Mets vs. Reds Preview: Game #117 — R.A. Dickey vs. Mike Leake

SHOW US THE FACE.

Today's game notes, courtesy of @Mets.

Teams: Mets vs. Reds
Date: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 • 7:10 p.m
Location: Great American Ball Park • Cincinnati, OH
Starters: RHP R.A. Dickey (15-3, 2.72) vs. RHP Mike Leake (4-7, 4.51)
TV/Radio: SNY • WFAN • WQBU
Info: Game #117 • Road Game #59

Lineup

Mike Baxter - RF
Ruben Tejada - SS
Daniel Murphy - 2B
David Wright - 3B
Ike Davis - 1B
Jordany Valdespin - LF
Andres Torres - CF
Josh Thole - C
R.A. Dickey - RHP

METS AT A GLANCE: The Mets have lost six of their last eight games and are 3-7 in their last 10 games...New York is 9-21 since the All-Star break...The Mets are 1-7-1 in nine series in the second half...New York’s last road series victory was taking three of four from the Giants at San Francisco (July 30-August 2).

KELLY SHOPPACH: Is expected to join the team tonight...He will wear #6...Shoppach was acquired yesterday from the Boston Red Sox on a waiver claim for a player to be named later...Shoppach, 32, hit .250 (35-140) with five home runs, 12 doubles and 17 RBI in 48 games with the Red Sox this season...The 6-0, 220-pound native of Fort Worth, TX, joined the Red Sox this year after spending two seasons with Tampa Bay...Shoppach, who bats and throws right-handed, has .227 (324-1428) lifetime batting average and 64 home runs and 197 RBI in 508 games with Boston, Cleveland and Tampa Bay...A corresponding roster move will be made prior to tonight’s game.

WALKOFF: New York suffered its sixth walkoff loss of the year last night and the second walkoff home run of the season...Jon Rauch allowed a walkoff home run to the Yankees’ Russell Martin on June 10.

SHUTOUT: After being shut out four times in the team’s first 110 games, the Mets have been held scoreless in three of their last six contests.

LEADING OFF: The Mets have scored at least one run in 55.4 percent of the innings in which their first batter reached base (181 of 327). That’s the highest percentage for any National League team...The NL average this season is 51.1 percent...The Mets have scored at least one run in 16.0 percent of the innings in which their first batter did not reach base (113 of 706)...That’s the seventh-highest percentage in the National League...The NL average this season is 15.5 percent...Mets opponents have scored at least one run in 49.4 percent of the innings in which their first batter reached base (173 of 350)...That’s the third-lowest percentage by any National League team’s opponents...The NL average this season is 51.6 percent...Mets opponents scored at least one run in 14.1 percent of the innings in which their first batter did not reach base (96 of 682)...That’s the third-lowest percentage by any National League team’s opponents...The NL average this season is 15.9 percent...Research courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau.

MILESTONE NOTE: David Wright is one home run from becoming the third player in franchise history to reach the 200 home run plateau ...Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220) are the others.

DAVID WRIGHT: Ranks third in the majors with a .415 on-base percentage, is sixth with a .323 batting average and third with 35 doubles...Wright is ninth in the National League with 75 RBI and is tied for ninth with 70 runs scored...He is tied for second in the NL with 53 extra-base hits and sixth with a .323 batting average vs. righties.

RUBEN ON THE ROAD: Ruben Tejada’s current 13-game road hitting streak (.367, 22-60) is tied for the second-longest of the season by a Mets player...David Wright hit safely in his first 20 road games this year and Andres Torres had a 13-game road hitting streak from July 13-31.

RUBEN TEJADA: Has collected at least one hit in 17 of his last 18 games...Tejada is batting .338 (27-80) over these 18 games, which dates back to July 26...He has nine multi-hit games during this stretch... Overall, Tejada’s .319 batting average is the highest among all major league shortstops (min. 295 at-bats) and his .364 on-base percentage is the second-highest among all major league shortstops, trailing Texas’ Elvis Andrus (.370).

