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The Daily Stache

Pregame: Dickey Goes For Blackjack in South Beach

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Enjoy it Mets fans, one of the greatest individual pitching seasons in the history of a franchise blessed with great pitching comes to an end tonight.

Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey makes his 33rd and final start of the year tonight, looking for his 21st win of the season, as the Mets take on the Marlins at Marlins Park. Dickey will be bidding to be the first Mets pitcher to win more than 20 games in a season since Dwight Gooden won 24 in 1985.

Tonight’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. and the game can be seen on SNY or heard, as always on WFAN 660 AM. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @dailystache or yours truly, @DevOnSports.

Dickey will be opposed on the hill by Marlins rookie Jacob Turner, who will face a lineup that in some ways has become the Mets’ every day bunch. But it’s rather surprising that Terry Collins has opted to leave the spacious outfield of Marlins Park to be patrolled by Lucas Duda and Scott Hairston in the corners. Let’s hope Dickey keeps the ball on the ground, racks up a bunch of strikeouts and Andres Torres can cover some ground when the ball does find its way out of the infield.

Pitching Matchup:
NYM: RA Dickey (20-6, 2.69 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 222 K) – Dickey makes his last start of the season against a team he has absolutely owned all year. Tuesday marks Dickey’s sixth start against Miami. In the previous five he is 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA and 28 strikeouts against just seven walks in 38 innings pitched. Marlins hitters are hitting .199 against Dickey this season, led by Reyes, who is 2-for-23 lifetime against R.A.

After hitting some bumps in the weeks following the All-Star Break, Dickey has been fantastic over the last two months of the season. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs or eight hits in a game in his last eight starts and has made it through the seventh in all but one of those eight outings.

MIA: Jacob Turner (2-5, 4.94 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 32 K) – Since joining the Fish in a trade from Detroit, Turner has been a short starter. He’s made it to the seventh just once in his six starts with Miami. In his last start against the Mets (9/21), he threw 115 pitches in just five innings and New York battered him for six runs en route to a 7-3 win at Citi Field. But only three of those runs were earned, with the other three charged to a throwing error by Reyes.

Pourous defense victimized Turner in his most recent start as well. He allowed four runs in six innings against the Braves last Thursday, but only two of those were earned. Atlanta won 6-2, giving Turner his fourth loss in six starts with the Miami.

Mets Lineup:

Tejada – Murphy – Wright – Davis – Hairston – Duda – Thole – Torres – Dickey

Small Sample Stache: David Wright likes him some Marlin. In seven games in Miami this season, Wright is hitting .414/.469/.552, aided by a ridiculous .458 BABIP.

Marlins Lineup:

Petersen – Hernandez – Reyes – Stanton – Lee – Brantly – Solano – Velazquez – Turner

Small Sample Stache: Jose Reyes is just 12-for-56 against the Mets this season (.214 AVG) with only two extra base hits (.304 SLG), but Mets pitchers have issued eight walks to Reyes, 13 percent of his season total, to give him an OBP just a shade over .300 (.303).

Stache Keys to the Game:

  • Let Dickey Do It – It’s R.A.’s last start of the season and he’s going for the Cy Young, so there should be no leash on him at all. This is all we’ve got to live for at this point, give it your all.
  • Sell Out for Runs – Get that win by any means necessary. Bunt, steal, get hit by pitches, whatever has to be done. Get ‘em on. Get ‘em over. Get ‘em in.
  • Giancarlo’s Fury– One guy that could ruin this evening for the Mets is Miami’s big bopper Giancarlo Stanton. Dickey has limited Stanton to just 4 hits in 17 at-bats against him, so hopefully he can keep him off balance and neutralize the Marlins’ biggest weapon.

This Date in Mets History:
It’s fitting that Dickey starts tonight, as it was on this date in 1985 that the Mets’ last Cy Young winner, Dwight Gooden, made his final start of his dominant 1985 season. Doc pitched a complete game with 10 punchouts in the 5-2 win over the Cardinals to pick up his 24th win. He finished the season with 268 K, a 1.53 ERA and 16 complete games at just 20 years of age.

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