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Mets vs. Nationals Preview: Game #97 — R.A. Dickey vs. Gio Gonzalez

Still the man.
Still the man.

Today's game notes, courtesy of @Mets.

Teams: Mets vs. Nationals
Date: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 • 7:10 p.m
Location: Citi Field • Flushing, NY.
Starters: LHP Gio Gonzalez (12-5, 3.32) vs. RHP R.A. Dickey (13-1, 2.84)
Info: Game #97 • Home Game #51

Starting Lineup

Andres Torres – CF
Daniel Murphy – 2B
David Wright – 3B
Scott Hairston – RF
Ike Davis – 1B
Jason Bay – LF
Ronny Cedeno – SS
Mike Nickeas – C
R.A. Dickey – RHP

METS AT A GLANCE: The Mets have lost four games in a row and 10 of their last 11 games...New York is 4-13 in July and 2-10 this month when the opposition scores first.

EXTRA-INNINGS: The Mets lost for the second consecutive day in extra innings, falling to 1-5 in extra frames this year…The last time they lost consecutive extra-inning games was June 10-11, 2009 vs. the Phillies…The six runs the team gave up in the 10th inning last night tied a franchise-most total for a single extra-inning frame…On Sunday, New York surrendered five runs in the 12th inning to fall to the Dodgers 8-3... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two other teams in major league history lost consecutive games by five or more runs, both in extra innings...The Astros did so against the Reds, September 4-5, 1973 and the Angels did it against the White Sox, August 6-7, 1994.

AT HOME: The Mets are 26-24 at home this year...New York has lost six of its last seven home games...Daniel Murphy ranks third in the majors with a .374 batting average at home.

ROSTER MOVES: Before to tonight’s game, the Mets will activate RHP Matt Harvey from the taxi squad, select the contract of RHP Manny Acosta from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League and option RHP Pedro Beato to the Bisons...Harvey will wear #33...An additional corresponding move will be announced prior to the game...Acosta will wear #46 and will be available for tonight’s game...He started the year with the Mets going 1-2 with an 11.86 ERA (29 earned runs/22.0 innings) in 19 games before he was designated for assignment on May 29...Acosta was 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA (seven earned runs/28.0 innings) with 25 strikeouts in 17 contests for the Bisons.

DANIEL MURPHY: Has 11 hits (six for extra bases) in his last 15 at-bats (.733)…Over his last 21 games, dating to June 26, is hitting .443 (35-79) with 18 RBI and 17 extra-base hits.

MIKE BAXTER: Went 2-5 with two singles and an RBI last night for Buffalo (AAA) vs. Charlotte...Baxter is hitting .300 (9-30) with three doubles, five RBI and two runs scored in eight rehabilitation games.

FRANK FRANCISCO: Experienced discomfort in his right knee Monday...He received a shot and won’t pitch until at least Wednesday.

HEART AND HUSTLE AWARD: Mets third base coach Tim Teufel will present David Wright with the 2012 Heart and Hustle Grission Award tonight on behalf of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association...Wright is one of 30 preliminary winners which honors active players who demonstrate a passion for the game of baseball and best embody the values, spirit, and tradition of the game...The final winner will be announced November 13 at the 13th Annual Legends for Youth Dinner.

METS PROCLAMATION: New York City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. will present the Mets with a proclamation honoring the club’s 50th Anniversary during an on-field, pre-game ceremony tonight...He’ll be joined by the following Council Members: Leroy Comrie, Elizabeth Crowley, Daniel Dromm, Julissa Ferreras, Lew Fidler, Daniel Halloran, Karen Koslowitz, Jimmy Van Bramer and Mark Weprin.

FASHION DESIGNERS: The Mets will unveil exclusive merchandise designed by Council of Fashion Designers of America designers Billy Reid, Yigal Azrouël, Scott Haan and Rogan Gregory for Loomstate, Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos for Shipley & Halmos...The variety of merchasdise is on sale starting today at the Mets Team Store... Proceeds benefit Mets Foundation and CFDA Foundation.

LAST START: Earned his NL-leading 13th win in the Mets’ 9-5 victory at Washington on July 19 …Pitched 7.1 innings, allowing four runs, three earned, and 10 hits...Walked one and struck out five... Last season, Dickey recorded eight wins in 33 games, 32 starts...His 22 quality starts also led the team last season...Has won his last 11 decisions, a career-high...Dickey now has 132 strikeouts in 133.1 innings pitched this season, two shy of his 2011 strikeout total in 75.1 more innings.

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

WINNING STREAK: Has won 11 consecutive decisions dating to April 25 vs. Miami...The 11-game win streak is the best of his career and the third longest in Mets history...He trails Tom Seaver, who won 16 straight between 1969 and 1970, and Dwight Gooden, who won 14 in a row in 1985...Dickey’s streak spans 16 starts...This is also the third longest streak of consecutive starts without a loss in Mets history...He trails only Gooden, who started 18 consecutive games without a loss in 1985, and Johan Santana, who lasted 17 such starts in 2008.

RANKS: Dickey became the first pitcher in the National League to reach 13 wins this season and is tied for the Major League lead with David Price (TB)...Has five double-digit strikeout games this season, which is second in the majors behind Yu Darvish (Tex)...Also has recorded 15 quality starts, which is tied for fourth in the majors...Has struck out 132 in 133.1 innings this season, tied for fifth in the majors and tied for second in the NL...His K/BB ratio of 4.55 ranks fifth in the majors and fourth in the NL...Dickey has limited opposing righthanded batters to a .197 (51-259) batting average this season, good for ninth in the majors and sixth in the NL.

RECENT ROUGH PATCH: Dickey allowed 10 hits in his last start, July 19 at Washington, the second time in his last three starts he had allowed 10 hits or more...The other occured July 5 vs. Philadelphia when Dickey surrendered a career high-tying 11 hits...These starts marked just the ninth and 10th times Dickey had allowed double-digit hits in one game in his career, spanning 125 starts...Dickey has allowed five earned runs in three of his last five starts, dating to his June 24 start vs. New York...In his 38 starts prior, Dickey had allowed five earned runs or more just once...He allowed five earned runs or more in back-to-back starts for the first time since June 13, 2008 vs. Washington and June 18, 2008 vs. Miami as a member of the Seattle Mariners...During this five start stretch, lefthanders are hitting Dickey at a .300 clip (21-70) with ...This includes his June 29 start vs. Los Angeles when lefties went 1-15 with one walk and five strikeouts...Has compiled a 5.24 ERA (20 earned runs/34.1 innings) since June 24.