The Mets have floated the possibility of using R.A. Dickey on short rest at various times this season, but that talk has died down in recent weeks as the team has faded in the standings. However, Mets manager Terry Collins raised the possibility again this afternoon after Dickey finished off a complete game 6-1 victory over the Marlins.
Dickey is now tied with Angels right-hander Jered Weaver for the major-league lead with 15 wins while the knuckleballer ranks fourth in the National League in ERA (2.72) and first in strikeouts (166), WHIP (1.00) and complete games (three). The Mets haven’t had a Cy Young Award winner since Dwight Gooden in 1985 or a 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990, so Collins told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com that he would consider using Dickey more often in September in order to boost his chances.
“Will I? I certainly might, yes,” Collins said. “He certainly deserves that shot. I thought Jose Reyes deserved to win the batting title last year, too. I got criticized for that, and I may get criticized for this.”
Reyes, of course, exited the final game of the regular season last year after reaching on a bunt single in the first inning. It wasn’t without controversy, as Reyes was booed as he left the field and Collins was brought to tears in his post-game press conference, but the speedy shortstop ended up beating out Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun to become the first player in Mets history to win the National League batting title.
Dickey predictably said all the right things when asked about the possibility, noting that he doesn’t want the individual to overshadow over the team.
“I would not want to be on three days’ rest purely to win more games,” Dickey said. “If we can claw back in this thing and they think that I give our team the best chance to win, or a good chance to win, then I’m willing to do that. And I’ve voiced that. But we’ll see where it goes.”
If Dickey stays on his current schedule and pitches every fifth game, he currently projects to make 10 more starts this season.
Dodgers second baseman Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning, clinching the NL West for the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon. What a way to celebrate Vin Scully’s final home game behind the microphone.
The Dodgers were trailing 2-1 in the seventh inning, but shortstop Corey Seager tripled in a run to tie the game. Rockies outfielder David Dahl untied the game in the top of the ninth with a two-out solo home run off of Kenley Jansen. But Seager once again rose to the occasion, blasting a game-tying solo shot in the bottom half of the ninth against Adam Ottavino. That would set the stage for Culberson in the next frame.
Culberson, a former Rockie, came into the afternoon with a .591 OPS and zero home runs in 53 plate appearances. He finished the afternoon 3-for-5 with the homer.
It’s the fourth consecutive season in which the Dodgers have won the NL West. The Cubs have clinched the best record, which means they’ll play the winner of the Wild Card game. The Dodgers will play the Nationals in the NLDS. The Nationals have a 1.5-game lead over the Dodgers for home-field advantage, so both teams are still playing for something of importance in the regular season’s final week.
The Red Sox defeated the Rays 3-2 on Sunday afternoon thanks to some nifty base running by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. The win marks their 11th in a row, inching them closer to a division title.
With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the tenth, Pedroia led off with a single off of reliever Eddie Gamboa. After Xander Bogaerts lined out, David Ortiz ripped a double into the right-center field gap. Pedroia, running hard the whole way, rounded third and motored towards home plate, but the relay throw home — from center fielder Jaff Decker to second baseman Logan Forsythe to catcher Luke Maile — beat Pedroia by a good 10 feet. He was a dead duck.
Pedroia danced around Maile’s glove, avoiding the tag. Maile, on his side, continued to attempt to apply the tag on Pedroia. When he finally did, the ball was knocked loose and Pedroia scored the go-ahead run. The play was reviewed but the call was upheld.
Joe Kelly kept the Rays off the board in the bottom of the 10th, securing the 3-2 victory for the Red Sox.
The Blue Jays also won on Sunday, meaning the Red Sox still have a 5.5-game lead in the AL East. Any combination of two Red Sox wins and Blue Jays losses will seal up the division for the Red Sox. The two clubs round out the regular season with a three-game set against each other in Boston.