Last night, Seattle knuckleballer R.A. Dickey made just his second start of the year and shut down the New York Metropolitans for seven innings, lowering his ERA a full run in the process. After telephoning fellow brethren Tim Wakefield before the game for some tips, kid allowed just seven baserunners and struck out five; he got Trot Nixon to strike out swinging twice. Granted, this was a Mets lineup that saw a tired David Wright sitting in favor of Fernando Tatis and had just Jose Reyes as the only fella under 30, but for a knuckleballer to be so effective for seven innings on the road is certainly laudable.
Mets starter Oliver Perez wasn't so skilled. He gave up tater tots to Kenji Johjima and Raul Ibanez among the five runs he allowed through five innings. Heck, even Richie Sexson had his first extry-base hit since May 24. THAT WAS A MONTH AGO. The Mariners ended up winning 11-0 and extended their winning streak to a hearty 'two'.
Here's local nut-slash-Mets manager Jerry Manuel on last night's loss, in which he was ejected for arguing balls n' strikes. (thanks to MetsBlog)
"We might have some tough decisions to make...We can't continue to go play good, don't play good, and not find a consistent formula. We have to find a consistent formula at some point, and we have not found that yet. So, we've got to do what we can. It could mean some tough decisions...Could be lineup changes, could be rotation changes, could be all types of changes, we have to do what we have to do to get this team on track. We have such great fans, and they're just waiting, they're waiting, they're waiting, they're waiting, they're waiting for us to do well, just hoping we do well and we're not giving them anything and that's not fair to them."
Really, Jerry, I think batting Trot Nixon in the five hole ain't gonna be the lineup change that is going to lead to more offensive production. Actually, the production last night was quite offensive. Kudos.