By Ed Coleman
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Maybe we could gift R.A. Dickey two more victories to get him to the 20-win plateau, because unless he pitches another couple of shutouts it doesn’t look like his teammates will help him get there.
The Mets have now gone an unfathomable 15 straight home games — going all the way back to August 12 — scoring three runs or less in a ballgame. That’s hard to do. The club has lost 24 of their last 28 at Citi Field, dating back to July 8. During this 15-game stretch, the Mets have scored a total of 24 runs, averaging 1.6 runs per game. Oy.
Dickey was originally scheduled to pitch next Friday in Atlanta against the Braves on “Chipper Jones Night”. But the Mets may have found a way around Atlanta and Chipper’s farewell.
Dickey will now start on Saturday at Citi Field against the Marlins instead of Sunday, which would put him in line to face the Pirates on Thursday afternoon in the finale of a four-game series with Pittsburgh — the final home game of the season. Dickey faced the Pirates in Pittsburgh on May 22 and threw seven innings of one-run ball while striking out 11. The Mets are obviously hoping that the final game at Citi Field and Dickey’s 20th win dovetail nicely together.
The Braves are the one team that has given Dickey fits this season, due mainly to a start on a cold, rainy day. On April 18 in Atlanta, Dickey had no feel for the wet ball and gave up eight runs and three homers in just 4 1/3 innings. He’s gone 1-1 with a no-decision in three starts thus far against Atlanta, but the overall numbers are not pretty. In 15 1/3 innings, Dickey has given up 15 runs on 21 hits (four homers) while striking out 12 and walking eight. His ERA against the Braves is a whopping 8.81! If you subtract Dickey’s three Atlanta starts from his numbers, his already National League-best ERA of 2.67 drops all the way down to 2.20.
It works out nicely for the Mets’ ace that the other two starts will come against the Miami Marlins — this Sunday at Citi Field and in the final game of the season on October 3 in Florida.
Dickey has simply owned the Marlins this year. The last time he faced them on Labor Day weekend, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen wanted to make sure that Dickey thanked his team when he received the Cy Young Award after the season. Dickey hasn’t missed Miami yet in four series, nor would he want to.
Check these numbers out: he’s 4-0 in 4 starts, and in 31 innings during those four starts he’s yielded 22 hits (two homers), but just four runs while striking out 24 and walking only five. His ERA? It’s a microscopic 1.16. Maybe the Marlins are due, but I think Dickey will take the odds.
The Cy Young? Dickey gets my vote, but it will probably come down to the final starts for Dickey and Gio Gonzalez, with Clayton Kershaw and Johnny Cueto on the outside looking in. Dickey and Gonzalez have each made 30 starts — the Mets are 20-10 in Dickey’s starts and the Nationals are 22-8 behind Gonzalez. But Washington is already a 90-win team while the Mets are floundering 16 games under .500. And Dickey has a NL-high 212 innings (very important to me and, more importantly, to the team) while Gonzalez has registered 186 1/3. Dickey possesses the best ERA in the NL at 2.67, second only to Tampa Bay’s David Price in the Majors.
Other Dickey attributes: he has 205 strikeouts, one behind Kershaw at the moment. He’s third in the Majors in WHIP at 1.04 and 3rd in the NL in batting average against. He has tossed five complete games and three shutouts.
Two of those complete games and one of those shutouts, by the way, have come against the Marlins. Let’s see if Dickey’s teammates can pick it up for him like he’s done for them so many times this season.
C U soon
OK, so one start against the Pirates and two starts against the Marlins. Is Dickey taking home the hardware? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…