Forget R.A. Dickey, Forget Niekro -- Think Koufax
"The best season for a knuckleballer"? Is that the best that the New York press can do to describe R.A. Dickey's accomplishments so far in the 2012 season?
Just look at the record so far and pretend that you didn't know he was throwing a knuckleball. At 10-1, he's tied for the league lead in wins with the Cardinals' Lance Lynn., 4th in ERA at 2.20, and 6th in strikeouts, 90, and 2nd in WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched), 0.94.
Tonight, at Citfield against the Baltimore Orioles and Jake Arrieta (who is all of 3-8 with a 5.89 ERA this year), Dickey stands an outstanding chance of going to 11-1. If he shuts the Orioles down, we shouldn't be talking about comparisons to Phil Niekro or Charlie Huff, we should be talking comparisons to Juan Marichal and Sandy Koufax.
Let's take R.A.'s case one step further. The Mets are 35-32 going into tonight's game and just a couple of games away from being serious contenders, just 4 ½ games behind Washington for the NL East.
Let's assume that Dickey continues to pitch well and the Mets continue to be in the race all season. Right now they are 25-32 in games where Dickey doesn't fit into the decisions. Is there any other player right now in the NL whose contribution is so significant ? So that's why you should go to the game tonight -- or at least keep up with it by TV, internet, cell phone or whatever. This guy is on the verge of making some history.