2010 was dubbed “The Year of the Pitcher”, but it looks like 2012 is going to surpass it.
Last week, San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain threw the 22nd perfect game in Major League history and the first-ever perfecto in Giants history. In a 10-0 victory over the Astros, Cain threw 125 pitches, most ever in a perfect game, and struck out 14 batters, tied with Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax for the most ever in a perfect game.
Cain’s gem was not only the fifth no-hitter this season, it was the second perfect game of the year, and we haven’t even reached July yet. Justin Verlander has come close a few times this year and is a no-hitter/perfect game waiting to happen, as is the Mets’ R.A. Dickey, who has thrown back-to-back one-hitters.
On the very same day as Cain’s gem, the Mets’ R.A. Dickey was turning in his own masterpiece.
The knuckleballer only yielded one hit, a controversial infield single in the first, in striking out 12 batters in a complete game effort. Dickey followed that up with another complete game one-hitter, this time striking out 12.
He hasn’t given up an earned run in 42 ⅔ innings. Dickey is currently 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA and 103 strikeouts on the season. Cain is 9-2 with a 2.34 ERA and 100 strikeouts.
Which do you pick to start the All-Star game for the NL? If the season ended today, who would you give the Cy Young award to? One of these guys or someone else?
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Poor Matt Cain. The guy has always been overshadowed in San Francisco by Tim Lincecum, and even when he etches his name into baseball immortality in the midst of his best season yet, he’s still not getting the love.
Cain’s a tremendous pitcher, but I have to go with Dickey here. He has more wins, fewer losses, a better ERA, and slightly more strikeouts. Also, not to take anything away from Cain, Dickey doesn’t get to pitch in the pitcher’s haven known as AT&T Park and face light-hitting NL West clubs all the time. Cain’s having a stellar year, but Dickey’s been even better. Plus, he throws a knuckleball, and that’s just plain cool.
As a Phillies fan and avowed Mets hater, R.A. Dickey makes me angry on many, many levels.
For eight seasons as a borderline major leaguer, Dickey put up hideously bad numbers, and had a career ERA over 5 and a career WHIP over 1 and a half when he hooked on with the Mets in 2010, and promptly became. . .sort of OK.
And a few years later Dickey, a guy who was not even a footnote in baseball history, is poised to start the all star game. He’s unhittable. Part of that is throwing a knuckleball – it takes years to REALLY learn how to throw it and players see it so infrequently that it can give them a lot of trouble.
Would I take Dickey over Matt Cain? Only right now at this moment.
DIckey’s success will evaporate as quickly and unexpectedly as it arrived, but for the time being, R.A. Dickey (choke, cough) is the best (gag, sputter) pitcher in the National League (wretch, cough, gag). UGH!