In a season marred by poor coaching, poor play, and utter turmoil there is one light that shines brighter than the rest…his name is R.A. Dickey. After another R.A.Diculous outing (8 1/3 IP, 2 ER) the other night, the knuckle baller has lowered his team leading ERA to 2.41 and has allowed 2 or less earned runs in 12 of his 18 starts.
I believe Bobby Ojeda of SNY summed it up best, when he stated the following about the R.A.:
The consistency of R.A Dickey has been very very impressive. The road that he has been on, the long traveled windy road, I think that’s part of the thing that’s made him such a fighter such a scrapper. He’s out there and expects no body to give him anything, no one every had, and he’s earning it each and every time out.”
That long road Ojeda talked about started in 1996 when Robert Alan Dickey was selected in the first round (18th overall) by theTexas Rangers. Back then he was more of a gunslinger type, throwing upwards of 92/93 MPH. He spent most of the next 8 yrs bouncing between AAA and the majors and from 2001-2004 he was unimpressive to say the least. Since 2006 Dickey has been cut loose by the Rangers, Mariners, and Twins and signed a minor league contract with the Mets in December of 2009.
Heading into this season R.A. had a 14-22 record and 6.30 ERA in 48 career starts but did show some promise working out of the bullpen while with the Mariners in 2008, posting a 2.oo ERA in that role (36 IP).
This year the story has reached new heights, ones from different book, off a different shelf, from a library on another planet. Dickey’s record stands at 8-5 and he leads all Mets starters with a 2.41 ERA in 18 starts. After his next start he will reach the inning requirement to place him amongst the league leaders in ERA, in which he would currently rank 6th in the National League:
With 6 straight wins (5/25-6/23) he even became the first Mets pitcher in franchise history to win his first 6 decisions. Prior to this year R.A. had a career BB/9 ratio of 3.5, but he has managed to only allow 30 walks over 119 1/3 innings (2.4 BB/9) this year. At this point his 2010 stats are hard to ignore. The question now becomes, after 13 seasons of mediocrity and the not so tender age of 35, is his performances thus far a fluke or reality.
A view of Dickey’s numbers from a sabermetrics standpoint (click HERE to read post) , which eliminates any bias we might have after growing to love his beard, high socks, or the fact that he is often a jolt of passion in an otherwise passionless stadium, suggests that he is far from a anomaly, but not likely as good as we’ve seen.
Future aside, at a time when there isn’t a lot going right for the team, it’s fun to reflect over what Dickey has accomplished. For that very reason, I will take a look back at his top 5 performances thus far in 2010:...TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST AND OTHRS LIKE IT HEAD TO METSZILLA.COM BY CLICKING HERE: