The Mets' tragic number for postseason elimination dropped to six as they return home for their final 2012 homestand -- 10 games against the Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates.
R.A. Dickey aims for win No. 19 in Monday's homestand opener, when he opposes Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee. Dickey has four starts remaining, including tonight, to try to produce two wins and become the Mets' first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990. If the pattern of pitching every fifth game holds, the knuckleballer also is due to face the Marlins on Sunday at Citi Field, then pitch at Atlanta on Sept. 28 and at Miami in the regular-season finale on Oct. 3.
Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez, another Cy Young Award candidate, failed in his attempt to notch his 20th win Sunday night, as the Atlanta Braves beat the Nats, 5-1. Gonzalez, who allowed two runs in five innings, is now 19-8 with a 2.95 ERA.
The Phillies, who oppose Dickey tonight, arrive at Citi Field having lost three of four to Houston this weekend. They are four games behind St. Louis for the second wild-card slot. The Mets will be playing spoiler...
Major league clubs and minor league teams began a 15-day window Sunday to seek new affiliation agreements. As expected, the Toronto Blue Jays and Triple-A Buffalo Bisons spoke and appear to be nearing a deal. That would push the Mets to the lone vacant affiliate, Las Vegas in the Pacific Coast League, which has been the home of the Blue Jays.
Jeurys Familia, originally slated for his first major league start Wednesday, will remain in the bullpen. Terry Collins has liked what he has seen out of Familia in relief and will keep him in that role, especially since Familia would be more likely to break camp with the Mets out of spring training next season in the bullpen.
Collin McHugh or Jeremy Hefner instead should take Wednesday's start opposite Hamels. Collins indicated postgame Sunday that Hefner was the likely starter.
R.A. Dickey has the best chance among National League pitchers to win the Cy Young Award, according to an ESPN.com formula produced by Bill James and Rob Neyer. But the battle with Gio Gonzalez is oh-so-narrow.
According to the formula, Dickey has 170.3 Cy Young Points (CYP), followed by Gonzalez with 167.8. But Gonzalez will pick up two extra points once the Washington Nationals win the NL East, meaning Dickey's actual lead is a half-point.
The formula, which was computed based on past balloting results:
Cy Young Points (CYP) = ((5*IP/9)-ER) + (SO/12) + (SV*2.5) + Shutouts + ((W*6)-(L*2)) + Victory Bonus.
The Victory Bonus is 12 points for being on a team that wins a division. In Gonzalez's current point total, he has been awarded 10 of the 12 points, since that percentage of the season already is completed.
Here are the current CYP standings:
|2012 Cy Young Predictor - NL|