- Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com
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MIAMI -- R.A. Dickey already has a 20-win season under his belt. Now, he has a chance to put an exclamation point on his Cy Young candidacy.
New York Mets
Dickey is 8-0 with a 0.92 ERA in eight starts against the Marlins over the last two seasons. That is tied for the second-longest winning streak in franchise history by a Met against one organization, matching Tom Seaver, who had eight straight wins against the Padres from 1972-75. The franchise record belongs to Dwight Gooden, who won nine in a row against the Cubs from 1988-91.
Asked about the Cy Young race, Dickey said: “My sole concern again is just to try to put up a good outing. And, at the end, you hope your statistics speak loudly enough that you’re in the race, I guess.
“Look, the award obviously would be nice. It would be silly to say that it wouldn’t be fantastic. At the same time, you’ve got to be able to lay your head on your pillow -- whether you’ve won it or not -- and know that you’ve done your best. And I can do that. A 20-win season is also very difficult to get, and thankfully we’ve been able to do that. So, at the very least, to say you were a 20-game winner for the New York Mets, that’s pretty significant for me.”
Dickey asserted the award would further legitimize the knuckleball.
“Let’s look at it: How many knuckleballers have won 20 games? At least two that I know of, in Phil and Joe Niekro,” Dickey said. “And did that bring a legitimacy to the pitch? Or would you say it still had the [quirky] reputation? So I think it requires something more than just a 20-game winner. Unfortunately, I wish that weren’t the case. To say a knuckleballer had won the Cy Young all of a sudden maybe brings some real validity to what the pitch can do. … A Cy Young would certainly give it that much more oomph.”
Told the sabermetric community tends to devalue win totals in evaluating pitchers, Dickey joked he felt that way last year, when he logged 208 2/3 innings and had a solid 3.28 ERA but finished only 8-13.
“This year? I think wins are a real important measurement,” he quipped. “I’ve always tried to preach to myself and Jon Niese and other guys [about] consistency. And a measurement of consistency, for me, are innings pitched, quality starts and ERA. Now the wins can come and go as the statistics unfold. But those three for me are big. And that’s what I always focus on.”