June 2012

Where does Dickey’s ER streak rank?

R.A. Dickey has not allowed an earned run in his last 42 2/3 consecutive innings. Here’s where that streak ranks in MLB history, dating back to 1918:

Hershiser, Orel 61.2 08/30/1988 04/05/1989
Drysdale, Don 58.2 05/14/1968 06/08/1968
Carlton, Steve 57.1 07/19/1972 08/13/1972
Gooden, Doc 49.1 08/31/1985 10/02/1985
Gibson, Bob 47.2 06/02/1968 07/01/1968
Greinke, Zack 46.2 09/13/2008 04/29/2009
Perry, Gaylord 45.0 08/28/1967 09/15/1967
Vaughn, Hippo 45.0 06/26/1918 07/09/1918
Lidle, Cory 43.2 08/04/2002 08/31/2002
Bush, Guy 43.0 08/03/1926 08/26/2026
Dickey, R.A. 42.2 05/22/2012 Current

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Marveling at R.A. Dickey’s run

Because numbers often speak louder than words, here is what R.A. Dickey has accomplished of late (from the Mets’ official game notes):

R.A. DICKEY ONE-HITTER: Tossed consecutive one-hitters to become the first pitcher to throw back-to-back games with one hit or less since Toronto’s Dave Steib in 1988…Steib one-hit Cleveland on the road on September 24 and then allowed one hit vs. Baltimore on September 30…The last National Leaguer to do so was Jim Tobin for the 1944 Boston Braves, who tossed a one-hitter on April 23 vs. Philadelphia and a no-hitter on April 27 vs. Brooklyn… (ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU)…Tonight’s one-hitter was the 37th in franchise history.

R.A. DICKEY WINS: Won his major league-best 11th game tonight and extended his winning streak to a career-high nine consecutive decisions…It’s the longest streak for the Mets since Johan Santana won 10 straight from July 9-2008-April 6, 2009…The 11 wins tie Dickey’s career-high, first set in 2010…During his winning streak, a span of 11 games, the righthander has compiled a 1.21 ERA (11 earned runs/81.2 innings) and 88 strikeouts.

R.A. DICKEY SHUTOUTS: Tossed his second complete-game shutout of the season and fifth of his career…Also held St. Louis scoreless on June 2 at Citi Field…It was his third complete-game of the season and his second consecutive…Has seven career complete games…The three complete games tie the major league high.

DICKEY STRIKEOUTS: Struck out a career-high 13, his second consecutive game of double-digit strikeouts and his fourth double-digit strikeout game of the season overall…The four games of double-digit Ks are the most in the majors…Has 103 strikeouts on the season, tying Justin Verlander for the most in the majors.

DICKEY HITLESS INNINGS: R.A. Dickey tossed 12.0 consecutive hitless innings over his last two starts to set a franchise record…Dickey allowed no hits over the final eight innings on June 13 at Tampa Bay and then held the Orioles hitless for the first four tonight…The previous club mark was 11.0 innings by Jack Hamilton in 1966…(ELIAS SPORTS BUREAU)

DICKEY NO EARNED RUNS: Has not allowed an earned run in 42.2 innings, the second longest streak in franchise history…It trails only Dwight Gooden’s stretch of 49.0 innings without an earned run in 1985…Lowered his ERA to 2.00, tied for the best in the majors with Brandon Beachy.

DICKEY STREAKING: Dickey has not allowed an earned run in five straight games…The only other Mets pitcher with the same streak was Dwight Gooden in 1985.

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Bubba Watson = Roy Hobbs?

You decide. Here’s the 2012 Masters champ talking about parking a golf ball over the outfield signs at Citi Field:

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Showalter on Dickey: “It doesn’t surprise me at all.”

In his autobiography “Wherever I Wind Up,” R.A. Dickey credits then-Rangers manager Buck Showalter with persuading him to convert to a full-time knuckleball pitcher in 2005. When the Rangers sent Dickey back down to the Minors for the umpteenth time that year, Showalter and pitching coach Orel Hershiser sat Dickey down and told him the knuckleball might be his only chance to make it back to the big leagues.

