9:45 am Jun. 19, 2012
R.A. Dickey threw his second consecutive one-hitter Monday night, striking out 13 and walking two, doing something no pitcher has done since 1988.
But that doesn't really explain just how impressive his current run has been.
He's the first pitcher ever to throw five straight games with no earned runs allowed and at least eight strikeouts, beating streaks of four reached by Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry and Pedro Martinez.
Over his past seven starts, here's his line: 54 2/3 innings, 0.66 E.R.A., six walks, 71 strikeouts. That line is comparable to the most monumental pitching seasons of all time.
In Bob Gibson's 1968 season, when he pitched to a 1.12 E.R.A, he had 11 starts at an E.R.A. of 0.27. But he struck out 83 over 99 innings, so by that measure his dominance wasn't quite at the level of Dickey's 2012. (It is as strange to write that as it must be to read.)
In the best season of Sandy Koufax's career, 1966, he pitched to an E.R.A. of 0.71 over seven starts from May 14 through June 10, 1966. Over those 63 innings, he allowed 10 walks, struck out 65. So again, Koufax in the best stretch of his best season didn't match the control or dominance of R.A. Dickey over these past seven starts.
Pedro Martinez, in his best season, had a stretch like this. From April 30 through June 8, 2000, he pitched 57 innings over seven starts, with a 0.63 E.R.A., 11 walks, 74 strikeouts. So roughly the same strikeout rate, but less control than Dickey.
Martinez was the defending Cy Young Award winner, with two to his credit already, and the obvious best pitcher in baseball. Dickey is doing this out of nowhere. For two years, he was a solidly effective pitcher. Prior to that, he couldn't stay in the major leagues.
Dickey is now leading the National League in virtually every major category. He is the best pitcher in baseball right now. Not the best knuckleball pitcher, or the best pitcher with literary taste. He's the best in the game, and is pitching, at the moment, like one of the greatest of all time.
Elsewhere in New York sports:
The Yankees appear to have given up on losing, winning their 10th in a row over the Braves, 6-2. CC Sabathia pitched a complete game, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano homered, and most important, Derk Jeter had a two-run single, showing signs of coming out of his slump. According to the Post, it was the calm words of Brian Cashman that helped set the Yankees on their winning tear.
Mike Dunlap, who served as primary head coach for St. John's while Steve Lavin recovered from prostate cancer, was the surprise pick to coach the Charlotte Bobcats.
With their group winners still undecided, England (now with Wayne Rooney) plays Ukraine and France plays Sweden.