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R.A. Dickey defeats Cardinals, is first to 18 wins

Sep 5, 2012, 6:42 PM EST

R.A. Dickey AP

If R.A. Dickey had fallen back a bit in the NL Cy Young race with his little rough patch after the All-Star break, he’s pretty clearly the favorite again now.

Dickey allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings against the Cardinals on Wednesday to become the first major leaguer to reach 18 wins this season. He’s allowed a total of three runs while winning his last three starts.

At 2.64, Dickey is still a bit behind Johnny Cueto (17-7, 2.58) for the NL ERA lead. However, most of the other more visible statistics favor him. He has just four losses on the year. He has five complete games to Cueto’s two and three shutouts to Cueto’s none. He also has 195 strikeouts, compared to 149 for Cueto.

What Cueto has is the disadvantage of pitching in a ballpark that’s much more favorable to hitters. Neutralizing for ballpark, baseball-reference gives Cueto a 165 ERA+, while Dickey is at 146. That’s a big difference, but it’s probably not something that is going to get much attention from voters.

  1. keithbangedyermom - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    CY YOUNG

  2. succulentnipples - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Do you smoke the dicky pipe?

  3. jssgriffi - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Cy Young!!!

  4. dalucks - Sep 5, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    He will be a great leader for all of the young pitchers in the Mets farm system. He is the CY Young favorite at this point of the season.

  5. dondada10 - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:33 PM

    First 18 game winner for the Mets since Viola (20) and Gooden (19) in 1990.

    CY Young.

  6. professormaddog31 - Sep 5, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    The fact that he’s this dominant with just a knuckleball in his bag of tricks is impressive, at least in my (very humble) opinion.All things considered I think he’s had a more interesting season. Plus I wonder what his very strong performance in the All-Star Game might help when it comes to voting…

    • manchestermiracle - Sep 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      Even more impressive when you look at the team he’s on…..

  7. salvomania - Sep 5, 2012 at 9:44 PM

    Dickey showed he can flummox a Cardinals lineup that was resting four .300 hitters: Holliday, Craig, Freese and Molina. (jk—he’s a great story, and he’s having a great season.)

    I was more interested to see Shelby Miller have a great debut in relief: 2 innings, 4 K’s , zero runs.

    • ajcardsfan - Sep 6, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      Got to watch R.A. and Shelby Miller pitch, and even though we lost, I’ll take it. I want a knuckleballing Cy Young winner.

  8. natslady - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:09 PM

    Gio Gio Gio GIO GIO GIO GIO GIO GIO GIO GIO GIO GIO GIO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • natstowngreg - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:28 PM

      18-7, 2.98. Just sayin’…

      Seven shutout innings, 3 H, 9 K. Granted, it was the Cubs, but it came a start after shutting out the Cards.

      • oltanya - Sep 6, 2012 at 12:17 AM

        If you’re going to use silly stats like wins and ERA (not that they’re not relevant to the CY, but bear with me), citing them with a “Just sayin'” when they’re unequivocally worse than RA’s is rather shortsighted

      • natstowngreg - Sep 6, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        My point was that Dickey and Cueto aren’t the only Cy Young candidates. I’m afraid you missed that.

  9. chill1184 - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:16 PM

    The media’s mental midgets continue to look for ways to say that Dickey doesn’t deserve the Cy Young but he continues to deny them. Getting a quality victory over one of the best offenses in the NL is nothing to sneeze at.

    • natslady - Sep 5, 2012 at 10:28 PM

      Have to agree. Gio CG shutout against that very same “one of the best offenses in the NL.” Nothing to sneeze at.

  10. giantssb42champs - Sep 6, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    R.A. = C.Y.

    • unlost1 - Sep 6, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      only thing is Cueto plays on a winning team and that’s what the voters like

  11. buckeye2280 - Sep 6, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    Except he is not the leader for the CY Young no matter how much the idiot writer or comment posters want to believe. Johnny Cueto is your CY YOUNG right now.

    And idiots, here is a stat that is blows R.A out of the water.

    W.A.R
    1 Mike Trout LAA 9.3
    2 Robinson Cano NYY 6.2
    3 Justin Verlander DET 6.1
    4 Johnny Cueto CIN 6.0
    5 David Wright NYM 5.9
    Miguel Cabrera DET 5.9
    7 Ryan Braun MIL 5.8
    Michael Bourn ATL 5.8
    9 Yadier Molina STL 5.5
    10 Adrian Beltre TEX 5.4

    Do you see Dickey here. Nope. Cueto and Verlander are the only 2 pitchers in the top 10. Guess who is your CY Young. Stupid NY writers and idiot fans that think if the team isn’t on the coast then they are irrelevant.

    Oh and Met Fans, what happened the last time your vaunted Dickey Faced the 1st Place Reds.

    • lazlosother - Sep 6, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      If you are going to use WAR, try not to be too brainless about it. First, there is more than one type of WAR. The most popular seem to be Fangraphs and Baseball Reference. Note which one you are using.

      Fangraphs has Cueto third among pitchers with 4.6, Dickey next with 4.4. Gio and Kershaw rate higher than Cueto. Baseball Reference has Cueto at 6, Dickey at 5.

      WAR is an excellent stat, but it is not so exact that a difference of 1 or less can be considered the basis for selecting one player over another for MVP or CY Young, especially with the different ratings between the top two, and the other stats available. To assume that the difference “blows Dickey out of the water” is the thought of a moron.

      There is a decent argument for Cueto. You weren’t smart enough to make it.

    • salvomania - Sep 6, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      Buckeye, the problem with WAR is that it’s not like strikeouts or hits allowed: it’s a made-up number that’s calculated differently by different people that factor different things into it when doing the math.

      That’s why the WAR as calculated by Fangraphs has Cueto with 4.6 WAR and Dickey with 4.4—still a lead for Cueto, but statistically insignificant, and, more importantly, an indication that while the stat may be a useful ingredient in a discussion it’s certainly not an argument ender.

      It’s like fielding metrics: the several different systems and their metrics often disagree on whether a given player is even a good or bad fielder. If you look at all the numbers, though, and they’re pretty consistent on one (or several) player(s), then that offers a level of confidence in making a comparison but not a whole lot more.

      Once could make a case that Dickey’s 5 complete games (to Cueto’s 2) and his 3 shutouts (to Cueto’s zero) and his over 7 ip per start (to Cueto’s 6.7) outweigh any lead Cueto may have in WAR (6.0 to 5.0 per bb-ref’s WAR formula).

      Either of the two, though, would be a deserving choice for the award, assuming neither has a meltdown or two in the next few weeks.

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