MIAMI -- After R.A. Dickey threw a shutout Friday night, much of the postgame chatter was about the 37-year-old knuckleballer's National League Cy Young Award candidacy.
Mets manager Terry Collins and Marlins skipper Ozzie Guillen both lauded Dickey after the game -- his third shutout and fifth complete game of the year -- and said the righty was deserving of the award. Friday's performance also gave Dickey his 17th win of the year, tying him with Reds righty Johnny Cueto and Nats lefty Gio Gonzalez (who threw his own shutout Friday) for most in the Majors.
All three have strong resumes for the NL Cy Young Award -- Cueto leads the trio in ERA (2.48), Dickey leads them in strikeouts (190) and WHIP (1.01), while Gonzalez leads all three in opponents' batting average (.212). The only discernible difference among the trio is that Cueto and Gonzalez are putting up their numbers on teams that are in the pennant chase. Both the Reds and Nats lead their respective divisions.
While some might argue that as a knock on Dickey's body of work, Collins thinks the Mets' struggles make Dickey's numbers that much more impressive.
"No question," Collins said. "We've had a tough time scoring runs, especially in the second half of the season, and he continues to win. We are seven games below .500 and he's what,  games over .500? That says a lot."