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Dickey a top Cy Young contender

The SportsXchange

Now that R.A. Dickey has achieved his dream of a 20-win season, the conversation has shifted to his last

remaining goal -- the National League Cy Young award.

With most major league starters scheduled for one more start before the end of the regular season,

Dickey ranks second in the NL with his 20 wins, one fewer than Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals. His 2.69 ERA

is also second, 0.01 points higher than that of Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. And his 222 strikeouts are

first by a relatively wide margin.

Those numbers appear to make Dickey the odds-on favorite for his first Cy Young award at age 37. But

before the Mets beat the Braves, 3-1, on Friday, Dickey swore he will not be considering that when he makes

his final start of the season, likely next Tuesday in Miami.

"I haven't thought that one time," Dickey said. "That's the honest answer. I haven't felt that once."

Gonzalez appears to be Dickey's main threat for the award, given his league-leading wins total and

strong peripheral and sabermetric stats -- many of them even stronger than Dickey's. But the knuckleballer

could also receive a groundswell of support from voters given his unique story as a scrapheap

knuckleballer, and his ability to win 20 games for a losing team.

The voters will make their final assessments soon and deliver the award in November. Until then, all

Dickey can do is try to make his final start as successful as his 20th victory, in which he struck out a

career-high 13 and fed off the energy of an electric Citi Field crowd.

"I don't know if I've really come down from it yet, which is odd for me," he said one day later at

Turner Field. "It's nice to be able to sit and enjoy the moment for more than just a couple of hours after

the game, which is normally how I am. So I'm thankful I still feel the sensations of yesterday, which is

nice."
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