Meet the Mets
By my count, the Mets have won three games since the all-star break. Two of them were in games R.A. Dickey pitched. Solution: Pitch R.A. Dickey every day. Dickey turned in his standard Dickey start with more strikeouts than innings pitched and no earned runs allowed. Dickey! In case you missed it, here's Dickey's awesomness distilled into 90 seconds. With yesterday's start, Dickey is now tied for fifth in the majors in fWAR. And that wraps up your R.A. Dickey news for the day.
The Mets head to San Francisco next as Jeremy Hefner takes on Madison Bumgarner tonight. That seems like a bit of a mismatch. Are you sure Dickey can't pitch again?
Surprised none of the beat reporters could figure out it was Valdespin that was the "mystery kicker." JV1 has always a bane to batting helmets. I watched him nearly obliterate one after a pop out in Binghamton last year.
TRAID rumors floating around the Mets as we get close to the deadline. Scott Hairston is the most likely candidate to be moved, but he is "happy to be a Met." Given the dearth of internal RHH OF options (there's Juan Lagares and then, uh....Vicente Lupo?), I'd be fine with the Mets trying to extend Hairston now, rather than three months from now.
As reported on Amazin' Avenue (and elsewhere one would imagine), Mike Baxter will rejoin the Mets and Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be optioned to AAA. I had a rant about this ready to go, but then Toby Hyde went and basically made all my points. Guess I should wake up earlier. I do wonder how much longer the Mets can keep rostering Jason Bay.
Finally, Mark Simon wraps up the Mets/Dbacks series with some 'Met'rics. Shockingly, Matt Harvey and Ike Davis feature prominently.
Around the NL East
The Braves more or less officially buried the 2012 Phillies with a three-game sweep at Turner Field. I'd pour one out for the Phils, but I am not wasting good liquor on that team. See you in hell Shane Victorino!
The Marlins walked off against the Padres, in a game no doubt watched by thousands across the country.
And the Nationals just keep rolling along, winning a wild one in Milwaukee.
Clayton Kershaw did Clayton Kershaw things and the Dodgers moved back into a tie for the NL West lead. That is going to be a fun pennant race down the stretch.
Speaking of long-standing rivalries, Yanks and Sawx. Sounds like Boston is in the market for a new chicken and beer purveyor as well.
Been a while since there's been a good bench clearer at the major league level. Fortunately, Southern League players have no qualms about throwing down. Seriously.
David Laurila has another great interview up at FanGraphs. This one is with Reggie Smith, arguably one of the most underrated players in baseball history.
John Sickels checks in with eternal third base prospect Josh Vitters. It feels like Vitters has been a prospect as long as I've been writing about prospects.
Let's wrap things up with some more Sunday scores: The Rangers cooled down the red-hot White Sox. Zack Greinke's debut was ruined by Jeremy Hellickson. And the Reds made it ten in a row in Colorado, while the Astros finally won one in a row.