All-Star Break coming up after the Cubs series and I think it’s worth a thought about how Terry Collins will line up his rotation coming out of it. There are a couple of things to consider here, including getting Dickey as many games as possible, the impending division match-ups, and the two pitchers coming off shoulder surgery.
So I’d definitely start R.A. Dickey the first game back against the Braves. This also ensures he’ll pitch against division-leading Washington in the second series. I’d then pitch Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee. Give Johan Santana the extra days off, which amounts to skipping a start, and have him start the series against the Nationals on Tuesday, 11 days after his start tonight.
No one’s asked this question that I’ve seen, and maybe it’s because no one dreamed Santana would throw this many innings, but I’m starting to wonder if the Mets would prefer he didn’t throw 200 of them this year. He’s on pace for about 196, and this is probably the last opportunity the Mets will have to give him a little break before a pennant race. Starting with the Nationals series, the Mets will play 20 games without a day off across five cities and three time zones.
Skipping Chris Young the first time through after the break gives him some rest as well, and allows the Mets to have Santana, Dickey and Niese lined up to pitch five of the six July games against the Nationals.