He’s the hottest pitcher in the major leagues tied for the most wins, 9. Dickey is having a career year and there really is no rhyme or reason for it. As he is currently on pace for 25 wins, clearly it would not be surprising if there’s an adjustment in store for the 37 year old knuckleballer.
He is two years removed from his career high in wins, 11, and is carrying a career low ERA of 2.44 and a miniscule WHIP of only 1.04! What make these numbers as stunning as his 9-1 record is that his career average ERA sits at 4.17 while his average WHIP is 1.37. Although on pace for 200+ strikeouts, Dickey has never struck out more than 134 in any season.
He doesn’t seem to be letting up either as he has a 0.29 ERA over his last four starts, with 38 strikeouts and three walks. And what is even more impressive is that Dickey is experiencing his career best scoreless inning streak holding at 24 2/3 inning! Not sure what the eleven year veteran is eating but I hope he wasn’t hanging around Ryan Braun in the off-season…
His next two games are against the anemic Tampa Bay Rays followed by the Cincinnati Reds. He’s playing for a team that has been clutch all season by virtue of the fact that they have scored the most runs with two outs of any team in the major leagues. And this is with a first baseman who is batting 70 points lower than his weight, .161, and has amassed only 29 hits all year; Ike Davis.
Fantasy managers who snagged up R.A. early in the season have certainly been reaping the harvest as Dickey has provided outstanding numbers right across the board
If Dickey’s performance over the first third of the season is sustainable, then he could be considered an early N.L. Cy Young Award candidate when all is said and done. He’ll have some competition to be sure with pitchers like Lance Lynn, Cole Hamels, Chris Capuano, and Gio Gonzalez all close to Dickey’s numbers.
But it wasn’t always this easy for the former 1st round draft pick of the Texas Rangers. In an effort to improve his stats, Dickey came up with his now potent knuckleball at the beginning of the 2006 season. The Rangers gave Dickey a chance to try out his knuckleball at the major league level, however, after giving up 6 home runs in his first start on April 6, tying the modern era baseball record with another knuckleballer, Tim Wakefield, he was demoted to the Triple-A.
After two unsuccessful stints with the Mariners and the Twins, he was traded to the Mets in 2010 and has since perfected the knuckleball to where he now has the 2nd lowest ERA on the Mets staff; just a wee bit behind Johan Santana, the Mets ace. Almost a cinch to make the All-Star team next month, it would not be inconceivable for Dickey to end the season with the most wins by a knuckleballer and perhaps he’ll be instrumental in turning other pitchers on to this crazy, unorthodox and extremely difficult pitch to hit. We wish R.A. luck the rest of the way while he enjoys his best year ever!