R.A. Dickey's impeccable control with that dancing knuckleball has made him the most dominant pitcher in baseball.
Dickey became the first major leaguer in 24 years to throw consecutive one-hitters, leading the New York Mets past the Baltimore Orioles 5-0 on Monday night.
Coming off a one-hit gem at Tampa Bay last Wednesday, Dickey struck out a career-high 13 and allowed only Wilson Betemit's clean single in the fifth inning. Dickey has not permitted an earned run in 422/3 innings, the second-longest stretch in club history behind Dwight Gooden's streak of 49 innings in 1985.
"I'm going to leave it to you guys to explain it. I'm just going to try to be in the moment with it," Dickey said.
The 37-year-old Dickey (11-1) walked two and became the first 11-game winner in the majors, befuddling Baltimore with knucklers that ranged from 66-81 mph in a game that took just 2 hours, 7 minutes. He struck out the final two hitters, topping his previous career best of 12 strikeouts set Wednesday against the Rays.
"Yeah, it's surreal," Dickey said. "You almost get emotional out there, especially that last hitter. You hear everybody, like one big heartbeat beating. That's the best way I could explain it."
A longtime journeyman before joining the Mets in 2010, Dickey has won nine straight decisions and six consecutive starts. He is tied for the major league lead in ERA (2.00), strikeouts (103) and complete games (three).
The right-hander has an incredible 71 strikeouts and six walks in his past seven starts.
Braves: Right-hander Brandon Beachy, who is tied for the major league lead with a 2.00 ERA, has a partial tear in his elbow. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Beachy would see the team doctor before visiting Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion.
Rays: Evan Longoria removed himself from a game with Triple-A Durham after one at-bat Monday after feeling discomfort in his left hamstring.
Cubs: Ryan Dempster, who has been the subject of recent trade speculation, was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his right lat muscle.
Blue Jays: Right-hander Kyle Drabek will undergo Tommy John surgery Tuesday and miss the remainder of the season.
With Monday's performance, R.A. Dickey became the first pitcher with consecutive one-hitters since 1988. Here's a look at the only pitchers to throw one-hitters in consecutive starts since 1900:
Year Pitcher Team
2012 R.A. Dickey Mets
1988 Dave Stieb Blue Jays
1966 Sam McDowell Indians
1943 Mort Cooper Cardinals
1934 Lon Warneke Cubs
1925 Dazzy Vance Brooklyn Robins
1923 Howard Ehmke Red Sox
1911 Rube Marquard N.Y. Giants
Source: Elias Sports Bureau