On the heels of arguably the best game of Dickey’s life, Showalter — now the Orioles manager — revisited that conversation with Baltimore reporters Thursday:

“That’s kind,” Showalter said of Dickey crediting him. “If R.A. [actually] said that, I wouldn’t doubt it.  But he’s special people. You don’t even deny those guys accomplishing the kinds of things he does. There’s not better heart and makeup then him. You are just trying to figure out a way for what approach for him would allow that to play. You are always watching guys mess around with pitches and stuff. R.A. was going to figure it out.

“Ninety-nine percent of it had to do with R.A. Dickey. I can envision [this kind of success]. It doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s a guy who you like looking at every day. It’s real. It’s quality stuff. He’s not your prototypical knuckleballer, it’s not fun to catch. The biggest challenge we had with him is making sure you could catch it, throwing two knuckleballs.

“R.A. has that hard [knuckleball] you don’t want to get to. We are going to look at some tape and stuff when we get there — I haven’t really beared down with that. I know he’s having a real good year. Athletic. Tough. Good father, good husband, good man. I’d love to see good things happen to him. I was hoping he wouldn’t face us, but they’ve got a lot of good pitchers there.”

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Who was more dominant, Santana or Dickey?

R.A. Dickey’s one-hitter Wednesday was such a brilliant performance that it begs the question: which was the more dominant performance, Dickey’s one-hitter or Johan Santana’s no-no (the first in Mets history) 12 days earlier? Here are the relevant stats:

Santana vs. STL, 6/1: 9.0 IP, 0 H, o R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 8 K, Game Score of 90
The story: Santana appeared to allow his only hit on Carlos Beltran’s shot down the left field line, but umpire Adrian Johnson ruled it foul.

Dickey @ TB, 6/13: 9.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K, Game Score of 95
The story: The only hit off Dickey came on a slow roller to third base that David Wright could not handle. The Mets plan to appeal the ruling.

So which was more dominant? You decide.

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La Russa: Collins did “the right thing” during Johan’s no-hitter

Not long after Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history, former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa called Terry Collins to share his thoughts on the game — including the decision to leave Santana and his surgically-repaired left shoulder in for a career-high 134 pitches. La Russa discussed the genesis of that phone call Wednesday:

“I happened to be in New York and I watched every pitch even though I wasn’t at the ballpark,” La Russa said. “The thing starts developing and since I’m not in it, I watch these games and try to put myself in each manager’s shoes. I was managing for Mike [Matheny] and I was managing for Terry. All of the sudden you have what was really, clearly a terrific dilemma.

“I could just tell by looking at his face. He was really grinding on it, and I know the pitching coach was. They wanted to do the right thing. What’s the right thing? It was a really tough call, and they’re worried about his health first and foremost. I just knew what he was going through and it was really quick. When he got the last out, if you look at his face, he was the only guy in the ballpark that was not cheering and celebrating. I knew it was because he had doubts about pushing it.

“I just called for whatever my opinion was worth. I think we were raised the same way about protecting pitchers and caring for them. But I just think the sense of history and the drama. I saw him talk to [Santana] a couple of times. I’m sure he said he’s good to go. So as long as he did that, in my opinion, he had done the right thing. And then I read his comments and I knew that he was still beating himself up, and he was going to want and see how he came out of that. I just wanted him to know before he ever found out if Johan’s got some extra stiffness and soreness, in my opinion, he did the right thing.”

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Rauch on Twitter, “keyboard heroes”

After giving up a walk-off homer Sunday to Russell Martin at Yankee Stadium, Mets reliever Jon Rauch re-tweeted more than a dozen profanity-laced messages sent to his @jrauch60 Twitter account. Here’s his reasoning:

“It’s entertainment to me,” Rauch said. “But it’s funny to me that people think they can take it that far with no consequences. I think it’s interesting for me to be approached with that kind of language. If you’re going to be bold enough to say that kind of stuff and stand behind it, then I’m going to let everybody see it. I think it gives people a lot more insight into what we go through as players and as people that are in the public eye.

“You go through these things, and we want to be available to the fans. That’s why we get on Twitter. That’s why the Mets encouraged a couple guys in Spring Training to be more open and kind of give people the insight into our daily lives. But personal attacks like that are very uncalled for.

“If you want to ridicule me, if you want to knock me down because I pitched poorly, that’s fine. I’ll take that, and I should, and I’ll be the first one to say that I screwed up. I’m going to put a lot more pressure on myself to go out there and perform than any fan ever will. But at the same time, I think they need to respect us. We’re not out there trying to fail. We’re out there trying to do the best that we can. You’re going to go through stretches where things don’t go your way. And you’re going to go through stretches where it doesn’t matter what you do out there, it seems like things go your way and you get the breaks that you need.

