Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto, Washington's Gio Gonzalez and Dickey share the major league lead in wins. Dickey's 190 strikeouts rank second in the NL, two behind the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw. The knuckleballer's innings count (191 1/3) also trails only Kershaw (192 2/3) in the league. Dickey's third shutout this season is the most by a Met since David Cone produced five in 1992.
It does not quite set up meaningful games in September, but the Mets (62-70) trail Philadelphia (63-69) by a game for third place in the NL East. The Amazin's have opened a three-game cushion on cellar-dwelling Miami (59-73).
Saturday's news reports:
• Catcher Mike Nickeas and corner infielder Zach Lutz are due to rejoin the Mets today in Miami, as rosters expand. Collin McHugh will return to face the St. Louis Cardinals on Labor Day at Busch Stadium. The Mets have not yet announced the remainder of the contingent, but Jordany Valdespin, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Elvin Ramirez would be expected to be promoted after Triple-A Buffalo's season ends Monday at Lehigh Valley. The Mets also could reward a veteran such as Matt Tuiasosopo or Fred Lewis. Wally Backman is expected to join the Mets' coaching staff for the next homestand, which begins Friday against the Atlanta Braves. Read more in the Record.
• Dickey is now 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA against the Marlins this season. "When he makes his speech for Cy Young Award, make sure he mentions the Marlins, please," Miami manager Ozzie Guillen told reporters postgame. Read Saturday's game recaps in the Post, Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Record and Daily News.
• Josh Thole went 0-for-3 and is now hitless in his past 28 at-bats. The Mets had recently tried to change Thole's approach at the plate to have him produce more power, but they have abandoned that attempt and instructed Thole to revert to his gap hitting while choking up on the bat. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Post.
• Wilmer Flores and Allan Dykstra had consecutive homers as Binghamton beat Trenton, 8-5. St. Lucie notched its 81st win, tying the club record, originally set in 2000 by a team that included Heath Bell and Endy Chavez. Brooklyn's Hansel Robles upped his streak of innings without allowing an earned run to 36 and Alex Sanchez homered off rehabbing Pedro Feliciano in a 5-1 win against Staten Island. The Cyclones remained a game ahead of Batavia for the New York-Penn League wild-card lead. Read Friday's minor league recap here.
• Mike Pelfrey, who lives in Wichita, Kansas, is due to visit the Mets during the next leg of their trip, in St. Louis. Pelfrey recently resumed throwing. He underwent Tommy John surgery on May 1. Pelfrey is likely to be non-tendered in December because he is making $5.6875 million this season and is eligible for arbitration. The collective bargaining agreement requires him to make at least 80 percent of that amount if he is not cut loose.
• The Mets spent the most per win in Major League Baseball over the past five seasons, with only the Minnesota Timberwolves and St. Louis Rams less efficient in all of the major sports, according to Business Week.
TRIVIA: Which Met had the team's first homer at first-year Marlins Park?