R. A. Dickey is the best starting pitcher on the Mets staff. How many people can honestly say they thought that would ever come out of their mouths? I can’t say I was one of them, and I‘m sure neither can you.
As Mets fans we started to build an affection for the knuckleballer that came out of nowhere back in 2010 when he burst onto the scene.
Dickey’s multifaceted personality has quickly endeared him to the Mets fan base. He has become a fan favorite for his hard work, determination and perseverance, as well as his outstanding performance on the field.
This season he has been all over the place from his book tour and interviews on WFAN to his off-season trek of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
His 12 wins rank him first in all of Baseball ahead of the AL’s David Price and Matt Harrison who both have 11. He is 3rd in the NL with a 2.15 ERA behind Brandon Beachy who is out for the season and will not qualify for enough starts and Ryan Dempster. Prior to this season R. A. had 1 career game of 10 strikeouts or more. So far this season he has 6.
To put it simply R. A. has been just flat out dominant this season. He has 116 strikeouts which is just 18 shy of his career high of 134 which he set last season, and we haven’t even reached the all start break yet. He is currently on pace to strikeout over 200 batters!
Dickey has forced himself into the discussion to be the NL starter in the All-Star game as well as, dare I say, a possible legitimate contender for the NL Cy Young Award.
I don’t want to jump the gun on this since we still have half a season to go, but it sure feels like he has figured something out that has caused him to make a significant stride in his development as a knuckleballer.
I’m no pitching coach and would never claim to know what I am talking about, but just listening to the announcers and analysts it appears that his ability to throw the “hard knuckler’ is what has set him apart. Being able to throw consistent strikes has also helped keep batters off base.
If R.A. continues to pitch like this he will be a mainstay in the Mets rotation for the next few years. If the evolution of his Knuckleball continues, so will his dominance.
Right now hitters are so confused as to what they will get from Dickey when they step in the box. Will they see a 70 MPH dancing Knuckler? Will they see a hard darting knuckleball? Or will they get surprised and flat footed by his overpowering 85 MPH heater? It’s all an art form that Dickey is currently working to master.
I can’t wait to see what the finished product looks like at seasons end. I have a feeling it’s going to be a masterpiece.