WHAT IT MEANS: Buck Showalter, the manager who presided over R.A. Dickey’s conversion to full knuckleballer while they were in Texas, helplessly watched from the opposing dugout as Dickey held Baltimore without a hit until Wilson Betemit’s two-out single in the fifth.
That turned out to be the lone hit Dickey surrendered. And behind Ike Davis’ first career grand slam, the Mets beat the Orioles, 5-0, Monday night at Citi Field.
New York Mets
Dickey, who lost his franchise-record scoreless streak at 32 2/3 innings in the ninth inning at Tampa Bay last Wednesday, tossed his second straight complete game. The performance upped his streak without allowing an earned run to 42 2/3 innings.
The franchise record for consecutive innings without allowing an earned run is 49 by Dwight Gooden in late 1985, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Dickey allowed only the one hit for the second straight game. The last major league pitcher with consecutive complete games allowing one hit or fewer: Dave Stieb with the Blue Jays in 1988.
By going from the first-inning infield single by B.J. Upton at the Trop until Betemit’s fifth-inning single Monday, Dickey set the franchise record for consecutive hitless innings pitched at 12, according to the Elias. The previous mark: 11 innings by Jack Hamilton in 1966.
Dickey picked up his MLB-leading 11th win. With 13 strikeouts, Dickey set a career high and now has 103 for the season, in 99 innings. He shaved his ERA to 2.00.
Since earned runs were first kept as a statistic in 1912 in the NL and 1913 in the AL, only four other pitchers have compiled 11-plus wins, a sub-2.50 ERA and more than one strikeout per inning through their first 14 starts of a season: Francisco Liriano (Minnesota, 2006), Randy Johnson (Arizona, 2000), Pedro Martinez (Boston, 1999) and Sandy Koufax (Los Angeles, 1966), Elias reported.
In his past five starts, Dickey has allowed no earned runs, 16 hits and five walks while striking out 51 in 41 2/3 innings.
The game had been scoreless until the bottom of the sixth, when Dickey led off with a single and advanced to third on Jordany Valdespin’s one-out double. A two-out walk to Lucas Duda loaded the bases for Davis, who delivered the grand slam against Baltimore starter Jake Arrieta.
Davis (1-for-3, walk) upped his average to .196. A hit in his next at-bat will lift him to .200.
WHAT’S NEXT: Johan Santana (4-3, 3.23 ERA) opposes Baltimore right-hander Tommy Hunter (3-3, 5.58) on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m.