By: Stache Staff

Mets send Dickey to hill, hope to smack around Reds


Hello and welcome to another chile-filled day of Mets baseball. Today, the Mets take on the Cincinnati Reds, who have the second best record in the National League. Last night, these same two teams dueled to a 0-0 draw through eight innings. In the ninth, the Mets bullpen finally gave way and Jay Bruce hit a three-run walk-off home run to give the Reds a somewhat probably victory.

Tonight, the tables are turned with the Mets sending out NL Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey against mediocre Reds starter Mike Leake. This is New York’s best chance to take a game in this series, so hopefully it won’t go to waste. Let’s check out the lineups.

Fan favorite Mike Baxter returns to the lead-off spot in a lefty-dominated lineup. David Wright and Ruben Tejada are the only righties in the order that is set to face Cincinnati RHP Mike Leake. Although Kelly Shoppach is active (Rob Johnson got optioned to Buffalo today), Josh Thole gets the start at Catcher. We’ll probably have to wait for the Mets to face a lefty to get a good look at Shoppach. That has a decent chance of occurring this Saturday, when Washington’s Ross Detwiler is slated to start against the Mets.

Devin Mesoraco and Scott Rolen enter the fray against the amazing knuckleballing Dickey. The big weakness of the Cincinnati lineup is the lack of on-base skills at the top. Both Zack Cozart and Drew Stubbs have OBPs below .300, but Dusty Baker keeps sending them up there anyway. If I were him, I’d probably begin the lineup with Brandon Phillips and Todd Frazier, but right now Baker can just point to his team’s record to dispel any argument over how he should be running the team. However, there is a reason why all-world first baseman Joey Votto was on pace for less than 100 RBI before he got hurt.

Pitching Match-up
NYM — R.A. Dickey (2.72 ERA, 166 SO, 36 BB)

After posting a 5.13 ERA in July (down from a blistering 0.93 in June), Dickey has bounced back with a couple of nice outing to being the month of August. In San Diego on August 3, he struck out nine and walked three while allowing three runs in seven innings. Then, last week at home versus Miami, Dickey was masterful, with just one earned run allowed on five hits (no walks) in a complete game. The 10 strikeouts he recorded were the most he’s had in a game since June 29, when he struck out 10 Dodgers. Maybe we’re on the way to another magical Dickey month. Back on May 17, Dickey faced the Reds for the only time this season and gave up four runs in six innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.

CIN — Mike Leake (4.51 ERA, 91 SO, 31 BB)
Now in his third major league season, Leake is having a kind of lousy year. Although he came into the league as a really exciting guy because of the jump he took from college ball straight to the majors, he’s developed into a pretty boring, back-end rotation pitcher. His K/9 rate has pretty much hung out around six his whole career, and he basically has enough success by getting some ground balls and not walking people. His last start was at Wrigley Field and was a typical Mike Leake boring start. He struck out five, walked two and gave up three runs in six innings. Yawn. Leake’s most exciting start of the year was probably his complete game on June 29, but for one it took place in the pitcher’s haven of San Francisco. It also featured a pretty boring amount of strikeouts (four). The Mets should be able to score two or three runs against Leake and let Dickey determine his destiny.

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