Dickey’s 20th win, and the Cy Young race

RA Dickey allowed three runs and eight hits with two walks in 7 1/3 innings yesterday against the Pirates.

Dickey threw 128 pitches, 92 strikes and tied with Cliff Lee for most strikes thrown in a game this season with 13. 79 of Dickey’s 112 knuckleballs were strikes.

Yesterday marked the 27th consecutive start Dickey allowed three walks or less. He joined Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Dwight Gooden, Viola and David Cone as the only Mets to win at least 20 games in a season.

“[20 wins is] a nice round number,” Dickey told SNY’s Kevin Burkhardt after the game. “It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work. And a lot of people who have loved me well.”

Also yesterday, Gio Gonzalez allowed three runs in six innings and improved to 21-8 with 2.89 ERA.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Dickey became the third-oldest pitcher to record the first 20-win season of his career. Also, Dickey will be the first pitcher to win 20 or more games in one season for a team that finished with a losing record since 1997.

“Well, you know, the best laid plans sometimes crumble around you. But we had a plan and wanted to try and [get the 20th win] for you guys,” Dickey said over the public address at Citi Field yesterday. “And, this is as much about you as it is for me, and I’m happy to celebrate it with everybody. I saw an opportunity to get in front of the home crowd two more times if I bumped a day up. … The season hasn’t gone like we wanted, but this is a special moment, this moment right here, and I am happy to share it with all of you guys.”

Dickey is now 1/100 of a point behind Clayton Kershaw for the league lead in ERA, his 20 wins are second behind Gio Gonzalez’s 21, but he leads the league with 222 strikeouts and 227 2/3 innings pitched. He remains the leader with five complete games and three shutouts:

Michael Baron, Contributor

Dickey was wonderful yesterday. He had to battle himself early on, and getting the win looked a little cloudy through the first three innings. But the early strikeouts helped to limit the damage; and, after the third inning, Dickey took off and mowed down Pittsburgh. In fact, the Pirates looked silly on several occasions swinging at the knuckleball. He had it rising away, falling down and in, and masterfully varied its speed with perfect timing in his sequences.

It was as fun and as exciting of an environment as there has ever been at Citi Field and I’m so happy to have been in attendance.

In regards to the race for the Cy Young Award, statistically, Dickey remains in a race with Matt Cain, Johnny Cueto and Kyle Lohse, but Clayton Kershaw and Craig Kimbrel are also worthy considerations. Kimbrel in particular has been automatic closing games for the Braves this season. I may be biased, because I am a Mets fan and want to see Dickey win the award, but I still believe he has been the most well-rounded, most consistent, and most reliable pitcher in the game this season. He either leads or is second in all of the major pitching categories, and there seems to be some kind of historical significance with each performance he makes. On top of all of that, Dickey relies on one pitch to be successful, and he has been able to conquer that challenge to be the best pitcher in baseball this season. And so, if he can make one more successful start, there should be no reason why he doesn’t win the Cy Young this season.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Kimbrel is having an outstanding season, but relievers rarely win the Cy Young award. I think the last one in the National League was Eric Gagne in 2003 and I have no idea when it last happened in the American League. So, if voters are choosing from just starting pitchers, Dickey HAS TO win this award.

I reached out to a group of potential voters a few weeks ago and they all told me (back then) that this was Dickey’s award to lose – and he’s done nothing that I can see that would change that… all while Gio Gonzalez stumbled. Kershaw has been shut down, and Cain and Lohse have less wins, K’s, innings pitched and a worse ERA that RA. It should not even be a debate, Dickey should get every vote, especially when you factor in his age, pitch, the team he’s on, his story and his character.

It’s a no-brainer, Dickey has to win this award… he has to.