R.A.DICULOUS: There hasn’t been much New York Mets fans have to cheer about since the second-half began. Heck. There hasn’t been many reasons to watch the Mets over that span. That, however, is never the case when R.A. Dickey toes the rubber. While Citi Field has been a ghost town for much of the second half, 30,332 fans showed up on Saturday afternoon to watch Dickey continue his Cy-Young caliber season. And, none left disappointed. The 38-year-old knuckleballer notched his 19th win of the season, tossing eight brilliant innings of work, allowing two runs on six hits during a 4-3 victory over the Miami Marlins:
NL CY YOUNG FRONT-RUNNER: With the victory, Dickey moved one step closer to becoming the first Mets starter to win 20 games since Frank Viola accomplished the feat it in 1990 while lowering his National League best ERA to 2.66 in the process. His eight innings pitched extended his league-leading total to 220 and his four punch outs on the afternoon helped push him ahead of L.A. Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw for the National League lead with 209.
R.A. exited the game with a 4-0 lead and runners on second and third in the top half of the ninth, as Mets manager Terry Collins called upon Jon Rauch to relieve the knuckleballer. Rauch wasted no time giving Mets fans heart burn, allowing a three-run bomb to the first batter he faced. The 6’10” reliever eventually settled down, striking out Gil Velazquez and working his way around a one-out single by Rob Brantley to secure the win for Dickey while picking up his fourth save of the season in the process. On Saturday afternoon, it was all about R.A., who told reporters he is grateful for all the support he has received from the NY fans this season:
“In the moment it’s hard to really enjoy it, because there’s a lot you really want to accomplish. I’m trying to learn to celebrate things better, but you certainly don’t want it to be a distraction from what’s going on. But I’m certainly grateful for it and I appreciate it. The overall energy in the park today was great.”
QUEST FOR 20: Dickey’s quest for 20 wins will continue on Thursday at Citi Field when he faces the Pittsburgh Pirates. Following the game, he spoke about what it means to have the opportunity to win game number 20 in front of the home crowd, saying:
“These fans have been so loyal for me all year, and what a neat thing to get to share with them on that day. But you had to win today and they showed up today. I don’t know how many were there, but whoever was here it was pretty loud, it was nice and I certainly felt appreciated. And that’s always nice.”
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