June 2 National League probable pitching matchup capsules
What has gotten into knuckleballer R.A. Dickey? The knuckleball is supposed to be all but dead in MLB but Dickey has been one of the National League’s best pitchers of late. He takes the mound Saturday afternoon against St. Louis. Bet on Cards-Mets and every game at WagerWeb.com.
St. Louis at NY Mets – Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn (8-1, 2.54) vs. Mets RHP R.A. Dickey (7-1, 3.06): Lynn was aggressive and around the strike zone with his fastball in Monday’s seven-inning start. It got him back in the win column in a game where he threw 71 of 107 pitches for strikes. He threw a first-pitch strike to 18 of final 23 batters faced. … Dickey has struck out 29 batters over his last three starts, the highest total of his career. Backed by improvements to his knuckleball, Dickey will look to continue his recent success, as he’s only allowed one run in his last two starts.
Atlanta at Washington – Braves RHP Brandon Beachy (5-3, 1.77) vs. Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (7-1, 2.04): Since throwing his first career shutout on May 17 vs. the Marlins, Beachy hasn’t looked quite as sharp in losses to the Reds and Nationals. But Beachy still leads the Major Leagues with a 1.77 ERA and has been the Braves’ best pitcher this season. … On Sunday, Gonzalez got off to a slow start in the first, throwing 28 pitches and allowing an RBI groundout. But Gonzalez dominated the Braves, retiring 19 of the next 21 hitters and striking out 10 or more for the sixth time in his career.
Miami at Philadelphia – Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (5-3, 4.26) vs. Phillies LHP Cole Hamels (8-1, 2.43): Nolasco was solid through seven innings against the Giants. He pitched well enough to keep Miami in the game, but unfortunately he ran into hot-hitting Melky Cabrera. Nolasco gave up three runs on five hits (four off Cabrera’s bat) to take the loss. … Hamels became the first pitcher in the big leagues to win eight games Monday in a victory over New York. He looks Cy Young worthy. The Phillies will lean on him even more now that Roy Halladay is on the DL with a strained right lat.
LA Dodgers at Colorado – Dodgers RHP Aaron Harang (3-3, 4.14) vs. Rockies RHP Juan Nicasio (2-2, 5.11): Harang took his first loss in nearly a month on Monday against the Brewers. He lasted five innings, giving up three runs, only one of which was earned. A questionable call at first base in the sixth led to trouble for the big right-hander. … On the heels of two encouraging starts, Nicasio regressed against Houston, giving up five earned runs on nine hits to pick up the no-decision in the Rockies’ win on Monday. His command of his fastball and secondary pitches is still inconsistent.
Pittsburgh at Milwaukee – Pirates LHP Erik Bedard (3-5, 3.12) vs. Brewers RHP Shaun Marcum (3-3, 3.63): Maybe what the Pirates’ deference to the Brewers needs: A fresh face. Bedard has never faced Milwaukee. He rebounded from his two poorest starts of the season to blank the Cubs through six on Sunday. … Marcum threw a career-high 119 pitches in a Memorial Day win over the Dodgers that marked his best start of the season. He’ll look to avoid the sort of drop-off he endured soon after a 116-pitch outing last August.
Arizona at San Diego – Diamondbacks RHP Daniel Hudson (1-1, 5.48) vs. Padres RHP Edinson Volquez (2-5, 3.46): Hudson is making his second start since coming off the disabled list. He was placed on the DL on April 19 with an impingement in his right shoulder. In his first start back, Hudson allowed two runs on six hits over five innings against the Brewers. … Volquez was wild in his last start, walking two in the first inning (which led to a run) and also uncorking two wild pitches. Still, he allowed five hits in 5 2/3 innings against the Mets. He struck out five but lost his third consecutive start.
Chicago Cubs at San Francisco – Cubs RHP Matt Garza (2-3, 4.22) vs. Giants RHP Matt Cain (5-2, 2.79): Garza is looking to follow a disappointing May with a better June, as he pitched into the seventh inning only once last month. The right-hander has lost his last two starts, giving up 12 earned runs in eight innings over that span. … Cain provided one of the first hints that he would develop into an All-Star when he pitched a complete-game two-hitter against the Cubs in his third Major League start in September 2005. Since then, Cain has thrown three one-hitters.
Cincinnati at Houston – Reds RHP Mat Latos (4-2, 4.58) vs. Astros LHP Wandy Rodriguez (4-4, 2.49): Latos became the first Reds pitcher to allow five home runs and earn a victory on Sunday. He was efficient, with 96 pitches over 7 1/3 innings. He allowed no walks, and struck out three. The five homers were the only hits Latos allowed. … Rodriguez moved into sole possession of second place on the club’s all-time wins list by a lefty (77) on May 23. In his last three starts, he’s allowed 28 hits and eight earned runs in 18 innings, going 1-1 with 4.00 ERA.