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It's a major alphabet soup night in the Big Apple: R.A. vs. CC on ESPN in Subway Series finale

PITTSBURGH -- On the way home from the NHL Draft, I've taken a little detour to PNC Park for today's Pirates-Tigers game, with the upstart Bucs going for a sweep while facing Detroit ace Justin Verlander. He threw 8 1/3 no-hit innings against the Pirates May 18 in Detroit before finishing with a one-hit shutout.

RAIt starts at 1:35 so there should be plenty of time for me to get home and in front of my TV by 8:05 for the big game of the day: The Mets and Yankees from Citi Field with a mega pitching matchup of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (left) vs. CC Sabathia.

Dickey, the first cut sent by the Mets to the Bisons out of spring training in 2010, has become one of the biggest stories in the game in 2012. He's 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA but those are hardly the only numbers people are talking about.

----Dickey has thrown 42 2/3 straight innings without allowing an earned run.

---He's on a streak of back-to-back one-hitters, the first in baseball since 1988 and in the National League since 1944.

---In fact, according to Elias, Dickey is the first pitcher in history to throw five straight games with no earned runs and at least five strikeouts in each.

Pretty incredible timing for Dickey to release his autobiography, don't you think? He's unbeaten with a 1.02 ERA since doing an interview with Jerry Sullivan on the book that included plenty of memories of his "Imperfect Perfect Game" with the Bisons vs. Durham on April 29, 2010 (OK, so the world isn't aware of those numbers).

The New York media, of course, is going wild this weekend. The Mets had Dickey do a press conference Friday so they could allow him to get ready for the start as media requests are getting turned down a dozen at time for him these days.

In the Daily News, Mike Lupica says Dickey's run is the most electrifying for a Met since Doc Gooden's sensational summer of 1985. 

Also in the Daily News, Bob Raissman says old friend Terry Collins is certainly beating Joe Girardi in the battle of the press conferences. Said Raissman, "The Mets have not seen a manager/salesman such as this since the days of Casey Stengel, a zany cat who spoke his own language." Wow.

(In the battle of wits, I don't know. Collins needed to yank Chris Young for lefty Tim Byrdak yesterday but left him in and Raul Ibanez cracked a game-tying three-run homer in the seventh inning.)

In the Post, Ken Davidoff shows how CC and R.A. come from different sides of the tracks, one a first-round bonus baby and the other a longtime journeyman. And great friend of the blog Mike Vaccaro thinks back to a February chat with Collins in Florida and gives it up to him for having the Ya Gotta Believe attitude no one did about the Mets.

Great stuff by the New York media. Bet it will be for a game to match the hype.

---Mike Harrington

Dickey photo: Getty Images

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