MIAMI — R.A. Dickey insisted he couldn’t afford to think about 20 wins despite moving to within three victories of the milestone on Friday night.
“I’ve found when I don’t live in the moment, it doesn’t work out for R.A.,” he said.
The knuckleballer pitched a five-hit shutout, Ike Davis backed him with a home run, and the New York Mets beat the Miami Marlins, 3-0.
Dickey (17-4, 2.63 ERA) beat Miami for the fourth time this season by allowing just five hits – all singles – three walks and striking out seven in a 115-pitch masterpiece. Dickey has had more success against the Marlins than any team in his career (9-2).
“When he makes his speech for the Cy Young Award, make sure he mentions the Marlins, please,” Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said after Dickey’s knuckleball landed the Fish.
Mets manager Terry Collins said, “He threw some knuckleballs tonight that nobody can hit.”
Dickey, who tied Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto and Gio Gonzalez for the major-league lead in wins, is likely to make six more starts this year. If he wins half of them, he will become the first Met to win 20 since Frank Viola in 1990. But he continues to insist that neither 20 wins nor the Cy Young is foremost on his mind.
“I don’t really give it much thought,” he said. “I feel good about competing for 18 (wins) right now. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. That’s how it’s been for me and I don’t want to get out of that place regardless of how many times people ask me.
“Sure I hope for it. What pitcher, what little kid doesn’t grow up wanting to be a Cy Young winner? Obviously, the hope is inside me,” Dickey said.
Dickey struck out seven and walked three in his NL-leading fifth complete game. He has three shutouts this year and six in his career.