R.A. Dickey’s terrific 2012 season with the New York Mets earned him a Cy Young Award nobody saw coming.
At 37-years-old, R.A. Dickey accomplished something no one saw coming. The journeyman knuckleballer found a new home with the New York Mets in 2010. For the next three years, Dickey stifled opposing batters.
In 2012, Dickey’s success reached its peak. He walked away with a Cy Young Award.
Coming off of two good years with the Mets, Dickey managed to pick up 20 wins in 2012. It wasn’t just luck either. Behind a league-leading 5 complete games, 3 shutouts, and 230 strikeouts, Dickey outdueled Clayton Kershaw and everyone else by a wide margin.
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Dickey’s 2012 season was far from perfect. Though he finished April with a 3-1 record, it didn’t come easy. He ended the first month of the season with an ugly 4.45 ERA. After the slow start, Dickey kicked it into high-gear.
For the longest time, Dickey’s first loss of the season on April 18 against the Atlanta Braves was the lone blip on his season. IN fact, he wouldn’t lose again in the first half. Dickey lost his second game on July 24 against the Washington Nationals. By that point, he had already accumulated 13 wins with his most recent occurring against the Nationals on their home turf on July 19.
Dickey continued to pitch well. When he took the mound, the Mets knew they had a chance at a victory.
The month of June may stand as his most dominant stretch. He began the month with a 7-hit shutout against the St. Louis Cardinals. He won his next start in Washington thanks to 7.1 shutout frames.
In back-to-back interleague games, Dickey again added to his season resume. He threw consecutive 1-hit complete games. The first against the Tampa Bay Rays included 12 strikeouts and an unearned run. Five days later, Dickey held the Baltimore Orioles scoreless in yet another great win. This one included a season-high 13 strikeouts.
On September 27, Dickey would match that total with yet another solid performance. This time around, the Pittsburgh Pirates fell victim.
Dickey’s ability to fool hitters, go deep into games, and pitch with control helped earn him one of the biggest underdog Cy Young victories in MLB history. The magical season in Flushing is one Mets fans should never forget.
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Those who were lucky enough to see it likely never will.