By Eric Schmidt

Before the seventh inning of last night’s game against the Dodgers, the only hit R.A. Dickey had allowed was a fly ball to left-center field that should have been caught by the centerfielder Andres Torres.

As legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully put it during the broadcast, “The Dodgers have been flailing away at R.A. Dickey. That’s the best word I can come up with.”

Dickey became the first pitcher in the majors to reach 12 wins, while lowering his ERA to 2.15.

Dickey struck out 10 Dodgers batters in his first six innings of work and then relied on the groundball and solid defense to get him through the seventh and eighth innings. Dickey gave way to Jeremy Hefner in the ninth inning, with the Mets up 9-0 on the Dodgers.

The month of June has been a run for the ages for the 37-year-old knuckleballer: he went 5-0 with an 0.93 ERA, threw three complete games, two shutouts, and didn’t allow an earned run in 44 2/3 innings. Over 48 1/3 June innings, Dickey gave up 21 hits, struck out 55 and walked eight.

Dickey appears to be a lock to start in the All Star Game in Kansas City next month, which is why manager Terry Collins was kicking around the idea of squeezing an extra start out his ace pitcher before the break. That appears unlikely to happen, so as not effect Johan Santana’s schedule.

The biggest story in baseball is not a phenom outfielder, or an aging superstar on his farewell tour; it’s a knuckleballer with no UCL who spent his offseason writing an autobiography, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and starring in a documentary about the knuckleball. What did you do this offseason?

 

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