|Dickey collected his 19th win, but Gonzalez beat him to 20. (Getty Images)|
While a few others certainly merit being in the conversation (i.e. Johnny Cueto), the two NL Cy Young frontrunners appear to be R.A. Dickey of the Mets and Nationals lefty Gio Gonzalez. They were both in action Saturday during the slate of games that began at about 1 p.m. ET, and both dazzled.
Dickey's final line shows two earned runs on six hits in eight innings pitched, but he wasn't on the hill when his runs scored. He was removed in the ninth inning after allowing two baserunners, and Jon Rauch then coughed up a three-run homer. Rauch did eventually close down the 4-3 victory, so Dickey came away with his 19th win.
But Gonzalez might have gotten the upper hand on Saturday. He beat the hottest team in baseball, the Brewers, and also became the first pitcher in the majors this season to reach the 20-win plateau. He stifled those red-hot Brewers for seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits and a walk while striking out five.
Both the Mets and the Nationals have 11 games left. That means both Dickey and Gonzalez should have two more starts, assuming rotations aren't altered for whatever reason. Don't expect the Nationals to dial things back much down the stretch after clinching the NL East (their magic number is six), because getting the top seed in this new format is likely paramount to success in the first round. I wouldn't, however, be surprised to see the Mets pitch Dickey on short rest a few times to get him an extra start. The only thing that they're really playing for now is getting Dickey the Cy Young.
Here's the current tale of the tape:
So, who ya got? Vote in the poll, argue in the comments, you know the drill ...