The New York Mets aren’t playing for anything but pride, now. One source of pride: R.A. Dickey, who just became the first in Show to win his eighteenth, a nifty 5-2 conquest of the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday afternoon.
It almost doesn’t matter whether Dickey pitches on the road, as he did Wednesday, or at home this season. His splits are nearly dead-even. His strikeouts-per-nine differential between Citi Field and the great beyond is -1.1—he gets one more strikeout away. He’s a little more hittable on the road (sixteen more hits away; a mere 37 points higher in the batting average against him), but his defence is a little more potent at home. (The batting average on balls in play against him is 59 points higher on the road.)
His ERA is only 36 points higher on the road; he’s 8-1 at Citi Field and 9-3 as a traveling man. He’s thrown only one less complete game on the road than at home, and one less shutout in the bargain; he’s walked only two more on the road than at home, but he’s struck out twelve more on the road.
Dickey is even pretty even when you look at him against .500+ teams and .500- teams. Against the .500- teams he’s 9-1/1.72; against the .500+ teams, he’s 8-3/3.53. When you’re +1.81 higher against the winning teams, you’re not exactly a pushover, and you’re doing just about what a good pitcher should do between the two. You expect the better teams to do a little damage even against a likely Hall of Famer; if you’re giving up +2.25 or better against the winning teams, though, that’s when you’re flirting with big trouble.
He was a big reason the Mets looked so good in the first half of the season: he didn’t lose in May or June, and he posted a 1.38 ERA over those two months. Now he’s one of the better reasons to keep an eye on the Mets, even as they’re all but mathematically eliminated, and the club starts looking toward their 2013 options. It’s not for nothing that analysts through this date are divided on whether the Mets should pick up his 2013 option or buy him out for $300,000 and invest the rest on solidifying the lineup or the farm.