“I think it’s unfair for the people that are truly behind the players and truly avid fans of the game to have people like this out there who are going to ruin it. I know there are kids that follow the boards, there’s kids, young adults that are learning this game and want to be a part of it, love the team, and to see stuff like that, maybe it wasn’t the best decision for me to put up some of the stuff. But you know what? It’s good to see that there are people that are really behind this team and behind the players that are on it.”

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Mets start Day 2 of Draft with Arkansas utility player and HS pitcher

Ethan Asofsky / MLB.com

The Mets used their first pick of the second round on third baseman Matthew Reynolds from Arkansas. A 3-year player in the SEC, Reynolds hit .312 with four home runs and twenty-six RBI in 40 games this season.

While he’s not necessarily known for his power – hitting eight total home runs in his college career – the 6-foot-1-inch, 200-pound Reynolds was ranked as the 36th-best prospect in the junior class and the 83rd-best draft prospect for the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft by Baseball America.

Over the summer of 2011, Reynolds played with USA Baseball’s College National Team and hit .227 with two RBI in six games.

Scouting reports say Reynolds does have gap-to-gap power, but needs to learn how to use the whole field better.

Although Reynolds started at third base this season, he did see time at shortstop in his freshman year before a torn ligament ended his first season with the Razorbacks. He is known as a versatile infielder. He projects as a good utility man, who can play a couple different positions.

Reynolds stole 11 bases in 12 attempts this season, and is an above average base runner.

In high school, Reynolds lead Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, Okla., to three conference championships. He was a two-time Metro Lakes first team performer, holding a career .373 batting average and a .501 slugging percentage.

With the 74th overall pick in the second round the Mets selected Theodore Stankiewicz from FT Worth Christian High School in Texas. The 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher is committed to play college baseball at Arkansas and could be tough to sign.

Stankiewicz has a fastball that sits between 88 and 91 mph, but can reach 93 mph on the gun. He’s still lanky and has room to grow, which could bring up the speed on his fastball. Scouts say his secondary pitches are average, but with a fastball that could develop into a plus-pitch, the 18-year-old could have a future as a starter in the Major Leagues.

The Mets used their sole pick in the third round on Louisville reliever Matthew Koch. The right-hander split closing duties with the Cardinals this season. He throws a fastball that gets up to around 94 mph and sits close to that speed, as well as a slider with some bite.

Koch was 1-2 with a 3.34 ERA in 2012. He struck out 30 batters in over 32 innings of work this season. In 17 regular season relief appearances in 2011, Koch had five saves and a 1.19 ERA.

At the 140th overall pick, the Mets selected their second high school shortstop of the draft in Brandon Kaupe. A native of Hawaii, Kaupe played high school baseball at Baldwin High School and is committed to Central Arizona Junior College. This year, his senior season, Kaupe was a member of the Hawaii All-State Team. The 5-foot-7-inch middle infielder is a switch hitter.

In the fifth round, New York selected right-handed pitcher Brandon Welch from Palm Beach State College. After two years in junior college, Welch has a scholarship to Florida Atlantic University next year. The Florida product throws a mid-90s fastball.

Ethan Asofsky is an an associate reporter for MLB.com

Mets select Cecchini 12th overall

With the 12th overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, the Mets selected shortstop Gavin Cecchini out of Barbe (La.) High School. MLB.com snapped the photo below, while MLB Network scored the quotes:

On being drafted: “I’m speechless right now. That’s a dream come true.”

On his brother, Garin, a third base prospect for the Red Sox: “He just tells me that it’s an everyday grind. But he knows that I love the game, and he loves the game too. It’s awesome. To be able to play a game and get paid to do it, there’s nothing better than that.”

On his conversation last Friday with David Wright: “It was like one of my best friends. He said he hoped we were teammates in a few years. Obviously we’re going to be teammates, so it’s awesome.”

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Videos from Santana’s no-hitter

Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history Friday night against the Cardinals. Here is a sampling of the highlights and reaction from that game:

Mike Baxter’s game-saving catch:

Terry Collins on the no-hitter:

Santana’s clubhouse speech:

Santana doused in champagne:

Santana discusses his no-hitter:

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