R.A. Dickey went seven strong innings today, allowing one run on six hits. He also started the eighth inning for the fourth time in his last seven starts. After allowing a leadoff single to Castro in the eight, Dickey was taken out of the game.
"He had mentioned that he felt a little fatigued," manager Jerry Manuel said refering to a conversation between Dickey and pitching coach Dan Warthen. Dickey told Warthen he wanted to take it "a hitter at a time" late in the game.
"What's important is to learn from your past experiences" Dickey said of being taken out. "We had an experience just recently when I went out for the seventh when I didn't have my best stuff ... So I wanted to communicate how I was feeling. I had been on the bases quite a bit ... I just didn't want to jeopardize us and try be the hero, that kind of thing."
Dickey said that admitting he was tired was not easy: "It's hard, especially with my background. It's taken me a while to learn that wisdom trumps being competitive."
Manuel was very pleased with Dickey's performance: "He's emerged and evolved as one of the good pitchers in the National League. If we get this type of weather -- the only issue he's had is if it's rainy. Other than that he's been outstanding."
A reporter asked Manuel if he would bat Dickey eight in his next start after going 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs today. While Manuel did not indicate he would move Dickey up in the order, Dickey said he was a bit surprised by his at-bats today.
"I was seeing it pretty good. I know my limitations" Dickey said. "That ball that I hit in the fourth or whenever when I flied out to left, that was probably the best bolt that I have. Usually I just punch it through the holes."
Cather Josh Thole brought the Mets' lead to four runs when he golfed his second homer of the year in the sixth. Thole sat out the previous two games in favor of Henry Blanco.
"It's always important to rest a young catcher because you're trying to let him get established, but at the same time you want to keep him fresh," Manuel said. "He gets to a point where he can sit on a pitch. If he's in the zone I think he can hit for a little power. I'd rather see the hitter mature first than try to be a slugger at this point in his career."