Tuesday, June 19, 2012

R.A. Dickey Is On Fire!

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Hand him the N.L. Cy Young Award!

That's right! New York Mets knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey is having one MONSTER of a year, thus far. Last night, Dickey (11-1, 2.00 ERA, 103 K, 0.89 WHIP) entered the record books by accomplishing a feat so rare that he's only the 10th pitcher in the 137-year history of the MLB to do so. He pitched his second consecutive 1-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles in a 5-0 win. The only hit allowed by Dickey was a fifth inning single by Wilson Betemit. In his prior start he 1-hit the Tampa Bay Rays.

Dickey has now pitched 42.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. Is he on fire? You betcha! 

The former journeyman became the first pitcher since the great Dave Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays, 24 years ago, to throw back-to-back 1-hitters. The last to do it in the National League was Jim Tobin of the Boston Braves in 1944.

Here's a list of the 10 back-to-back 1-hitters in MLB history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau:
  1. 2012 - R.A. Dickey - New York Mets
  2. 1988 - Dave Stieb** - Toronto Blue Jays
  3. 1966 - Sam McDowell - Cleveland Indians
  4. 1944 - Jim Tobin - Boston Braves
  5. 1943 - Mort Cooper - St. Louis Cardinals
  6. 1938 - Johnny Vander Meer* - Cincinnati Reds
  7. 1934 - Lon Warneke - Chicago Cubs
  8. 1925 - Dazzy Vance - Brooklyn Robins
  9. 1923 - Howard Ehmke - Boston Red Sox
  10. 1911 - Rube Marquard - New York Giants
*In 1938, Johnny Vander Meer pitched back-to-back NO-HITTERS. The only time it's been done in major-league history.
**In 1988, Dave Stieb had to settle for back-to-back 1-hitters but in both instances he was one strike away from tossing a no-hitter. I remember when it happened and I still feel Stieb's pain. What are the odds of that? Two no-hitters broken up with two outs and two strikes in the 9th inning in back-to-back starts. What a bummer! Incidentally, in 1989, Stieb had a perfect game broken up with two outs in the ninth inning. On September 2, 1990, lady luck was finally on Stieb's side as he pitched the first (and only) NO-HITTER in Blue Jays history. Stieb was one hell of a pitcher, that's for sure. Why the Toronto Blue Jays haven't retired his number (37) is beyond me?!

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As for R.A. Dickey--

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KUDOS TO THE NEW MR. KNUCKLER!

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