ON THE ROAD: The Mets are 3-3-2 on road trips in 2012 after going 6-4-3 on road trips last year...The Mets are 27-31 overall on the road this year and went 43-38 away from Citi Field last year...David Wright is fifth in the majors with a .347 road batting average.

STARTERS/RELIEVERS: Mets starters rank eighth in the majors with a 3.89 ERA...New York’s bullpen has the worst ERA (5.04) in the majors...The pen took its 22nd loss last night, the third-most in the majors.

R.A. DICKEY: Is tied for the major league lead with 15 wins, is tied for third in the majors with 166 strikeouts and is seventh in the majors with a 2.72 ERA.

COMPLETE GAMES: R.A. Dickey hurled a complete game in his last outing on August 9 vs. Miami...Dickey leads the National League with four complete games...His four complete games are tied for the most in a single season by a Mets pitcher since 1993, when Dwight Gooden tossed seven...Johan Santana (2010), Pedro Martinez (2005), Al Leiter (1998) and Bret Saberhagen (1994) also finished with four.

STRIKEOUTS: Dickey posted his sixth double-digit strikeout game in his last start vs. the Marlins, the most by a Mets pitcher in a single season since David Cone recorded eight such games in 1992... Dickey’s six double-digit strikeout games are tied for the most in the majors with Texas’ Yu Darvish.

JON RAUCH: Tossed a scoreless inning last night...Rauch has allowed one run over his last 19 appearances, spanning 14.0 innings (0.64 ERA) dating back to June 28...Rauch has yielded five hits, issued two walks and notched eight strikeouts during that stretch.

RISP: The Mets went 0-8 with runners in scoring position last night and are 16-75 (.213) over their last 10 games...The Mets are hitting .260 with RISP on the season, ranking 11th in the majors...The Mets are hitting .276 with runners in scoring position and two outs, the second-highest average in the majors.

TWO-OUTS: The Mets have scored 21 of their last 33 runs with two outs...New York leads the majors with 228 two-out runs this year...New York is hitting .267 with two outs, the third-highest average in the majors ...New York’s pitching staff has surrendered 211 runs with two outs, the fourth-most in the majors.

NYPL ALL-STARS: Four Brooklyn Cyclones pitchers combined to work 3.2 scoreless innings in last night’s New York-Penn League All-Star Game...RHP Luis Mateo started and worked a scoreless and hitless inning...LHP John Mincone was the winning pitcher tossing 0.2 shutout frames with two strikeouts...RHP Hansel Robles notched a hold with a scoreless inning and RHP Gabriel Ynoa also had a hold, working 1.0 inning with two strikeouts...The National League All-Stars beat the American League All-Stars, 8-1.

LAST START: Earned his 15th win of the season in the Mets’ 6-1 victory vs. Miami on August 9 at Citi Field…Pitched 9.0 innings and allowed one run, earned, and five hits...Did not walk a batter and struck out 10...The win snapped a nine-game home losing streak for the Mets...It was Dickey’s fourth complete game of the season, tops in the NL...Dickey now has a career-high 166 strikeouts, surpassing last year’s total of 134 in his July 24 start vs. Washington.

BACK ON TRACK: After a stretch of four starts from July 5 vs. Philadelphia to July 24 vs. Washington in which Dickey posted a 6.04 ERA and .339 opponents-batting-average, allowing eight or more hits in each start, Dickey has now reeled off three consecutive starts of eight strikeouts or more with three walks or less while throwing at least 7.0 innings...He struck out 10 in his last start, the sixth time this year he has recorded double-digit strikeouts...He had just one such start prior to this season...Dickey now has 11 starts in which he has struck out eight or more this season, good for second in the majors trailing only Max Scherzer (Det), who has 11 such starts...Dickey has allowed four hits or less 10 times this season, tied for the second best total in the majors...He trails Gio Gonzalez (Was), Jered Weaver (LAA), and Francisco Liriano (Min) who have compiled 11 such starts each.

