Not to put any extra pressure on R.A. Dickey, but the New York Mets, as well as their fans, really need him to bring the Cy Young award back to Queens if they want to have any life left in their organization at the end of this season.
While personal awards are incomparable to team awards in the big picture, unfortunately it’s the only trophy left that’s tangible at this point. So, with each day that passes, with each top pitcher getting another start, with each win that is earned or missed, the analyzing and comparisons become more and more in depth.
Despite losing to the Rockies in his last start, Dickey pitched another stellar game. Going seven innings and only giving up three hits, one of which was a home run to Tyler Colvin in the 5th, the Mets were again unable to provide the run support that R.A. needed to pick up his 16th win. With time on the season winding down, the questions begin to arise: Will R.A. Dickey become the Mets first 20 game winner since Frank Viola in 1990, and does R.A. still have a shot at the Cy Young award, which hasn’t been award to a Met since Dwight Gooden won it in 1985?
Since the Cy Young award is chosen by baseball writers, statistics actually mean nothing when it comes to this particular honor. That’s pretty funny, considering statistics are so over done in baseball that I’m sure someone knows all his post-bracelet-gate numbers.
Dickey technically is tied for 4th in the NL with 15 wins. However, there really are three pitchers (Cueto, Gonzalez, Price) with 16 wins, and two others (Burnett, Weaver) with 15 as well.
How important is it to win 20 games when it comes to the Cy Young? Well, in the last six years, the National League Cy Young winner has been a 20 game winner just twice. That same statistic holds true in the American League as well. In fact, when Felix Hernandez won it in 2010, his record was just 13-12.
Of course I believe that team notoriety helps out a person’s chances, and Cueto’s Cincinnati Reds are tied for first with Burnett’s Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL Central, Gonzalez’s Washington Nationals have the best record in the league, Price’s Tampa Bay Rays are closing the gap on the Yankees, and even Weaver’s Los Angeles Angels are only four games back from the AL West. And then there’s Dickey, whose team is only on the radar for their dramatic downfall post All Star break.
The great thing about R.A., and one thing he has going for him over the other potential candidates, is that he is a truly a great guy who says all the right things. His ego is virtually non-existent, and he has never said anything discouraging about his teammates, even though he has had ample reasons to voice opinions of disappointment or frustration.
Although the Mets have switched to a 6-man rotation, they have made one right move this season in letting R.A. still pitch every fifth day to help his chances of getting to that 20 win plateau. According to the schedule, he would have another eight opportunities to earn those five more wins. This is where the Mets need to come together. If they can do anything this season to make up for the huge disappointment, it’s to go out there every 5th day and play like it’s game 7 of the World Series. Dickey deserves this.