June winds up with pitching flair

Pitching storylines abound on Friday. With compelling matchups, streaking pitchers and a team that refuses to allow a run, here’s what to watch for on the mound.

Final Stamps on June

R.A. Dickey looks to be the 5th pitcher in Mets history to go 5-0 in June, joining Tom Seaver (1968-69), Ron Darling (1984) and Al Leiter (1999). Only Seaver in 1968 did so with a sub-2.00 ERA.

Lowest ERA in June
Mets History (min. 30 IP)

Dickey’s 1.12 would be the third lowest ever in June by a Mets starter. Opponents have a .353 OPS against him this month, the lowest for any starter in June since Jerry Reuss (.318) in 1980.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Dickey could join Seaver (twice) and Bobby Jones as the only Mets pitchers with 12 wins before the end of June.

Perhaps overshadowed by Dickey’s dominant run, Matt Harrison has a 1.06 ERA this month, on track for a Rangers record. Friday against Oakland, he looks to become the AL’s first 11-game winner. Not bad for a pitcher who was 4-3 with a 5.21 ERA just six weeks ago. Harrison is 6-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last seven starts.

Lowest ERA in June
(min. 25 IP)

Cliff Lee: Still Winless

Lee is winless in 12 starts this season (0-4 with a 3.72 ERA). That’s the most consecutive starts without a win to start a season by a Phillies pitcher since Matt Beech in 1997 (0-7 in his first 15 starts).

According to Elias, he’s the fourth pitcher to go winless through his first 12 starts with an ERA of 3.72 or lower. The most recent was Rickey Clark (0-8, 3.31) in 1968.

Elias also notes that Lee is the first pitcher in 98 years to pitch at least six innings in 12 consecutive starts of one season and not win any of those games. Prior to Lee, Ray Keating had a streak of 15 straight in 1914.

Price-Verlander Finally Meet

David Price and Justin Verlander are two of the three winningest pitchers in the AL over the last three years, yet this is the first time they will go head-to-head as starters.

Most Wins in AL Since 2010

Price and Verlander bring uncommon heat for starters. They are two of the six starters to hit 99 mph on the radar gun this season. Verlander’s 101.5 mph pitch is the fastest thrown by a starter in 2012.

Price is 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA in his career against the Tigers, thanks to domination of some key players. Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson and Jhonny Peralta are 2-33 (.061 BA) combined against him.

The Giants’ Shutout Streak

The Giants have thrown four straight shutouts, doing so without ace Matt Cain pitching in any of them. He takes the mound Friday with a 1.25 ERA in June.

According to Elias, the Giants are the first team with four straight shutouts, all against first-place teams. On tap for Friday? In the live-ball era, only the 1974 and 1995 Orioles have thrown five straight shutouts.