FLUSHING, N.Y.—Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey just continues to dominate, as today he shut down the Cardinals for 8.1 innings en route to a 4-0 Mets victory, New York's league-leading 14th shutout of the season.
After an awful road trip, the Mets have gotten off to a great start on the homestand, winning their first series since late June, and doing it against a first-place team.
Dickey allowed a one-out double in the first, but cruised after getting through the inning.
The Mets were facing starter Blake Hawksworth, and got a huge lift on one swing.
After the Mets stranded two men on with no outs in the second, first baseman Ike Davis provided a boost with a three-run home run in the third, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. It was a monster shot to straightaway center field, his 15th of the season.
Dickey's knuckleball was working all game, and the Cardinals never really posed any big threats.
After allowing some baserunners in the third and fifth, Dickey induced groundball double plays to first base. He only struck out two, both in the first inning, and only walked two, one coming in the ninth.
The Mets added a run in the fifth on a Carlos Beltran RBI single.
After Dickey breezed right through the Cardinals lineup on three days' rest, he started to fatigue in the eighth. He came back to begin the ninth and got one out, but put two men on.
Jerry Manuel replaced him with closer Francisco Rodriguez, who proceded to record the final two outs, earning Dickey his seventh win of the season in 14 starts.
Hawksworth received the loss, going six innings while allowing four runs on seven hits.
Angel Pagan went 2-for-3, as he tripled, bunted for hit, and scored two runs. David Wright got a day of rest with Mike Hessman starting in his place.
The Mets will now welcome in the Arizona Diamondbacks for a weekend series, trying to get some revenge after being swept by them on the road trip.
Tomorrow night's matchup will feature Mike Pelfrey against Ian Kennedy.
NL East standings (top three teams)
Philadelphia 55-46 (3 1/2)
NY Mets 52-50 (7)
Next series probable pitchers
New York: Mike Pelfrey (2010: 10-5, 4.00 ERA) vs. Arizona: Ian Kennedy (2010: 5-8, 4.10 ERA)
New York: Hisanori Takahashi (2010: 7-5, 4.47 ERA) vs. Arizona: Barry Enright (2010: 2-2, 2.73 ERA)
New York: Jon Niese (2010: 7-4, 3.43 ERA) vs. Arizona: Rodrigo Lopez (2010: 5-9, 4.68 ERA)
New York Mets:
July 30-August 1 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
August 2-4 @ Atlanta Braves
Tonight @ Philadelphia Phillies
July 30-August 1 @ New York Mets