed an earned run in 42.2 innings, which is the second longest streak in franchise history.
“Considering everything he has gone through, that is why everyone is rooting for him,” said Collins. “With all the things he had to deal with to get here, considering two years ago this guy was the first one to get cut and now each year he is starting-he is getting better and better. I have never seen anything like it.”
The other big story for the Orange and Blue faithful was the uplifting homer that Ike Davis hit in the sixth inning, as the Mets first baseman lifted his first career grand slam on the first pitch of that frame. Davis finished with a career-best four RBI, and extended his hitting streak to a season-high nine games.
“You know he was going to get going,” Collins said of Davis’ bat. “We were winning with Ike Davis in the field because he brings something to the table. I’ve talked to two managers in the last two series and they’ve asked about Ike. One of the things they have brought up was that he still scares us to death. When he gets it going, he is going to be dangerous.”
David Wright and Lucas Duda also were able to extend streaks, as Wright was able to extend his hitting streak to nine games with a single in the eighth inning. As for Duda the outfielder has now been able to reach base safely in a career-high 21 straight games, dating to May 27.
Having an impressive night at the dish and in the field was Jordany Valdespin, who played a very slick second base while finishing 2-for-4 at the plate. Valdespin recorded the first triple of his career in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Game Two between the Mets and the Orioles will feature righty Tommy Hunter (3-3, 5.58 ERA) taking on New York lefty Johan Santana (4-3, 3.23 ERA).
For Santana, the Mets-ace will see what he can do to make more Citi Field magic, as the last time fans saw the lefty in person it was during the team’s first no-hitter. In 34 career games, Santana is 18-8 with a 2.50 ERA (65 earned runs/233.2 inning pitched at Citi Field.
1495 Sports pre-game notes: Prior to Game One between Baltimore and the Mets, the franchise took time to honor the Hofstra University softball team, which advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals. The ladies fell one win shy of the Women’s College World Series, but are expected to field a very strong team next season.
Also on hand was 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson, who threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches in support of this weekend’s Travelers Championship in Cromwell, CT.
The other honorary first pitch went to Kassandra Rivera, who is an 11-year-old from Astoria, NY living with Cerebral Palsy. Rivera, who gave a very stirring rendition of the National Anthem, was on hand as the Mets and ARAMARK hosted the 10th annual Starlight Night to support the foundation that serves critically, chronically and terminally ill children throughout the tri-state area.
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