R.A. Dickey’s Twentieth Win Validates His Cy Young Credentials

By Michael Lecolant

R.A. Dickey’s twentieth win of the season is in the books.  Even when one considers the Mets place in the standings, this milestone should still validate his candidacy for the 2012 Cy Young award.

With Thursday’s victory, R.A. Dickey again tied for the National League lead in wins with Washington’s Gio Gonzalez.  But the Nationals played later in the evening and won, allowing Gonzalez to retake the league lead in wins with number twenty one.  R.A. Dickey is scheduled to make one more start this season.

Sep 27, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) waves to the fans after recording his 20th win of the season in the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. Mets won 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PREWIRE

Dickey’s twentieth “W” came in his thirty second start of the season.  With just six losses against his record, his .769 winning percentage ranks second in the National League.  R.A. Dickey lost back to back decisions once all season.  Between April 25th and July 19th, he won eleven consecutive games.  And quite obviously, of the Mets seventy two wins this season, twenty belong to Dickey.  That equates to twenty eight percent (rounded up) of all Mets victories.

The 2012 National League innings pitched leader also put his own twist on what is commonly referred to as the quality start.  He failed to pitch into the sixth inning twice all season.  The last time he failed to complete five innings was back on July 14th.  His five complete games also lead the league.  On three other occasions R.A. Dickey pitched at least eight innings.  And there were fifteen other starts in which he pitched seven plus innings.  Only then do we speak of another eight quality starts of the six innings variety.

Earlier in the season, Dickey completed a streak of 44 2/3 innings pitched without allowing an earned run.  It was during that stretch in which he authored back-to-back one hit complete game shut-outs.  And there again, R.A. Dickey leads the National League with three shutouts.

His 1.05 WHiP currently ranks third.  For a knuckle ball pitcher with 227.2 innings pitched, Robert remarkably only walked fifty four batters this season.   He additionally allowed forty two less hits than innings pitched.

The National League strikeout leader whiffed double digit figures an astounding seven times this season.  On three other occasions he struck out nine batters, and finished with eight strikeouts four more times.  On July 18th, Dickey set a career high by striking out thirteen Baltimore Orioles.  In Thursday evening’s game against Pittsburgh, he matched it.

Thursday’s effort raised his ERA a few points to a 2.69 mark, which is still good for second place. After just his third start back in April, his ERA stood at a season high 5.71 mark.  Seven starts later, he ended May with a 3.06 ERA.  On June 2nd, R.A. pitched a complete game shutout over the St. Louis Cardinals, in which he struck out nine and walked none.  That game dropped his ERA below three, and his earned run average has never breached such heights again.

R.A. Dickey’s 2012 campaign has been one marked by overall excellence.  He has put forth a superior performance spanning a broad range of categories.  He has remained amazingly consistent having mastered an extremely unpredictable pitch.  Somehow, he has harnessed the knuckle ball and learned how to throw it with control and velocity.  For one season at least, that makes him one of the most unique pitchers ever.  His high level of effectiveness started in April, and lasted throughout the summer.  Finally, as evidenced by Thursday’s effort, he is finishing strong.

This, my fellow Mets fans I’m sure you’ll agree, is a Cy Young award winning resume.  Let us hope the voters see things similarly.