200 Miles From the Citi

May 20, 2010 4:31 AM

Triple Play


In recognition of the tenth triple play in Mets' history, we'll make three the dominant number today.

In case you missed it, the Mets turned the triple play in the bottom of the fifth inning.

After a fly out to center field, which Angel Pagan caught an inch before it hit the ground, he doubled the runner off second and (tripled?) the runner off first.

One batter.  Three outs.  Or, as it was reduntantly put on ESPN's crawl - an inning-ending triple play.

So let's take a look at three players who made news on Wednesday night.

R.A. Dickey

Let's start with the guy pictured at left, Wednesday night's starting pitcher R.A. Dickey.  You may remember Dickey from his previous unsuccessful major league stints - with Texas and Seattle.  He's a knuckleballer who hasn't had much success.

But he pitched well with the Mets in spring training, made a run at the number five spot in the rotation, and I didn't know this - but he was lighting up Triple-A.  In a start less than a month ago, he gave up a leadoff hit, then retired the next 27 straight batters.  Sometimes you get on a streak with that knuckleball, and fickle though it may be, you can harness the pitch and make it work for you.  Dickey's in one of those streaks.

Maybe it'll last the whole season, maybe it won't - but the Mets need to take advantage and ride this streak.  Dickey went six innings, giving up two runs.  He walked four, which makes him a perfect match for the Mets' rotation...he has an excuse, though, with the knuckleball.  (Oliver Perez, incidentally, pitched a third of an inning in relief.  And he walked one.)

Angel Pagan

I've always liked Pagan - the problem with him has been he has never been healthy.  He's been effective off the bench the past few years, and he's been a fine injury replacement, but then he gets hurt.  He's managed to stay healthy so far this year, and has done a nice job handling being bounced around the lineup.

He had himself a game Wednesday night.  As soon as his fly ball in the fourth inning hit the top of the wall and bounced sideways, you knew he had a shot at an inside-the-park home run.  He made it fairly easily.  Then, he covered a lot of ground in center field to make a nice grab in the bottom half of the inning.  Then in the next inning he started the triple play.  Don't overlook him as a team MVP right now - pickings are kind of slim on the team (Mike Pelfrey? Ike Davis?), but he's filled a pretty big hole in center, and filled it well.

David Wright

Finally, our boy David didn't play on Wednesday night.  He's in the midst of a streak of 15 straight games where he has struck out - 27 Ks in 57 at-bats over that span.  Jerry Manuel wanted to get him a day off, so he did it Wednesday.  I guess that's fine - get him back in Thursday before a big weekend series with the Yankees...but Wright has good career numbers against Livan Hernandez.  Kind of wish he had the opportunity to break out of the slump against him.  Regardless, Wright never wants to sit, so you have to keep him out sometime.  This is one of those instances where Manuel has to make the decision without communicating much with his player, because his player will fight him on the decision.

In summary, no strikeout for David Wright on Wednesday.

But the Mets wasted Dickey's effort, losing 5-3 to Washington, dropping to 5-14 on the road.  And 0-1 in games in which they turn a triple play.

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