Twenty wins down, one Cy Young to go?
R.A. Dickey became the league's second 20-game winner on Thursday with another strong performance, striking out a career-high 13 in the Mets' 6-5 win over the Pirates. Amid an electric atmosphere at Citi Field that included a standing ovation as he left the field in the eighth, Dickey made history.
He became just the sixth pitcher in franchise history to win 20 games in a season and the first since Frank Viola in 1990. His 221 strikeouts also rank 12th in franchise history. The Mets allowed Dickey to hit for himself at 111 pitches in the seventh inning, and then he struck out the first two batters of the eighth before walking Travis Snider on his 128th pitch.
"This day was as much about the fans as it was for me," Dickey said. "Honestly, I wouldn't tell you that if it weren't true. And it ended up well."
The result was another victory for Dickey, who is personally responsible for 20 of the Mets' 72 wins. Dickey has also become the odds-on favorite to win the NL Cy Young award at age 37.
With Thursday's outing in the books, Dickey now ranks second in the league in ERA, trailing Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers by 0.01. He is first in strikeouts and has one less victory than Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals, who won his 21st game Thursday and is the biggest threat to overtake Dickey for the award.