MIAMI -- When Adam Greenberg steps to the plate Tuesday at Marlins Ballpark, R.A. Dickey will show respect, but not mercy.
"He's a big leaguer," Dickey said. "I'm going to treat him like a big leaguer."
That, Dickey said, means giving Greenberg "a steady dose of my best" knuckleballs. Though Greenberg is certainly an inspirational story, returning to the big leagues years after being hit in the head by the first and only Major League pitch he saw, Dickey also has a job to do -- even if he will be rooting for Greenberg in another context.
"I've been the product of a lot of chances myself, so I'm happy he's getting that opportunity for sure," Dickey said. "Having followed a little bit about how he went out, it's nice that he's given a second chance, so to speak, and hopefully he'll make the most of it."
More broadly, Dickey will effectively be pitching for the National League Cy Young Award when he toes the rubber Tuesday in Miami. He, Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals all still stand within striking distance of the award, with one start remaining for each.
But Dickey currently appears to hold a slight lead, meaning he could either lock up the hardware with a strong start Tuesday, or break the race back open with a poor one.
"My sole concern again is just to try to put up a good outing," Dickey said. "And at the end, you hope that your statistics speak loudly enough that you're in the race."