NEW YORK -- The Mets continue to do whatever they can to smooth the road between R.A. Dickey and a 20-win season, moving up Dickey's next start so he can pitch twice more at home.
Instead of starting Sunday, Dickey will now pitch Saturday against the Marlins on regular rest. That will allow him to come back and start the Mets' final home game against the Pirates next Thursday, instead of opening their series in Atlanta the following day.
In addition to pitting Dickey against a weaker offense and a scuffling team, the move will allow the knuckleballer to avoid Turner Field, where he is 0-1 with a 12.54 ERA in two starts this season.
"He wanted to pitch at home one more time," manager Terry Collins said, noting that Dickey and pitching coach Dan Warthen cooked up the new schedule. "I thought it was a great idea, so we decided to do it that way."
Sitting on 18 wins and a Cy Young Award-caliber stat line, Dickey will now make two of his final three starts against the Marlins and their 27th-ranked offense, and the other against the Pirates and their 22nd-ranked bunch.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.