Cincinnati-Today's game between the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds was not expected to be a pitcher's duel. The Mets sent Daisuke Matsuzaka to the mound, and he has been up and down in his month long tenure with the team. The Reds sent one of their top arms, Mat Latos, to the bump to try and keep pace in the National League Central race. Dice-K was more than up to the task, outdueling Latos with 7.2 innings of shutout ball as the Mets defeated the Reds 1-0 to deal a crippling blow to Cincinnati's division title hopes.
Matsuzaka (3-3, 4.42 ERA) was brilliant for New York, shutting out a powerful Reds' offense over 7.2 innings. Matsuzaka allowed only four hits and two walks on the day while striking out six Cincinnati hitters. Dice-K was handed a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Eric Young Jr drove home Wilfredo Tovar for the game's only run. Tovar reached base after being hit by a pitch from Cincinnati starter Mat Latos (14-7, 3.16 ERA), who was the tough luck loser. Latos pitched seven innings of one run ball, allowing four hits while walking two and striking out seven.
The Reds threatened to tie the game in the eighth inning, when Derrick Robinson led off the frame with a single against Matsuzaka. Robinson was sacrificed over to second and Matsuzaka struck out Reds' leadoff man Billy Hamilton to get two outs. Pedro Feliciano then entered and promptly walked Shin-Shoo Choo, and allowed both runners to advance to third on a wild pitch. That brought Joey Votto to the plate with a chance to drive in both runs with a single. Feliciano got out of the jam by getting Votto to fly out to center to end the inning. LaTroy Hawkins came in an inning later to pitch a perfect ninth and record his 13th save of the season, sealing the win for the Mets.
Player of the Game:
Today's Player of the Game Award goes to Mets' starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. Dice-K, who was in danger of losing his rotation spot at the beginning of the month, tossed 7.2 innings of shutout ball to even his record at 3-3 to end the 2013 campaign.
Post Game Notes:
- Even though the Mets won this series, the Reds won the season series with New York four games to two.
- The Mets finished the 2013 season with a 41-40 record on the road.
- The Mets finished their six game road trip with a record of 5-1.
- Mets' catcher Juan Centeno did something memorable, throwing out Reds' rookie outfielder Billy Hamilton trying to steal second in the fifth inning. Hamilton had been perfect in 13 stolen base attempts prior to today's game.
- The loss knocked the Reds into the play-in game next week.
The Mets will return home for their final series of the 2013 season tomorrow night. They will welcome the Milwaukee Brewers to town for a four game weekend set. The Mets will send Dillon Gee (12-10, 3.54 ERA) to the mound in his final start of the season, while the Brewers will counter with tall right hander Johnny Hellweg (1-4, 7.43 ERA). First pitch for tomorrow night's game is scheduled for 7:10 pm at Citi Field.
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