R.A. Dickey pitched well enough against the Marlins to win his twenty first game of the season. However, Tuesday’s game didn’t work out as well as he or the Mets would have liked. Never the less, the Roosevelt Avenue Nine’s knuckle ball throwing Cy Young candidate became the sixth Mets pitcher to record twenty wins in a season. His 2012 effort was the ninth twenty win season in club history. If pressed to find a landing spot for R.A. Dickey’s recent season in all-time Mets history, I believe it can be argued R.A. Dickey authored maybe the fourth (stretching things) or fifth (more like it) best single season in Mets history.
Tom Seaver is the only Mets pitcher to record multiple twenty win seasons. He achieved the mark four times. In 1969, Tom Terrific set the franchise mark with twenty five wins. In 1985, Dwight Gooden came very close to tying the club record when he posted twenty four wins. Tom Seaver owns the third spot again with twenty two wins. Seaver and Jerry Koosman recorded twenty one wins in a season. Then David Cone, Tom Seaver, Frank Viola, and now R.A. Dickey, have authored twenty win campaigns.
Only Dwight Gooden (4) and David Cone (3) lost less games in a season than Dickey, who ended 2012 with six losses. With a 20-6 record, R.A. Dickey’s .769% winning percentage finished as the fourth best mark. David Cone set club record in 1988, with a 20-3 record, and an .870% winning percentage. With a 24-4 record in 1985, Dwight Gooden’s .857% winning percentage ranks second best. Tom Seaver’s 1969 mark of .781% based on a 25-7 record is third best among the twenty win club.
Of the nine twenty-win seasons in Mets history, R.A. Dickey’s 233 innings pitched are the second lowest total of the six pitchers. David Cone was the minimalist who in 1988, threw two less innings than R.A. Dickey did this past season. In 1969, Tom Seaver set the bar high with 289 innings. He owns the second spot as well, with 280 innings during the 1975 season. Doc Gooden’s 268 innings pitched in 1985 rank third.
Although R.A. Dickey pitched the eighth least amount of innings of the nine twenty-game seasons, he still managed to place fifth on the strikeouts list. Tom Seaver (289, 249, 243) owns three of the top four spots. Dwight Gooden’s 268 strikeouts in 1985 is the second best mark. Then R.A. Dickey clocks in with 230 strikeouts.
Here’s the odd stat. Of the nine twenty-win seasons in Mets history, R.A. Dickey issued the least amount of bases on balls; a knuckle ball pitcher – go figure. Then again, he did pitch the eighth lowest innings of the lot. Let’s just go with it…, shall we? R.A. Dickey limited the opposition to fifty four walks in 230 innings pitched. Frank Viola walked the second least; sixty batters in 249 innings. Tom Seaver’s is the more remarkable stat of the list. In 286 innings during his 1971 season, he limited the opposition to sixty one bases on balls. Tom Seaver’s 1975 season actually tops the list when he walked eighty-eight batters.
Of the nine twenty-win seasons thrown by a Mets pitcher, Tom Seaver’s 0.946 WHiP in 1971 is best. Just below that, Doc Gooden’s 1985 WHiP of 0.965 ranks second. Tom Seaver again owns the third best mark when he posted a 1.04 WHiP in the ’75 season. R.A. Dickey’s 1.053 WHiP this past season now ranks fourth.
Dwight Gooden’s 1.53 earned run average in 1985 is tops. Tom Seaver’s 1.76 ERA in 1971 ranks a close second. R.A. Dickey’s 2.73 ERA ranks eighth among the Mets twenty game winners. Only Tom Seaver’s 2.92 mark in 1972 ranked worse on the list. Dwight Gooden also blows everyone away with eight shutouts during his 1985 season. Tom Seaver twice posted five shutouts. Tom Seaver and David Cone both authored four shutouts during twenty win seasons. R.A. Dickey joins Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Frank Viola with three shutouts during twenty win seasons.
Let’s also keep in mind, R.A. Dickey is the only pitcher to win twenty games for a sub-.500 Mets team. Yet, he broke Jerry Koosman’s mark for consecutive scoreless innings pitched. His back-to-back one-hitters should not go under spoken either. And should he win the Cy Young award, he would become the third Mets pitcher to receive the honor.
So where exactly does R.A. Dickey’s season rank amongst the twenty game winners in franchise history? I’m giving R.A. Dickey an aggregate score of 5.5 of a possible nine, which means he just tossed the fifth or sixth best season in Mets history. If you’re feeling generous, and in light of those last closing stats and sentiment, can you make a case for fourth best? What say you?