Monday, May 7, 2012

Dickey's Knuckelball Baffles D-Backs; Tejada Headed To DL?

New York – One day the New York Mets will erase the stigma of being one of four teams that has never had a no-hitter pitched. In their 50th year of existence they have come close and Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, with the knuckle ball working again to perfection, R.A. Dickey gave that hope again.

It wasn’t a no-hitter, but Dickey could eventually be the pitcher that goes in the record books. Sunday afternoon, in a rapid game, he allowed four hits in eight plus innings, struck out four, and walked four as the Mets defeated Arizona 3-1 taking two of three games from the Diamondbacks.

He was disappointed Three outs from getting the third shutout of his career he walked leadoff hitter Gerardo Parra. Justin Upton would deliver an RBI double to left. Dickey was removed and two Mets relievers preserved the win.

“It leaves a sour taste in my mouth,” said the 37-year old right hander who left to a standing ovation from what was left of the 29,107 fans. “I have an expectation of myself in that situation,” he said, “and that is not it.”
There was not to be a no-hitter this day. However, Mets manager Terry Collins believes it will eventually come, and Dickey could be the one to do it.

“I actually thought this could be the day,” said Collins as the Mets still have not seen a pitcher have the no-no in 7,996 games.

Daniel Murphy helped Dickey with some early run support. A two-run single in the first inning was good enough. Dickey was that good and did not allow a leadoff batter to reach base until Cody Ransom had a ground single to left in the eighth inning.

“They out executed us,” commented Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson. The defending National league west champions head home losers in four of their last five games and still perplexed about the Dickey knuckleball. The buzz in a quiet Diamondbacks clubhouse was about the Dickey knuckler.

And as New York heads to Philadelphia and Miami for six games, this after their brief three-game series at home with Arizona, they are a 10-6 team at Citi Field and two- games over .500 at 15-13. However, they face the loss of shortstop Ruben Tejada for an undisclosed amount of time.

Tejada strained a quad in the fourth inning and injured his face. The toe of his shoe got stuck in the turf as he ran out a bunt single. It was a precarious moment and he left the game and replaced by Justin Turner in the lineup. Tejada was not available for comment as he was undergoing an MRI.

He was expected to join the Mets Monday night in Philadelphia for the start of a three-game series.

“If they think it’s going to be five, six days we’ll probably have to make some move, “said Collins about his shortstop. Tejada is next to David Wright in the lineup leading in on base percentage and second among leaders in the National
League with two-base hits.

But this game was about Dickey who has become the reliable starter, behind the ace Johan Santana.

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