The New York Mets have not played good baseball over the past month. And R.A. Dickey has looked human over his last half-dozen starts. Those two factors coupled together against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field didn't seem like a recipe for success.
But what Dickey did in pitching seven strong innings in the Mets' 5-1 win, their third win in their last 16 games was be an ace. Play stopper. Dickey has struggled to change speeds with his knuckleball successfully over his past few starts, but he did so in this one, striking out eight, giving up three hits and walking three in an outing in which the only blemish was an unearned run. He improved his record to 14-2 and it was his first outing allowing two runs or fewer in exactly one month.
Mired in a rut of his own, David Wright knocked in the game's first run in the first inning on a double that scored Daniel Murphy. It was impossible to expect him to keep up his torrid pace, but the third baseman has cooled considerably of late, as he has only six hits over his last 39 at-bats.
Receiving the start against the left-handed Joe Saunders, Scott Hairston does what he always seems to do against southpaws, and that's hit. His first-inning double sent home Wright, and his fifth-inning single plated the third baseman, who had walked, as well. Hairston has a .261 average, 12 home runs and 41 RBI on the year -- with an excellent .308/.341/.671 with nine of his homers against lefties. It's no wonder the Mets have received trade interest in the 32-year-old. And there's no doubt that general manager Sandy Alderson should part ways with him if he can receive at least a mid-tier prospect in return.
Daniel Murphy continued his hot stretch with a two-hit day that included an RBI, and Andres Torres also had two hits and two runs. Jon Rauch pitched a clean eighth inning and Bobby Parnell had a strong two-strikeout ninth inning.
|Final - 7.29.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Mets||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||1||0||5||10||1|
|WP: R.A. Dickey (14 - 2)
LP: Joe Saunders (5 - 7)