Pennants aren’t always won by superstars, they are often determined by the non-descript, the long shots, the unknowns.
If the Mets somehow find their way into October, R.A. Dickey would have played an important role, and if he keeps on this pace, it won’t be a bit part, either.
Dickey will float his knuckleball tonight in an attempt to win his fifth straight decision to become just the fourth Met to win his first five decisions with the club.
This couldn’t have been foreseen when the Mets brought him up from Triple-A Buffalo, May 19. What also couldn’t have been envisioned at the time is that the Mets can move into first place with a victory and an Atlanta loss.
Yes, too early, but it beats looking up from a huge hole.
The Mets have won 17 of their last 22 games, including Dickey’s strong, one-run, seven-inning performance that included a career-high eight strikeouts last Friday in Baltimore.
“This is what we anticipated,’’ said manager Jerry Manuel, whose Mets are seeking their sixth straight road win after going 8-18 to start the season at away from Citi Field. “We’re built on pitching and defense. If we stay hot with the bats, we’ll be a really, really good team.’’
The Mets are hitting .314 with eight homer and 34 RBI during this stretch to Baltimore and Cleveland.
Tonight will also have the sidebar of facing Jake Westbrook, whom the Mets could be interested in at the trade deadline.
Westbrook, who is coming off ligament replacement surgery that cost him all of last season, has gone 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA in his last seven starts.