NEW YORK (AP) — The Milwaukee Brewers expected to get strong performances from Yovani Gallardo this season. R.A. Dickey’s contributions to the New York Mets have been a big surprise.
The starters will take the mound for the final time this season when the Brewers and Mets play a doubleheader at Citi Field on Wednesday.
Gallardo (14-7, 3.57 ERA) continued to establish himself as Milwaukee’s young ace this season, posting career bests in wins and ERA.
The 24-year-old right-hander, an All-Star for the first time in 2010, is 7-2 with a 2.98 ERA in 14 road starts.
He’s been superb recently, compiling a 1.74 ERA while winning his last three starts.
Gallardo’s strong season will come to a close in the first game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. He was originally scheduled to get an additional start, but a rainout Monday forced this doubleheader and reduced his availability.
“No big deal,” Gallardo told the Brewers’ official website. “It would be a little bit different if we were trying to make to make the playoffs, and you could talk about going out there on short rest.”
Another strong effort from Gallardo could help the Brewers (73-83) rebound from a 4-3 loss Tuesday in the opener of this four-game set.
He’s 1-1 with a 0.41 ERA in three career starts against the Mets (77-79), including an eight-hitter in a 2-0 home win May 28.
Gallardo will be opposed by Dickey (11-8, 2.92), perhaps New York’s most reliable starter and certainly its most pleasant surprise of the year.
The right-handed knuckleballer totaled 12 wins over his previous five seasons with Texas, Seattle and Minnesota, but his ERA this season is the lowest of any qualifying member of the Mets’ rotation.
He’s benefited from spacious Citi Field, going 7-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 10 games there while giving up three homers compared to 10 in 15 road starts. He surrendered two homers at Milwaukee on May 30, while allowing four runs and nine hits in seven innings of a 10-4 win.
Dickey could have used that sort of run support Friday, when he allowed two earned runs in six innings of a 3-2 loss at Philadelphia.
Jonathon Niese (9-10, 3.95) will take the mound for the Mets in the nightcap. He’s 1-5 with a 6.55 ERA in his last six starts, including losses in his last three.
The left-hander struggled mightily last Wednesday, allowing six runs and walking a career-high six in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-5 loss at Florida. His only previous start against the Brewers came in his major league debut Sept. 2, 2008. He lasted three innings while giving up five runs in the Mets’ 6-5, 10-inning win.
Milwaukee will counter with Dave Bush (7-13, 4.70), who is 0-2 with a 4.64 ERA in his last four outings. He yielded four runs – two earned – over 5 1-3 innings of a 4-3 home loss to Cincinnati on Sept. 21.
The right-hander is 1-1 with a 6.35 ERA in three career starts against the Mets.
The Mets may not have Carlos Beltran available after he left Tuesday’s game with pain in his right knee, the same one that was operated on in January, forcing him to miss the first half of the season.
The center fielder will have tests Wednesday.
“Honestly, in my heart, I don’t feel like I have to worry,” Beltran said. “I feel something. I don’t know what it is. But you know, after being back and being able to play all these games, I didn’t feel anything until (Tuesday). So let’s see what happens.”
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