Pete Barrett / The Journal News
In his first start after throwing his no-hitter, Johan Santana was pounded by the Yankees. He gave up seven hits, four home runs, and allowed six earned runs in just five innings.
R.A. Dickey bounced back from his one-hitter against the Rays five days ago, and repeated his performance in the Mets 5-0 over the Orioles. Well, he did strike out one more batter.
The fool inside of me – the one who is always looking for a lame twitter joke – believes that it is great David Wright misplayed the B.J. Upton ground ball in Tampa for Dickey’s first one-hitter.
That because it is commonplace for starting pitchers to get shelled in their starts after no-hitters, somehow allowing one more hit, changed everything.
But, as Elias points out, Dickey is the first pitcher since 1900 to throw back to back complete game one-hitters with 10 or more strikeouts. He faced an uphill battle to repeat his performance too.
So, how much does one hit really matter?
If you talk to Ike Davis, who hit his first career grand slam in the 6th, one hit means a lot. That homer signified that Davis, who has been steadily climbing his average close to .200, is back.
If you talked to Terry Collins, when he decided to leave Santana on the mound on June 1st, the lack of a hit meant a lot. It even brought Collins to tears.
But, if you look at the box scores, Dickey was more impressive in his 11th win Monday night at Citi Field, than Santana was in his no-hit game. Santana walked five, Dickey just two. Santana struck out eight, Dickey fanned 13. Maybe the no-hitter is more about mystique than dominance.
Wilson Betemit broke up Dickey’s bid in the fifth with a solid single. That was it for Baltimore’s offense in the first game of the series. Sure, David Wright made a couple of nice plays behind Dickey, but he owed him that.
From a very practical standpoint, Dickey’s stellar numbers this season, 11-1, with a 2.00 ERA, would not be altered at all by allowing one fewer hit in his last two starts.
For that reason, allowing a base hit was irrelevant because it did not impact the outcome of the game. But for Dickey to throw one more consecutive one-hit game – that would mean something.
The Mets and the Orioles face off again Tuesday night at Citi Field. Johan Santana battles Tommy Hunter, first pitch at 7:10pm.
Poem by Howard Megdal
Commonplace. A Davis slam
Is the real shocker