There is no other way to ask this so I’ll be blunt about it.
Just what in the hell has gotten into R.A. Dickey?
In case you haven’t been paying attention to the New York Mets lately, knuckleballer Dickey is on a run of historic proportions.
Last night, he tossed his second consecutive one-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles – the Mets won 5-0, and in his past six starts Dickey has been phenomenal. He’s amassed a 6-0 record with a paltry 0.18 ERA – that works out to one earned run in nearly 50 innings and his batting average against is 1.31. Add to that 63 strikeouts and five walks and you have one of the best runs in the history of baseball.
Considering Dickey is 37-years-old and was nearly an afterthought in 2010 makes this story more amazing.
But if you can believe it, the story gets even better. Dickey became the first pitcher to strikeout at least eight batters in five consecutive starts. He already has 103 this season in 14 games – his career high came back in 2010 when he struck out 104 in 27 games. He’s 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA, his WHIP is 0.889 and he has four complete games – three of them have been of the shutout variety.
And not to toot my horn – okay, so I am – I was at Dickey’s May 27 start against the San Diego Padres when he threw a 2-0 complete game, struck out 10 while only giving up three hits and walking one batter. At the time, I figured, well it’s the Padres and they’re a pretty terrible hitting team. That’s also what the two Padres fans sitting behind me told me.
Well, we were all wrong because it wouldn’t just be the Padres. In his last five starts, Dickey’s strikeout totals have been 10, 9, 8, 12 and last night’s 13. He struck out nine St. Louis Cardinals batters on June 2 and 12 Tampa Bay Rays whiffed against his wicked knuckleball on June 13.
So what’s next for Dickey? Oh, not much, just a matchup against CC Sabathia and the New York Yankees on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball this coming weekend. If people across the country haven’t seen Dickey work his magic yet, they may be able to catch it on a national stage.
Stacey Gotsulias is the lead writer for Aerys Sports’s New York Yankees website “Second Place Is Not An Option.” She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow her on Twitter at @StaceyGotsulias.