R.A. Dickey’s season and Cy Young candidacy

In last night’s 4-3 loss to the Marlins, R.A. Dickey allowed three runs and seven hits with eight strikeouts and two home runs.

“I feel like I turned in a pretty healthy body of work,” Dickey told reporters about his 2012 season.

Dickey took a no-decision, and finished his season going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA, having allowed 192 hits and 54 walks with 230 strikeouts in 233 2/3 innings.

According to Dickey, though he had a lot of help this season, Josh Thole deserves extra credit.

“I might have been remiss not mentioning him more,” he explained. “The confidence I have throwing to him is unparalleled. Really, he’s been fantastic for me.”

Dickey said he is physically drained from this season, “and a little bit taxed” – he will undergo surgery on October 18 to repair a torn abdominal muscle he sustained in April.

Dickey will finish the season leading the league in innings pitched and strikeouts, second in ERA, and a higher strikeout-to-walk ratio among the top five leaders in ERA:

Michael Baron, Contributor

Dickey certainly wasn’t at his best last night, but 70 percent of R.A. is better than 100 percent of a lot of pitchers this season. His knuckleball was sitting up in the zone rather than rising through it, and there was an obvious difference in the results. But he still threw strikes and baffled the Marlins at times which helped limit damage against him and, at the very least, get him off the hook for a loss. He did what any good pitcher does and that is pitch well enough to win despite not having his best stuff.

As far as the Cy Young is concerned, if his start last night is going to negatively impact his candidacy, it would be a serious injustice. I mean, how can the best pitcher in baseball not win a Cy Young Award? And, he wasn’t even bad last night, as I said.  His full body of work – from start one to 33 – should be weighed. When looking for a combination of consistency and dominance along with a pitcher who can get hitters out in a variety of ways, Dickey has, by far, been that guy over the entire year. His 20 wins, low ERA, and high strikeout total are an indication of that. Has he gotten lucky at times? Sure. But he’s also been unlucky as well (and is on a team which is approaching 90 losses), played injured all season (like he did in 2011), and has had to pitch through those circumstances. His guile, perseverance, and athleticism are hard not to admire, and all of that plays a role in his rise to elite status in the game. I’ve enjoyed watching his story unfold over the last three seasons.

He has become his own drawing card with the Mets and has created a buzz around the team and the fans despite another disappointing season. I’m hopeful the organization recognizes this value and both parties decide to continue the relationship for the foreseeable future.