- Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com
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WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey is the Mets’ first 20-game winner in 22 years.
With the Mets’ 6-5 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon in the home finale, Dickey joined Tom Seaver (1969, ’71, ’72, ’75), Jerry Koosman (1976), Dwight Gooden (1985), David Cone (1988) and Frank Viola (1990) as the lone Mets to reach the plateau. The knuckleballer became the second in the majors to reach 20 wins this season, joining fellow National League Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals.
R.A. Dickey produced the ninth 20-win season in franchise history.
Appropriately, perhaps, David Wright lifted Dickey to the milestone victory. A day after passing Ed Kranepool for the franchise career hits record, Wright launched a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth to give the Mets a 6-3 lead and chase Pirates starter Kevin Correia. Wright then received a curtain call during the pitching change.
Dickey had trailed 3-1 after ex-teammate Rod Barajas belted a solo homer in the fourth. The Mets answered with an RBI single by Scott Hairston in the bottom half. An inning later, Daniel Murphy delivered an RBI single and Wright had the three-run shot.
Ike Davis got the Mets on the scoreboard with a solo homer in the second, his 31st long ball this season. Two batters later, Travis Snider scaled the right-field wall and brought back a would-be homer by Mike Baxter.
Dickey (20-6) surrendered three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out 13, matching a career high, in 7 2/3 innings. He threw 128 pitches, three shy of matching his career high, and departed after a two-out walk to Snider with the Mets leading 6-3. Dickey produced his seventh double-digit strikeout game of the season.
CITI REDUX: The Mets, who had been 4-24 in the second half at Citi Field at one point, finished their home schedule by winning six of their final seven games at the ballpark, albeit against the Marlins and Pirates. Overall, the Mets went 36-45 at Citi Field.
According to the Mets’ count, there were 47 additional homers at Citi Field this season because of the new dimensions -- 26 by opponents and 21 by the Mets. The biggest beneficiary was Wright, who had four additional homers. Hairston and Davis each had three extra long balls.
The official home attendance for the season: 2,242,803, a decrease of 109,793 from last season and the lowest figure since the Mets drew 2,140,599 in 2003, during a 66-95 season under Art Howe at Shea Stadium.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets open their final trip of the season Friday night in Atlanta. Jon Niese (12-9, 3.49 ERA) completes his 2012 campaign in the series opener, opposite right-hander Tim Hudson (16-6, 3.61). With the Braves playing their final home series of the season, Chipper Jones will be honored in a pregame ceremony Friday night at Turner Field.
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