R.A. Dickey, the Cy Young Award, and winning games

Last night against the Phillies, R.A. Dickey allowed three runs – two earned – on five hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.

He was removed from the game after throwing 112 pitches in seven innings.

Dickey fell to 18-6 for the year but saw his ERA drop to 2.67…

“I want to win the game, and sending me up there against¬†Cliff Lee¬†is not the best opportunity for us to win the game. I get that,” Dickey explained afterwards, in regards to being pulled from the game for a pinch hitter. “I’d like to pitch a complete game, and I could have pitched a complete game tonight, I felt like. But that wouldn’t have given us the best chance to win against that guy. Terry has always asked me and communicates well with me, and I appreciate that very much.”

Dickey has three more starts this season: Next Sunday against the Marlins at Citi Field, September 28 against the Braves at Turner Field, and October 3 – the final game of the season – against the Marlins at Marlins Park.

“I’m not going to do anything that would subtract from our ability to win a game. That’s the way I believe it should be done,” Dickey explained, when referring to the race for the Cy Young Award. “That means that I don’t bounce back on two days’ rest to try to get extra starts. That doesn’t mean that I go out when we’re down 2-1 in the seventh inning. It doesn’t feel right to me.”

Michael Baron, Contributor

I’m glad Dickey feels that way. What got him this far was by using him like any other starting pitcher in the league – stretching him out so he can log an extra inning, get an extra strikeout, or even a win when it’s appropriate to remove him from the game would taint the award to a degree, should he ultimately win. At the end, Dickey will either win or lose the Cy Young based on his overall performance compared to the other contenders, and not by a couple of statistics on his line. He’s performed leaps and bounds better and more consistently than any other pitcher in baseball this season – if that continues through his final three starts, the Cy Young should be his to lose.