LOS ANGELES—For the fourth time on the 11-game West Coast trip—that the Mets ended 2-9 today—the Mets got shut out. For the third time on the trip, the Mets enter a prolonged scoreless innings streak.
After starting the trip scoreless over 24 innings, the Mets end the trip going 16 innings without scoring a run.
They had R.A. Dickey on the mound, and he did all he could do to keep the Mets in the game. Just like in his previous two starts, and like with any other Mets pitcher, no run support was given.
Dickey was in the middle of pitching perhaps the greatest game of his career into the sixth inning. He had thrown just about 70 pitches, with 55 thrown for strikes, two outs into the sixth inning, having given up only two hits.
He began the inning tripping awkwardly on the mound after throwing a pitch, and that resulted in a trip to the mound by Jerry Manuel and trainer Mike Herbst.
After he threw some warmup pitches and stayed in the game, he retired the first two batters of the inning.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel noticed that he was trying to "protect" his leg while making a throw to first on a comebacker, and therefore went out to the mound once again.
After a rather heated exchange between Dickey and both Manuel and Herbst, and even the home plate umpire, Dickey was pulled from the game, with the game still scoreless. He walked back towards the dugout mumbling to himself and anyone around him, as he couldn't qualify for the win.
His frustration was probably also due in part to the lack of run support. The Mets couldn't do anything offensively yet again, although they did record seven hits against Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw.
The Mets' biggest threat came in the seventh, when they had two men on for Josh Thole. Just like Luis Castillo on Saturday, Thole hit into a double play on the first pitch of the at-bat to end the inning.
Dickey was relieved in the sixth by Raul Valdes, who gave the Mets another clean inning of work.
Manny Acosta retired the final batter in the seventh before handing it off to Pedro Feliciano in the eighth.
After retiring the lefty leadoff hitter, he allowed a single to the righty Casey Blake. Two batters later, he allowed an extra-base hit to righty Russell Martin.
Carlos Beltran couldn't cleanly field the ball in left-center, allowing Blake to score from first, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
In the ninth, Dodgers' manager Joe Torre brought in rookie Kenley Jansen to close. Jansen had looked extremely impressive in his Major League debut on Saturday, and he looked even better today, flying by the Mets' Nos. 4-6 hitters to earn his first career save.
The Mets finished their second-worst road trip in franchise history, 2-9, and got shut out for a fourth time on a single road trip for the first time in team history.
They hit .196 as a team in the 11 games, and suffered six one-run losses. They now fall to only one game over .500 at 50-49 on the season, and they will begin a six-game home stand against the Cardinals and Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
During the 11-game trip, the Mets used 11 different lineups. They will try to find some way to use Citi Field to their advantage, in front of what is expected to be a small crowd on this homestand. Jon Niese will face rookie Jaime Garcia to open things up against the St. Louis Cardinals.
NL East standings (top 3 teams)
Philadelphia 52-46 (5 games back)
NY Mets 50-49 (7 1/2 games back)
Next series probable pitchers:
New York: Jon Niese (2010: 6-4, 3.54 ERA) vs. St. Louis: Jaime Garcia (2010: 9-4, 2.21 ERA)
New York: Hisanori Takahashi (2010: 7-5, 4.52 ERA) vs. St. Louis: Adam Wainwright (2010: 14-5, 1.94 ERA)
New York: Johan Santana (2010: 8-5, 2.79 ERA) vs. St. Louis: Jeff Suppan (2010: 0-6, 6.18 ERA)
New York Mets:
July 27-29 vs. St. Louis Cardinals
July 30-August 1 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
St. Louis Cardinals:
July 27-29 @ New York Mets
July 30-August 1 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates