RA Dickey: Where His 2012 Season Ranks in New York Mets History
In a year that saw Johan Santana hurl the first no-hitter in Mets history, R.A. Dickey is stealing the show on the mound. The 37-year-old with a career 52-51 record and an underwhelming 4.11 lifetime ERA is miraculously dominating the MLB with just one pitch—the knuckleball.
While there is still more than half the season to go, it's not too early to begin pondering where Dickey's 2012 campaign ranks all-time among Mets pitchers. The Cy Young hopeful currently leads the majors with 11 wins, boasts a 2.31 ERA and has already eclipsed the 100-strikeout mark. He's a guarantee to make the All-Star Game and could potentially make a run at the pitcher's Triple Crown.
If he were to keep this pace for the remainder of the season, Dickey would finish with a 24-2 record and nearly 220 strikeouts. And though we can't assume that his miraculous domination will continue, we can reflect on the greatest pitching years of all time and see where Dickey stands.
5. Jerry Koosman, 1976
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Like Seaver, Koosman had numerous years of dominance with the Mets. He was an integral part of their first championship in 1969, but 1976 was his first year he reached the elusive 20-win mark.
During that year, Koosman compiled a 21-10 record with a 2.69 ERA and exactly 200 strikeouts. Although Tom Seaver is always viewed as the face of the franchise, there is no debate over who the best left-handed pitcher in organization history is.
4. David Cone, 1988
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Although he'll always be more famous for his perfect game across the city for the Yankees, David Cone quietly had one of the best pitching years in Mets history. In 1988, his third year in the league, Cone compiled a 20-3 record with a near-invisible 2.22 ERA while striking out 213 batters.
It was his first big year in the majors, and he went on to have an incredible career. His five World Series rings and Cy Young award surely make for some nice hardware in his trophy room.
3. RA Dickey, 2012
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How his second half winds up will determine his final ranking on this list, but at his current pace, it's hard to leave Dickey out of the top three. After the horrendous struggles the Mets have had over the past few seasons, Dickey's dominance out of the blue has been exactly what they needed to regain some of the New York spotlight and bring fans back to the park.
At 11-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 15 starts, Dickey will likely eclipse 20 wins and hopefully retain a sub-three ERA. In a highly competitive division and playing during a time in which pitchers do not get as many decisions because they go shorter in ballgames than in the past, Dickey's feats, especially for a knuckleballer, will definitely rewrite history.
2. Tom Seaver, 1969
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Recognized as the greatest pitcher in Mets history, Tom Seaver won 20 or more games an incredible four times over a seven-year span. His highest win total, 25, is the highest in team history, and his 1971 campaign that boasted 20 wins and a 1.76 ERA was one of the most unforgettable seasons the Big Apple has ever seen.
When analyzing Seaver, the hardest thing to do is focus on one specific year. What made him such a remarkable pitcher is the body of work he compiled over his career, not just one 25 win year. He was consistent, won a ton of games, pitched to a low ERA and struck out 200 or more hitters on a yearly basis.
His 1969 campaign (25 wins) must reign victorious as his best though due to his role in pitching the Mets to their first championship.
1. Dwight Gooden 1985
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Dwight Gooden's 1985 sophomore campaign is one of the greatest pitching seasons of all time, let alone New York Mets history. A 24-4 record and 1.53 ERA, including 16 complete games, is video game-esque.
His level of dominance in '85 stands as the greatest season in Mets history. Even with all of his off-field issues, "Doc" will always live on as a legend for his early Met years.