R.A. Dickey was once a guy who was fighting just to get to the big leagues. He had a good knuckleball, but it was not good enough to get him recognized like Tim Wakefield, Phil Niekro, and Charlie Hough. On April 29, 2010, when pitching for triple-A Buffalo, the Mets realized that they may have found something in Dickey. Dickey would give up a single to the first batter that night and then get the next 27 batters out to throw a one hitter. We would soon learn that more dominant performances were on the way.
Monday night, Dickey showed the world that he might just be one of the most dominant knuckleballers of all time and the most dominant pitcher in the league right now. Dickey breezed through the Baltimore Orioles lineup throwing his second consecutive complete game one hitter. The Tennessee native struck out 13 Orioles and only walked two batters. He gave up a single in the 5th to break up the no hitter. Dickey was coming off as dominant a performance his last start against Tampa Bay. Dickey gave up one infield single that could have been ruled an error and the Rays lineup was baffled by the swirling knuckleball that nobody could hit.
There was a feel of magic in the air at Citi Field Monday night. Fans could not believe the absolute brilliance that was happening right in front of them. Just two and a half weeks ago, fans witnessed the first no hitter in Mets history by Johan Santana and once again they would get to see an equally dominant performance from Dickey. In all honesty, Dickey’s two one hitters were as paramount or more than Santana’s one hitter. Hitters were not even making contact with the knuckleball that were leaving major leaguers scratching their head, throwing their bats, and a lot of times breaking them.
Two one hitters and 25 strikeouts for R.A. Dickey. Two overbearing starts against two playoff teams right now. Dickey is now 11-1 with a microscopic 2.00 ERA. Robert Allen has 103 strikeouts in 99 innings pitched. He has given up just 67 hits and 21 walks in those 99 innings. The numbers this man is putting up are Cy Young worthy, MVP worthy, and undoubtedly All Star Game starting pitcher worthy. Dickey has come out every 5th day and essentially given the Mets a win every time. The guy has not allowed an earned run since May 22nd. He has only had one start this season that was not a quality one and that came on a rainy day in Atlanta. Take that start out and Dickey has been absolutely flawless this season.
What we are seeing from R.A. Dickey is an absolute joy to watch. He has transformed the art of the knuckleball and at age 37, with the way he keeps his body and being a knuckleballer, still has plenty of years left in him. In knuckleball years, Dickey is in his prime and can easily pitch into his mid-40s. It has been an incredible story from a guy who just worked his tail off to get where he is. Dickey has been all around the league and finally has found his niche with the Mets. Dickey has an option that can be picked up for next season and undoubtedly, the Mets will pick that option up. Mets fans as well as Dickey hope that the Mets can extend his contract and keep Dickey in orange and blue for a while. Hey, if the Mets can stay in the race and make a run for one of those two wild card spots in the National League, watch out for the dynamic duo of R.A. Dickey and Johan Sanatan right now at the top of the rotation. It has become a front end that nobody wants to face.