R.A. Dickey and Kevin Slowey are going to climb Kilimanjaro

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This is one of those deals in which the headline pretty much says it all:

Dickey, a Twins reliever in 2009 who now is a top starting pitcher for the Mets, is organizing a group that will set off from Africa in January to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. Slowey has agreed to join the excursion, which will help raise money for a charity called the Bombay Teen Challenge, a group fighting against sexual trafficking in Mumbai, India.

“R.A. and I have gotten to gotten to be good friends,” Slowey said. “This is something that if you get the chance to go do, you’d be remiss not to consider it. And it’s definitely for a great cause.”

Some Mets staffers — including the bullpen catcher, so be careful if he’s leading the way — will join them. I hope one of them is a trainer. I’d hate it if Dickey or Slowey got an infection after being stuck by a thorn and lied there dying, wondering whether they truly pitched enough to call themselves pitchers.

Noah Syndergaard scratched with a “tired arm”

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Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.

Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.

The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.

James Paxton has a fantastic new nickname

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James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.

And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:

“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”

“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.

“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.