NEW YORK (AP/WFAN) — From the very first knuckleball that R.A. Dickey floated toward the plate, he could tell this would be trouble — for the Philadelphia Phillies, that is.
Dickey threw a one-hitter, allowing only a solid, sixth-inning single to pitcher Cole Hamels, and the New York Mets shut out the Phillies once again at Citi Field, 1-0 Friday night.
“I knew, from the way it felt out of my hand, I had a chance at a special night,” Dickey said.
The Mets blanked the high-scoring Phillies for the fourth straight time at home. New York outscored their NL East rivals 16-0 during a three-game sweep in late May, a string started by Dickey.
David Wright and Carlos Beltran hit consecutive doubles with two outs in the sixth for the lone run. Despite having Mike Hessman lose a home run on a video replay reversal, the Mets posted their first two-game winning streak since June 22-23.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Dickey said.
The Mets and San Diego are the only teams in the majors that have never pitched a no-hitter, and Dickey’s bid ended with one out in the sixth.
Hamels, a career .146 hitter coming into the game, lined a clean single that strong-armed right fielder Jeff Francoeur handled at medium depth, and he looked at first base before deciding not to try a heave.
Dickey wound up tossing the 35th one-hitter for a franchise that began play in 1964. Spoiled by a pitcher’s hit, of all things.
“I could pretend it didn’t happen and call it a no-hitter,” Dickey kidded, “or get real mad at Frenchie because he didn’t throw him out at first.”
Francoeur, in fact, likes to try that play. Not this time, though.
“I didn’t want to take a chance,” Francoeur said. “He was already close enough to the bag.”
Said Hamels: “I never want to see a no-hitter by the other pitcher.”
This marked the fourth time in the majors since 1990 that there was a one-hitter in which a pitcher got the only hit, STATS LLC said. Atlanta’s Tim Hudson was the last pitcher to throw that kind, broken up by Jason Jennings’ hit for Colorado on May 1, 2006.
Hit hard by the Phillies in his last start, Dickey (8-5) baffled them all evening, striking out seven and walking one in his second career shutout — his other came in 2003 with Texas. The 35-year-old righty threw 105 pitches, all but three of them knucklers.
This was the Mets’ major league-leading 18th shutout this year, with Johan Santana throwing one in New York’s previous game.
The Phillies came to town after totaling 21 runs in a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel said. “When we score, it’s going to come in bunches.”
“When you talk about one hit, you’ve got to give the guy credit. It wasn’t like we were hitting rockets,” he said.
The win provided some much-needed relief for the Mets. The last couple of days have been dominated by news of closer Francisco Rodriguez’s arrest on a charge of third-degree assault against his girlfriend’s father — suspended for two days, the reliever is set to rejoin the team Saturday.
Hamels (7-9) has not won in six starts despite pitching well. He gave up five hits in seven innings and struck out eight, and again was the victim of poor run support.
The Mets swiftly struck with two outs in the sixth. Wright broke an 0-for-15 slump with a liner that sailed over center fielder Shane Victorino for a double and Beltran followed with a double beyond the leap of left fielder Raul Ibanez. Wright casually strolled home, not that he needed to sprint to score.
Hessman, whose 329 career minor league home runs are the most among active players, looked as if he might have his 15th lifetime major league homer after launching a drive to left in the fifth. As he circled the bases, Ibanez complained that a fan reached over a railing above the wall and interfered.
Three umpires went to watch a replay while Hamels threw some warmups. The trio of umps returned and huddled again on the field before pointing Hessman to third base with his first big league triple. In all, Hamels went more than 10 minutes between pitches.
Crew chief Tom Hallion declined comment on the ruling.
Hamels needed a moment, too, after being hit by Wright’s line drive in the fourth.
NOTES: The Mets plan to select the contract of LHP Pat Misch from Triple-A Buffalo and have him start Saturday night against Roy Halladay. Rodriguez will be reinstated from the restricted list while LHPs Raul Valdes and Hisanori Takahashi will be optioned to Buffalo. … The last time a team was shut out four straight times at an opponent’s ballpark was 2004 when Minnesota blanked Kansas City at the Metrodome, STATS LLC said.
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