This guy right here should be the All-Star game starter.
Meet the Mets
Many words have been spent on R.A. Dickey's magical 2012 season and it's likely there are still many words that have yet to be written. But here are a few words that you've probably seen multiple times and I apologize for repeating them: R.A. Dickey threw eight shutout innings. Honestly, R.A. leaves me no choice with the way he's pitched all year. He just keeps going out and tossing shutouts. Am I complaining? No, not at all. The Mets defeated the Dodgers 9-0 behind the righty's hard knuckler and some strong offensive performances. Dickey was masterful over eight innings, allowing just three hits and a walk, most likely because he felt like allowing them as a personal challenge. He also hit a batter because, hey--gotta support the team! Meanwhile, he racked up 10 more strikeouts on the way to his 12th victory of the year. The Mets' offense knocked Aaron Harang around. Ruben Tejada went 4-5 with a HBP and Daniel Murphy knocked in five runs, three of them scoring on his third home run of the season. On this night, everything was coming up Mets. Can we get some more of this please?
Rumors are beginning to circulate regarding the Mets' potential trade deadline targets but at the moment, they're still evaluating all the options--internal and external. While they're not close to any deals, they are said to be looking for veteran relievers preferably with prior playoff experience. My personal preference: just say no to Brad Lidge.
Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com tweeted on Friday that the Mets are expected to sign 16-year old Dominican shortstop German Ahmed Rosario once the International Free Agent market officially opens up on Monday. Rosario's bonus is supposedly worth $1.7 million, which would be the highest IFA bonus in team history, ahead of the $1.3 million bonus Fernando Martinez received back in 2005. It's really nice to see the Mets add two high upside SS prospects to the organization in the past month (Rosario and 1st rounder Gavin Cecchini).
Bobby Parnell has been solid out of the pen for the Mets this year and looked good in his first save opportunity filling in for Frank Francisco. Terry Collins quashed any future closer controversy, however, by announcing that Parnell's tenure as the team's closer would purely be temporary until Francisco was able to return.
The Mets are 42-36 after Friday night's victory, but how have they done it? While the starting pitching has been a big factor in their success, Howard Megdal points out that the team's offense has been much better than outside observers expected.
Around the NL East
The Braves came back to score four runs in seventh against the Nationals to tie things at 4 apiece but the Nats went ahead for good on a Michael Morse home run and defeated the Braves 5-4. Meanwhile, Brad Lidge is not happy with the Nats for releasing him 10 days after his return from an injury. The Phillies fell to the Marlins 6-2, as Cliff Lee did not win a game for the 13th time in 13 starts this season. In injured Phillies news, Roy Halladay threw a bullpen session on Friday. Also, Ryan Howard is rehabbing with the Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws and Patrick Flood provides a picture of the Phillies'...umm...let's call him "plump" first baseman.
Around the Majors
As we've seen the last couple of days, the Dodgers' offense is woeful without Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. But even so, is targeting Carlos Lee the answer? Apparently, Ned Colletti thinks so. Not sure what's crazier--rumors of trading a prospect for Lee or rumors of dealing top prospect Zach Lee for Jed Lowrie, who could've been had for pennies on the dollar way back in December.
Finally, Chris Schwinden is back in a New York organization. Except it's the Yankees. The righty was claimed off waivers from the Indians on Friday, marking his fourth organization this month (Mets, Blue Jays, Indians, Yankees). He'll shuffle on down to AAA.