When R.A. Dickey stepped off the mound following his second straight one-hit complete game Monday night the first thing he did was thank the fans for supporting him.
“I think I can appreciate it because I’ve been on the other side of the coin too,” Dickey said on the field after the game. “Hopefully we can take a step towards the right direction over the next few days and start rolling here.”
Dickey has played for four different teams in his career — Texas, Seattle, Minnesota and the New York Mets — and he’d never won double digit games until two years ago in his first season in New York.
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In 2012, he’s won 11 of his first 12 decisions. And that’s not the half of it.
Dickey is the first pitcher in major league history with back-to-back one-hitters with at least 10 strikeouts. He’s also one of five pitchers in history with at least 11 wins, a sub-2.50 ERA and an average of at least one strikeout per inning in his first 14 starts. That list includes the names Sandy Koufax, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson — all flamethrowers.
Dickey does it, of course, with maybe the best knuckleball anyone has ever seen.
“I’ve just got a good feel for it right now; making it do a couple of different things,” Dickey said. “I feel very confident when I step on the mound. I feel I can get anybody out.”
It’s that knuckleball that makes people question whether someone leading the pitching Triple Crown — in both leagues — could actually be for real.
The best start to a season ever by a knuckleballer was likely Tim Wakefield in 1995. He was 14-1 with a 1.65 ERA?and six complete games in his first 17 starts. He went 2-7 with a 5.60 ERA in his final 10 starts.
“I’m gonna leave it to everybody else to try to figure it out,” Dickey said Monday. “I'm just going to enjoy it.”
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.