If this is the final year of R.A. Dickey’s long major-league career, at least the Atlanta Braves knuckleballer gets to make one final start in the city where his career was revitalized Tuesday at New York. The 42-year-old Dickey, who has not committed to pitching beyond Sunday’s season finale at Miami, won 39 games in three seasons with the Mets from 2010-12 - including a 20-win season in 2012 that earned him the National League Cy Young Award.
Atlanta opened its season-ending eight-game, seven-day road trip by splitting a doubleheader Monday with the Mets, winning the opener 9-2 before dropping the nightcap 3-2. The Braves have won 71 games this season, the franchise’s most victories since winning 79 games in 2014. New York left fielder Brandon Nimmo finished the doubleheader with four hits while extending his hitting streak to four games. Cather Travis d’Arnaud slugged a solo homer in the eighth inning of the second game of the doubleheader, giving the Mets a franchise-record 219 longballs this season.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Southeast (Atlanta), SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH R.A. Dickey (10-10, 4.32 ERA) vs. Mets RH Rafael Montero (5-11, 5.30)
Dickey’s final home start in 2017 was outstanding, holding Washington to two runs on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts over eight innings. That snapped a three-start stretch in which he allowed 16 earned runs in 14 1/3 innings, including giving up five runs on eight hits across five innings in a loss to the Mets on Sept. 16. Dickey is 2-1 with a 5.63 ERA in three starts against New York this season.
Montero makes his 18th start and 33rd appearance of the season - his 14th start and 15th appearance since the All-Star break. He is 4-6 in that stretch with a 5.05 ERA, and has surrendered eight runs on 14 hits over 8 2/3 innings in losing his past two starts to the Braves and Miami. Montero gave up three runs in falling at Atlanta on Sept. 15, and he brings a 6.16 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP in September into Tuesday’s contest.
1. New York needs to win three of its final five games to reach 70 victories and the Mets have not won 70 or fewer in a season since 2009.
2. Atlanta CF Ender Inciarte finished 2-for-8 in the doubleheader, and enters Tuesday one hit shy of reaching 200 for the season.
3. Mets C d’Arnaud has six homers this month and a career-high 16 blasts this season.
PREDICTION: Braves 5, Mets 4