Saturday, September 29, 2012

Robert Allen Dickey

How about this man? Here's a guy who two years ago, two years ago, was in the minor leagues as a 35 year-old. Here's a guy with no ulnar collateral ligament, whose signing bonus was taken away because of it, who transformed himself into a knuckleball pitcher from a conventional pitcher, who is now a legitimate contender for the 2012 Cy Young Award. On Thursday, RA Dickey won his 20th before an electric, if not capacity, crowd at Citi. I was there, and the picture above shows the adoration the fans have for Dickey. In his comments all year, Dickey expressed equal admiration for the beaten-down Mets fan base. Here's Dickey by the numbers with one start left:

20-6, 2.69 ERA, 227.2 IP, 222 K, 54 BB, 185 hits allowed

People talk about RA as if he's the favorite for the Cy. I'm not so sure. Gonzalez is 21-8 with a 2.89 ERA and 199 K. It's close. And let's not forget Kimbrel, who closed the Mets out tonight. Kimbrel has 40 saves and a 1.04 ERA. I'm certainly hoping RA will with the Cy, as it would show the value of sticking to your craft and doing whatever it takes to compete. In addition, it would give us fans something to feel good about during the off season. In about 6 weeks, we'll find out.

As for the rest of the team, the Mets have won 7 of their last 9 after tonight's 2-0 loss to Atlanta. This recent streak comes after the Phillie debacle. Was the team rudley awakened by that embarrassment? Or has it been bad competition? Is this renewed play a sign of potential, or fool's gold? Sandy was on during Tuesday's game, and he talked about the need to add power. His overall tone seemed to suggest that he's not buying the recent success as a elixir for two and half months' worth of disappointment. He also talked about Wright and the aforementioned Dickey, essentially saying that the Mets would like to have both back, but that they can't make inappropriate decisions in the process. There will be plenty of time to see how both of those situations play out. For now, the Mets have assured us that they will not lose 90 this year, and will not finish in last place.

Back to Thursday for a minute. In walking around the park, the talk among the fans was about the charged-up crowd. It reminded all of us that if the fan base is given something, anything, to cheer, Citi will be rocking. A 20-game winner gets us going. What would a pennant race do? Maybe the more important question is, how long will it take until we can find out?

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