The unmistakable chants of “Cy Young” echoed throughout the cavernous Citi Field as R.A Dickey emerged from the dugout to deliver his post-game address to Kevin Burkhardt. Dickey, at 37, had just become the first Met in 22 years to win 20 games in a single season and did so in front of an overwhelmingly supportive crowd at Citi Field.
In the season finale at Citi Field, the New York Mets topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-5 in a game that was a true picture of how most of the 2012 season had unfolded. R.A Dickey, the undeniable ace of the staff, pitched brilliantly in his pursuit of #20. Although he started off shaky, allowing 3 runs in the first 4 innings, he settled down and gave a mesmerizing performance while tying his career-high with 13 strikeouts.Dickey’s 13 punch-out performance has given him 222 on the year, surpassing Clayton Kershaw as the National League leader.
Meanwhile, David Wright, the offensive MVP, had a day to remember as well. Wright, who passed Ed Kranepool to become the franchise’s all-time hits leader last night, came through with the bat in a major way. With the Mets and Pirates tied heading into the bottom half of the 5th, Andres Torres worked a lead-off walk before R.A Dickey failed to complete a sacrifice bunt. Ruben Tejada would single before Daniel Murphy was able to line a RBI-single into center field to tie the game. This made way for Wright, who delivered what would turn out to be an imperative 3-run home run to right-center field that gave the Mets a 6-3 lead. Citi Field was alive once more.
In true 2012 fashion; however, the Mets found a away to make things interesting as soon as the bullpen was called upon to try to secure R.A Dickey’s effort. As Dickey exited to a tremendous ovation from the Citi Field faithful with 2 outs in the 8th inning, the ball was entrusted in Jon Rauch’s hands. Opposing Rauch? Former Met Rod Barajas, who had already hit a RBI ground-rule double to go with a solo home run. Rauch promptly delivered a pitch that went a long way to left-center field that was tracked down by Andres Torres to retire the side.
The 9th inning wouldn’t prove to be any easier for Rauch, as the previous crisis aversion quickly turned into panic mode. After walking Jordy Mercer to lead off the inning, Rauch settled in to strike out Jeff Clement before facing Alex Presley. Presley, the light-hitting outfielder with a .398 slugging percentage, proceed to plop one into the right field seats to bring the Pirates within one. That would be all for Rauch, who gave way to Bobby Parnell to close things out.
Parnell managed to avoid trouble, inducing a ground ball from Josh Harrison before retiring Jose Tabata on a fly ball to right to secure Dickey’s win.
Thus the story of 2012 was displayed in a single afternoon outing: Excellence from R.A Dickey and David Wright, a shaky bullpen, a come from behind victory, and a reason to be optimistic for the future.
Game Ball: While it would be completely appropriate to award the Game Ball to R.A Dickey, this belongs to both Dickey and David Wright. Dickey was brilliant once he settled in, but it was Wright’s blast that truly catapulted the Mets to victory.
The New York Mets will begin their final road trip of the season tomorrow evening as they head to Atlanta to face the Braves in what will be the final regular season series at Turner Field for Chipper Jones. All the action starts at 7:05 PM ET as Jonathon Niese will make his final regular season start against Tim Hudson.