Despite embarking on the road mired in a 4-9 slump, Arizona has a chance to cap off the long trip with a winning record Sunday when it sends Trevor Cahill to the mound to square off against R.A. Dickey. The D-backs sit at 5-4 on the trip and an even 14-14 on the season.
If Cahill pitches anything like he did in his last outing, manager Kirk Gibson is confident the D-Backs will leave the Big Apple above .500.
"That's the best he's thrown for us," Gibson said after Cahill allowed just one run over 7 1/3 innings against the Nationals on Tuesday. "Much more into the zone, commanding the zone early and often, and when you can do that, you can get early swings, and he got some early outs and kept his pitch count down."
Dickey wasn't too shabby his last time out either -- until the sixth inning, at least. The knuckleballer carried a no-hitter through five innings Monday, but allowed three hits, including a two-run homer, in his sixth and final frame.
"I had no business not going into the eighth or ninth with the stuff I had [Monday night]," said Dickey, who has turned in quality starts in four of his five outings. "It was just unfortunate that I gave up some runs and had to come out of the game, because I was only at  pitches, and I felt fantastic."
D-backs: Gibson trying to keep everyone involved
Despite hitting a home run and driving in the go-ahead run in Friday's series opener, Cody Ransom wasn't in Saturday's starting lineup. In his place at third base was Ryan Roberts, who entered that game hitting just .164.
Though a questionable move before the game, it seemed to work out well for the D-backs. Roberts went 2-for-3 for just his second multihit game this season and also mashed his second homer of the year. Gibson said prior to the game that he will continue to shuffle the lineup around to keep everyone fresh.
"Cody and Ryno, just trying to keep Ryno involved," Gibson said. "Keep them both involved, actually."
Mets: Davis trying to battle out of slump
While Terry Collins insisted Ike Davis' absence in Saturday's lineup was strictly to get backup Justin Turner some at-bats, the Mets manager still acknowledged Davis' struggles.
"I don't know if he's ever had a slump, to be honest," Collins said. "He got to the big leagues in less than two years, grew up through the Minor Leagues without having to deal with failure. And now here he is -- he's facing the toughest time of his career at the Major League level. That's very, very, very difficult to do, not even talking about the market we're in."
Davis, who entered Saturday's game in the ninth inning as a defensive replacement, is hitting just .172 (16-for-93) on the season. Another reason for his name not appearing in the starting lineup was the D-backs sending left-hander Patrick Corbin to the mound. Davis had faced off against a southpaw in four of his last five games prior to Saturday.
"I've faced like four lefties in a row that have been tough," Davis said. "And I've hit the ball decent. It's not like I'm looking too foolish at the plate. They're just not finding holes right now."
Andres Torres is the only Mets player who has faced Cahill. Torres is 2-for-9 in his career against the right-hander.
Lyle Overbay has just one hit in 14 career at-bats against Dickey. The other current D-backs players, however, have fared much better against the knuckleballer, hitting a combined .462 (12-for-26).