|R.A. Dickey is looking to become the Mets' first 20-game winner since Frank Viola 1990. (Associated Press)|
Last season Mets manager Terry Collins pulled Jose Reyes after a first-inning bunt single in the last game of the season in an attempt to guarantee his shortstop a batting title and this year he may give R.A. Dickey extra starts to get to 20 wins and the Cy Young Award.
Collins had discussed the team's plans to have the knuckleballer pitch every fourth day down the stretch, but then said they've scratched those plans as the team's fallen out of the playoff race. Instead of pitching him regularly on short rest, Collins said he may do it sporadically in the last month of the season.
"He certainly deserves the that shot," Collins told reporters, including MLB.com. "I thought Jose Reyes deserved to win the batting title last year, too. I got criticized for that, and I may get criticized for this."
Dickey said he didn't care about the 20 wins or the Cy Young, he said he'd do what was asked of him.
"I would not want to be on three days' rest purely to win more games," Dickey said. "If we can claw back in this thing and they think that I give our team the best chance to win, or a good chance to win, then I'm willing to do that. And I've voiced that. But we'll see where it goes."
Dickey became the first pitcher in the National League to reach 15 wins on the season with Thursday's complete-game victory over the Marlins. The Angels' Jered Weaver also has 15 wins.
While 20 wins means less and less in the Cy Young voting, it still means quite a bit to pitchers (and not just for arbitration purposes). Six pitchers now have 14 or more wins with just less than two months (and about 10-12 starts) to go. Last year on this date, there were three pitchers with 15 or more wins and three pitchers (and only one of the three with 15 at this point) finished with 20 wins. Justin Verlander had 16 wins on Aug. 8, 2011, while Ian Kennedy had 14 and Clayton Kershaw had 13. According to CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler, who crunched these numbers, in the last 11 years, 11 of the 16 pitchers with 15 or more wins on this day have gone on to win 20, while five of the 13 with 14 wins ended up winning 20 games.