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Mets Home Opener: R.A. Dickey Struggles With Command As Mets Fall To Nationals, 6-2

The Florida Marlins spoiled the New York Mets home opener, winning 6-2, and a similar storyline from early on this season contributed to the Amazin's loss, yet again: starting pitching not giving enough quality innings and a failure to get a base knock with runners in scoring position. R.A. Dickey lasted five innings, while throwing 97 pitches (53 for strikes) and Mets hitters went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Early on it was obvious that Dickey didn't have the command of his knuckleball and that's what set him back today. The first inning was clean, then the second inning began with two flyouts, but a single and two straight walks brought up the opposing pitcher, Jordan ZImmerman, and he  plated two runners as he singled to right. Altogether, Dickey walked five in the outing and allowed six hits and three earned runs. The Mets got a run back in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly by Ike Davis, but Dickey allowed three straight hits and walked the bases loaded in the fifth before getting a double play, and left with a 3-1 deficit.

Lucas Duda pinch hit in the bottom of the fifth for R.A. Dickey and doubled home Josh Thole, but that was really the only offense the rest of the game for New York. The fifth inning was the only one in which the Mets tacked together more than one hit in an inning (two). Zimmerman finished with a line of a 5 1/3 innings, six hits and two earned runs and four strikeouts. The rest of the bullpen put up zeros against the Mets, allowing just one more hit the rest of the way.

Tim Byrdak and Bobby Parnell struggled in their appearances. Byrdak allowed two runs and was only able to get one out, while Parnell allowed a run of his own in two-thirds of an inning. Altogether, Mets pitchers issued nine walks.

It's only seven games into the season so a 3-4 record can't really be a cause of concern but the fact that Mets starters have gone just 11 innings over the past three starts is very worrisome. Starting pitching is everything in the major leagues and the Mets have had to go to the bullpen far too early over the past few games.

Final - 4.8.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Washington Nationals 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 3 0 6 9 0
New York Mets 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 7 1
WP: Jordan Zimmermann (1 - 1)
LP: R.A. Dickey (1 - 1)

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