NL Cy Young 2012: Revisiting R.A. Dickey's 5 Best Performances of the Season

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 22: R.A. Dickey #43 of the New York Mets pitches against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 22, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

R.A. Dickey was awarded the 2012 NL Cy Young Award on Wednesday after going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 230 strikeouts.

In the 57-year history of the award, Dickey is the first knuckleballer to take home the honor, providing much-deserved legitimacy for a pitch that many disregard as mere gimmick.

Dickey received 27-out-of-32 first place votes, finishing comfortably ahead of Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers (last year's winner), Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals and Johnny Cueto of the Reds.

Johan Santana's no-hitter* might have been the Mets' highlight of the season, but Dickey's long-lasting body of work makes for a much-deserved runner-up. And even though he never held an opponent hitless, he had plenty of gems in his own right.

Let's revisit the five best performances of Dickey's historic year.


5. New York Mets @ Washington Nationals (6/7)

The Line: 7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8 K, 2 BB

Back when the Mets were still in the playoff race, a mid-June series with the Washington Nationals was actually a big deal.

Washington took the first two games of the series, passing the Mets in the NL East standings all the while. With pride and divisional positioning on the line, the Mets handed the ball to Dickey, who got them out of Washington with a win.

Full Highlights here


4. San Diego Padres @ New York Mets (5/27)

The Line: 7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 10 K, 1 BB

Dickey's first shutout of the year helped launch a remarkable streak of 44 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run.

He dropped his ERA from 3.45 to 3.06 in this one, which marked the moment Met fans finally started to realize he might be great not just good.

Full Highlights here


3. New York Mets @ Los Angeles Dodgers (6/29)

The Line: 8.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 10 K, 1 BB

Dickey took his show on the road in this one, flying cross-country to dangle the Dodgers in Chavez Ravine.

The Dodgers, who had started the year insanely hot, were in the midst of a slump when the Mets came to town. They hoped that, maybe, seeing a knuckleballer would give them a breath of fresh air.

But like so many in 2012, they were very wrong.

Full Highlights here


1b. New York Mets @ Tampa Bay Rays (6/13)

The Line: 9.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 12 K, 0 BB

An unearned run in the bottom of the ninth kept this gem from being a shutout––thanks a lot, David Wright––but in terms of pure "stuff" it was probably the best Dickey fared all season.

The knuckler had a potent Rays squad guessing all night long, and only surrendered one hit––an innocuous infield single from B.J. Upton in the first inning.

As fantastic as Dickey was, though, he managed to out do himself the next time he took the mound...

1a. Baltimore Orioles @ New York Mets (6/18)

The Line: 9.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 13 K, 2 BB

Despite allowing two walks (as opposed to none against Tampa), this was Dickey's finest evening of the season.

Dickey tosses his second-consecutive one-hitter in this one, becoming the first player in 24 years to accomplish such a feat. He also didn't surrender an unearned run, struck out 13 batters and got to do it all in front of his home crowd.

With a pie to the face to commemorate it, this was the night Dickey truly became a New York legend.

Full Highlights here