It’s very rare that the outcome is proportional to the probable pitchers for that night. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I look at a matchup for a Mets game and think “sure win”, and the Mets get clobbered. It happens the other way as well. Usually those pesky outside factors get in the way.
But when I saw that Aaron “Lemon” Harang was pitching tonight, I gotta be honest, I thought this was a game where the Mets would have their hitting shoes on, and not swing out of them. It took a while, but the Mets got him to chuck 116 pitches in five and 2/3’s while scoring five of their nine runs, the last one smacking Ruben Tejada after three hits. And that’s when R.A. Dickey provided another Mets moment for the ages.
Because it isn’t so much the eight shutout innings, though he also provided what you would think he would provide just by seeing his name in the probable pitchers column. But the welt he gave Dee Gordon in the sixth. I don’t know if Lemon Harang (or, the Harangutan as one might call him) meant to hit Tejada. It doesn’t matter because Dickey protected his teammates. He’s been in similar situations before but was either battling his own game or, perhaps, unsure that his fastball could actually hurt somebody. Dickey’s “retaliation” showed me that he’s confident enough in his place on the team to be able to do it and be respected by not only his own team, but the other team as well.
“I knew that question was probably going to come, and I’m not going to take the bait. I’m going to tell you that I tried to throw a fastball in and it slipped out of my hand a little bit.” –R.A. Dickey
Translated: “Next time, I’ll hit your batter in the gonads. Don’t think I won’t.”
In other words, opponents have to know now not to screw with Dickey.
(I seriously didn’t mean to write the double entendre there, folks.)
The one guy who dared screw with Dickey was the dopey reporter who asked him after the game how many curveballs he threw. Must make Dickey sad to think “Damn, I talked to these reporters for hours when the series started. Told them my story. Told them about how I’ve perfected the knuckleball. Wrote a damn book. Yet I still got asked how many curve balls I threw tonight.” Think about it … there’s a person that gets paid good money to ask R.A. Dickey how many curve balls he threw. I’d think about fifteen unemployed people heard that and blew their brains out.
Now that’s someone that needs to be hit in the gonads. By Bobby Parnell. While blindfolded. With a fastball. And then with a curveball so he’ll know the difference.
Then again, this is the same city that thought the Stanley Cup winner plays basketball in Sacramento.