9:54 am Jun. 14, 2012
R.A. Dickey entered Wednesday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays with a 2.44 E.R.A. on the season, including a scoreless inning streak of 24 2/3 innings. So it took some doing to produce his best game of the season.
But he did.
Against a Rays team that looked utterly outclassed, Dickey threw a complete-game one-hitter. Even that phrase doesn't truly capture his dominance.
The one hit was a weakly struck first-inning grounder that David Wright failed to handle. The Mets are making an unlikely appeal to get the scoring decision overturned, but indisputably, it wasn't a hard-hit ball.
The run the Rays scored in the ninth inning, snapping Dickey's scoreless streak once it reached 32 2/3 innings, a franchise record, came from an error by Wright, a passed ball by catcher Mike Nickeas, and a groundout.
Dickey, who makes his living with the notoriously hard-to-control knuckleball, didn't walk anybody. He struck out 12.
After the game, Dickey was asked about the prospect of starting the All-Star game for the National League. Both the question, and the honesty of Dickey's answer, provide a window into exactly how far he's come.
"I don't think I would be credible if I sat here and said that I didn't think about being in the All-Star Game or the chance at being the best pitcher in the big leagues," Dickey said. "I just wouldn't be credible. Of course it creeps into my mind from time to time. And that's the honest answer. It's a motivator. I do want to be the best."
He just might be.
Elsewhere in New York sports:
Another series, another sweep for the Yankees, this time at the expense of the Atlanta Braves, 3-2. The Yankees will face a tougher test this weekend, when Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals host them.
A hearing took place yesterday that will dictate how productive this offseason can be for the Knicks. A source from the players' association sounds optimistic about the outcome. Steve Novak, whose future as a Knick is at stake, even showed up to the hearing, on his birthday.
St. John's coach Steve Lavin has the fourth-best recruiting class in the conference coming in this fall, according to CBSSports.com. Rutgers and Seton Hall, both of whom need reinforcements, did not do as well.