We’ve got quite a pitching matchup on our hands tonight up in Flushing, N.Y.
Two of the top seven in the National League in ERA - R.A. Dickey and Jordan Zimmermann - will toe the rubber at Citi Field.
Dickey (18-4, 2.64) is probably the leading candidate for the NL Cy Young award at this point, while Zimmermann (10-8, 2.99) is looking to carry some momentum from his last start out, when he allowed just two runs over seven innings with nine strikeouts in a win over the Cubs.
That was the game in which things got a bit heated between the Nationals and Cubs and the benches cleared twice, incidents which kind of overshadowed Zimmermann’s outing.
But coming off a rough six-start stretch which saw him pitch to a 6.23 ERA prior to that game against the Cubs, those seven strong innings were just what the doctor ordered for the 26-year-old right-hander.
Zimmermann has dominated the Mets this season, holding them to just three runs over 18 innings. He’s struck out 15 and hasn’t walked a single Mets batter.
Bryce Harper won’t be thrilled to see Dickey on the mound tonight - the rookie outfielder is 0-for-10 with six strikeouts against Dickey this season.
Outside of Harper, a handful of Nats have actually hit the Mets knuckleballer pretty well, however.
Jayson Werth is batting .440 (11-for-25) off Dickey for his career, with two homers, three doubles, four RBIs and a 1.300 OPS.
Hit Werth leadoff and then try and figure out a way to sneak him back to the plate as many times as possible. Put him in disguises, distract the umpires, do whatever you’ve got to do.
Despite all that, Dickey is still 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA in three starts against the Nats this season.