Neyer: Dickey sets Mets record, makes knuckleballer history

From SABR member Rob Neyer at Baseball Nation on June 14, 2012:

Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, R.A. Dickey set a new Mets record, running his scoreless streak to 32.2 innings.


R.A. Dickey is a specialist. He throws knuckleballs. Lots of knuckleballs. This season, roughly 80 percent of Dickey’s pitches have been knuckleballs. Wednesday night, 98 of Dickey’s 106 pitches were knuckleballs.

R.A. Dickey is a knuckleball pitcher.

Lately, he’s been pitching better than any knuckleball pitcher has ever pitched. By one measure, it’s not even close.

Dickey pitched exceptionally well in his previous start, after which I compared Dickey’s four-start run to great four-start stretches turned in by other knuckleball pitchers. In his last four starts, Dickey had averaged a 78 Game Score (a metric designed by Bill James to measure a starting pitcher’s effectiveness in a particular start).

That was really impressive, 78. I found only five other knuckleballers who’d ever equaled or exceeded an average of 78 over four consecutive starts. Or rather, four others because one of them (1970s left-hander Wilbur Wood) did it twice.

Read the full article here:

Related link: Dickey is featured in the new documentary “Knuckleball!”; we’ll have a special showing of the film at SABR 42 on June 28 in Minneapolis

Originally published: June 14, 2012. Last Updated: June 14, 2012.