R.A. Dickey did a number on Jose Reyes, not to mention the rest of the Miami Marlins.
Dickey ended Reyes’ hitting streak at 26 games and handcuffed everyone else as the Mets knuckleballer knocked off the Marlins in a 6-1 victory at Citi Field.
“It’s over,” Reyes said. “He was unbelievable.”
Reyes went 0 for 4. In his final at-bat in the eighth inning, he grounded to first, ending what was the longest streak this season in the majors and tied for the second-longest by a Marlins player (Luis Castillo hit in 35 in a row in 2002).
“The thing about him, he throws that knuckler for strikes,” Reyes said of Dickey. “It’s not like he’s all over the place. He’s going to come right after you with a lot of movement, so that’s tough to hit.”
One day after scoring a season-high 13 runs, the Marlins were held to one run by Dickey – a Justin Ruggiano solo home run in the fourth.
LO VISTE? NOT QUITE
It was not only a disappointing day for Reyes at the plate, but also in the field. After Ruggiano’s ninth home run of the season tied the score, Reyes lost the ball in the sun on a routine pop by David Wright to start the Mets’ fourth.
The ball never touched Reyes’ glove, instead striking him in the ribs and allowing Wright to scamper into second for a double. Two outs later, Andres Torres gave the Mets the lead for good with a RBI double.
“I had it, but at the last moment that ball got in the sun so I couldn’t see it,” Reyes said. “It almost hit my face.”
Said Josh Johnson, who was on the mound: “I tried to find a way to get out of it and get that out so he wouldn’t score, but couldn’t do it. It seems like some of the craziest things I’ve seen on a baseball field have happened to us.”
The Mets went on to score another run off Johnson in the sixth on Torres’ second home run of the season, then touched the bullpen for three runs in their final two at-bats.
In what has been an up-and-down season for Johnson, he was not as sharp Thursday as he was in his previous start over the weekend when he held the Nationals to one earned run over 8 2/3 innings. Johnson (7-8) gave up eight hits and walked two in six innings Thursday.
The loss was only the second of his career – compared with eight wins – against the Mets. They’ve defeated him twice in three decisions this season.
“I was not locating the ball not nearly as well as last game,” Johnson said. “Fastball would be good one pitch and the next one cut across the plate. I just had to battle.”
DICKEY CONTINUES MASTERY
Dickey continued his mastery over the Marlins.
He has won his past six starts against the Marlins, during which he has allowed only four earned runs over 42 innings for an ERA of 0.82.
“Dickey is having that type of year,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. “This kid is in the running for the Cy Young Award.”
Dickey improved to 15-3 with a 2.72 ERA overall. The complete game was his fourth, tied for the most in a season by a Mets pitcher since 1993, when Dwight Gooden tossed seven.
While Reyes’ streak came to an end, Carlos Lee extended his hitting streak to 14 consecutive games with a leadoff single in the second.