Fernando Abad (0-0, 3.86) vs R.A. Dickey (15-4, 2.82)
Fernando Abad wasn't bad at all, making his first Major League start in a faceoff with leading Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey. The Astros couldn't break through against Dickey's knuckleball, however, and they found themselves on the wrong end of a 3-1 score this afternoon at Citi Field. It's the first game Houston has lost to the Mets this season, dropping them to 40-87 overall.
*Abad's biggest mistake came with the glove, allowing a run as he and Jason Castro collided while attempting to field an infield squibbler by Dickey in the 4th. Fernando only went four innings, as he's still new to this starting thing, but he did okay altogether, posting this line: 4 IP / 4 H / 1 R / 1 ER / 4 BB / 2 K. Mickey Storey came in next for two innings, and allowed Justin Turner's first home run of the season. Hector Ambriz pitched a scoreless 7th, then Fernando Rodriguez allowed a single and got a strikeout before Xavier Cedeno let in the run on two more singles before getting the final two outs.
*The Astros only scratched out five singles and a walk in seven innings against Dickey, but he was aided by a pair of double-play grounders.
*Brandon Barnes was the only Astro to reach base more than once, going 1 for 2 with a walk. He also added an outfield assist in the 3rd, nailing Andres Torres at second trying to stretch a single into a double.
*Scott Moore went 0 for 3, but he scored the only Houston run after getting hit by a pitch, moving to third on a single, then coming home on a Dickey wild pitch.
*Fernando Martinez (1 for 4), Tyler Greene (1 for 4), Jason Castro (1 for 3), and Brian Bogusevic (1 for 3) had the other four Houston hits.
*Greene has hit safely now in 9 of 11 games started with the Astros.
Down 2-0 in the 7th, R.A. Dickey hit Scott Moore with a knuckler, then Tyler Greene singled to move Moore around to third. Jason Castro lined to second for the first out, but then Dickey's second pitch to Brandon Barnes bounced short and got away, letting Moore in to cut the lead in half. Barnes walked to put the go-ahead run on base with only one out, but Bogusevic grounded into a double play to end the inning. The Astros never had another base runner after that.
Man of the Match:
Brandon Barnes. Reached base twice in three plate appearances, and erased a Mets base runner with his arm. In a close game like this, Barnyard did plenty to help his team win.
Goat of the Game:
Steve Pearce (whom the Giants are interested in, btw). He only got one at bat, pinch hitting for Abad with the bases loaded and one out in the 5th, but he grounded into his own double play to kill Houston's biggest scoring threat.