R.A. Dickey’s perfect control with that dancing knuckleball has made him the most dominant pitcher in baseball.
Dickey became the 1st major leaguer in 24 years to throw consecutive 1-hitters and Ike Davis hit a grand slam to lead the N.Y Mets past the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 on Monday night. Football spreads
Coming off a one-hit gem at Tampa Bay last Wednesday, Dickey struck out a career-high 13 and permitted only Wilson Betemit’s clean single in the 5th inning. He hasn’t permitted an earned run in 42 2/3 innings, the 2nd-longest stretch in club record behind Dwight Gooden’s streak of 49 innings in 1985.
“I’m going to leave it to you guys to explain it. I’m just going to try and be in the moment with it,” Dickey said.
The previous pitcher to throw consecutive 1-hitters was Dave Stieb for Toronto in September 1988. The N.Y Mets claimed the last to match the feat — or top it — in the National League was Jim Tobin with the 1944 Boston Braves, he tossed a 1-hitter followed by a no-hitter.
The 37-year-old Dickey (11-1) walked 2 and became the 1st 11-game winner in the majors, fooling Baltimore Orioles with knucklers that ranged between 66-81 mph in a game that took just 2 hours, 7 minutes. He fanned the final 2 hitters, topping his prior career best of 12 strikeouts set Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“Yeah, it’s surreal,” Dickey expounded. “You almost get emotional out there, particularly that last hitter. You hear everyone, like one big heartbeat thrashing. That’s the best way I may explain it”.
An established journeyman before joining the New York Mets in 2010, Dickey has won 9 straight decisions and 6 consecutive starts. He is tied for the big league lead in ERA (2.00), strikeouts (103) and complete games (3).
It was his 4th game this season with double-digit strikeouts, most in the majors, and the 5th of his career. The right-hander has an incredible 71 strikeouts and 6 walks in his last 7 starts.
The N.Y Mets, who lead the NL with 7 shutouts, had lost 3 straight and 9 of 13.
Betemit’s 2-out single in the 5th ended Dickey’s organization-record streak of 13 hitless innings.
“Do I have an opportunity to appeal that base hit? Did anybody dive for that ball? I got a bad view,” N.Y Mets manager Terry Collins said, drawing laughs.
The only blemish Wednesday night was B.J. Upton’s infield single with 2 outs in the 1st, a high bouncer that 3rd baseman David Wright tried to field with his bare hand.
After the game, the New York Mets appealed the official scoring call to MLB, asking the commissioner’s office to review the play and think about whether Wright need to be charged with an inaccuracy, so giving Dickey the team’s 2nd no-hitter this month. The appeal was denied and Dickey said he was relieved, explaining that there would be “an asterisk by it bigger than the no-hitter itself.”
“He has no wild pitches this year. That’s impressive,” Baltimore slugger Adam Jones claimed. “He’s in a groove.”