In a game with no playoff consequences, the contest between the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins (in Miami) on Tuesday will be a closely watched event. The reason: Adam Greenberg, a player who was hit in the head in his only previous Major League at bat in 2005, is getting a second chance with Miami to play in the big leagues thanks in large part to an online petition asking to give him a shot.
Despite that interesting distraction, the result of this game will be determined by another player with a lot riding on his start: Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey. The knuckleballer is a strong contender for the National League Cy Young award and a strong performance here might put him over the top. (He’s already put up a sterling line of 20-6 with a 2.69 ERA.) He is throwing on regular rest, which should help his cause. It won’t hurt that the Marlins counter with Jacob Turner. The right-hander struggled when he faced the Mets on September 21, allowing six runs (three unearned) in five innings. His overall record is an uninspiring 2-5 with a 4.94 ERA. Take the Mets at 1.67 instead of the Marlins at 2.20.
A rematch between Texas Rangers’ starter Matt Harrison and A’s pitcher Travis Blackley in Oakland will lead to a similar result as last time out: Texas will win. Blackley struggled mightily against the Rangers’ big bats when the two teams played on September 27, getting torched for five runs on five hit in just one inning of work. Matt Harrison threw better going six innings, while giving up four runs.
Harrison should also be motivated in this one by his chance to set some Rangers’ history. If he picks up the win, it’ll be his nineteenth and will set a new franchise record for a left-hander in a single season. If he can keep his ERA under 3.30 (he’s currently at 3.26), he’ll become just the second Texas lefty to win at least 18 games and post an ERA that low. Take a focused Harrison and his Rangers rather than a struggling Blackley and his A’s.