RANKS: Dickey now ranks in the top five in all three NL triple crown categories (W, ERA, K)...After his last start on August 9 vs. Miami, he became the first pitcher in the NL to reach 15 wins this season...He is tied for the major league lead in wins with Gio Gonzales (Was), Johnny Cueto (Cin), David Price (TB), and Jered Weaver (LAA)...Has struck out 166 in 162.1 innings this season, tying him for third in the majors and tying him for first in the NL...Is tied for third in the NL with Kyle Lohse (Stl) and Ryan Vogelsong (SF) with a 2.72 ERA...Jordan Zimmermann (Was) leads the NL with a 2.38 ERA...Dickey leads the NL with a 1.00 WHIP and is third in the majors, trailing only Jered Weaver’s (LAA) 0.92 mark and Justin Verlander’s (Det) 0.99 mark...Also has six double-digit strikeout games this season, tied for first in the majors with Yu Darvish (Tex)...Has recorded 18 quality starts, tied for third in the majors...His K/BB ratio of 4.61 ranks fourth in both the majors and NL...Has limited opposing right-handed batters to a .204 (64-313) batting average this season, good for 10th in the majors and seventh in the NL.

PITCHER OF THE MONTH: Dickey was named the NL Pitcher of the Month for the month of June...Went 5-0 with 0.93 ERA (five earned runs/48.1 innings pitched)...Began the month with 37 consecutive innings without surrendering an earned run dating from June 2 vs. StL to June 24 vs. NYY...Threw three complete games and two shutouts...Also threw consecutive complete-game 1-hitters while striking out 10 or more in each.

WINNING STREAK SNAPPED: Dickey’s loss in his start vs. Washington on July 24 snapped a streak of 11 consecutive winning decisions dating to April 25 vs. Miami...The 11-game win streak was the best of his career and the third longest in Mets history...Dickey’s streak spanned 16 starts, also tied for the third longest streak of consecutive starts without a loss in Mets history...This was the first home loss for Dickey of the season and his first since falling to Washington on September 12, 2011, 3-2.

ONE-HIT WONDER: On June 18 vs. BAL, Dickey became the 10th pitcher since 1900 to record consecutive one-hitters...Became the first pitcher in modern baseball history (since 1900) to register back-to-back complete game one-hitters with 10 strikeouts or more in both starts...It also marked the first time a pitcher had thrown back-to-back complete games while allowing one hit or less in each since Dave Steib notched two in a row for Toronto on September 24, 1988 at CLE and again on September 30, 1988 vs. BAL...The last NL pitcher to throw consecutive complete games while allowing one hit or less in each was Jim Tobin as a member of the Boston Braves on April 23, 1944 (one-hitter) vs. Philadelphia and a no-hitter on April 27, 1944 vs. Brooklyn.

CAREER-HIGH STRIKEOUTS: Dickey recorded 12 and 13 strikeouts in back-to-back starts at Tampa Bay on June 13 and again vs. Baltimore on June 18, respectively, setting a new career-high each time...He first set his career-high striking out 11 at Pittsburgh on May 22.

MORE STRIKEOUTS: Has recorded back-to-back double-digit strikeout games twice this season...Became the first Mets pitcher to have back-to-back double-digit strikeout games since Pedro Martinez struck out 10 at Philadelphia on May 9, 2006 and another 10 at Milwaukee on May 14, 2006...He is the first Met since David Cone in 1988 to have two separate back-to-back double-digit strikeout games in the same season...Dickey has six double-digit strikeout games in his career, five this year, and all with the Mets.

RELIEF: Allowed two runs, earned in 1.0 inning of relief vs. Los Angeles on July 21 at Citi Field...This was Dickey’s first relief appearance since April 17, 2011 at Atlanta.

LAST WIN VS. CINCINNATI: Won, 4-2, at Great American Ballpark on July 25, 2011...Pitched 6.2 innings and allowed two runs, earned, eight hits, and one walk...Also recorded seven strikeouts.

LAST LOSS VS. CINCINNATI: Dickey has never lost to the Reds.

CAREER VS. CINCINNATI: In two career games, both starts, Dickey is 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA (five earned runs/12.2 innings pitched) vs. Cincinnati.

KEY MATCHUPS:

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