NL Cy Young Award: R.A. Dickey among finalists

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

Dickey would be the first knuckleballer to ever win the award.

2012 was another lost season for the New York Mets, but two pitchers gave their fans something to hold onto throughout the miserable campaign. The first was Johan Santana delivering the first no-hitter in franchise history and the second was R.A. Dickey making a push for the NL Cy Young Award.

After dazzling opposing offenses to the tune of a 20-6 record, 2.73 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, Dickey is in line to become the first knuckleballer to ever win the prestigious award and the first Met to take it home since Dwight Gooden in 1985. That's right, a franchise built around pitching has gone 27 seasons without winning the Cy Young.

If the award doesn't return to Queens, it will most likely only be due to voters discounting both Dickey's pitch and the disaster of a team he represents. After all, Dickey didn't have to pitch with much pressure since the Mets were all but eliminated from playoff contention in July.

The other two finalists -- Gio Gonzalez from the Washington Nationals and the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw -- lived in the middle of a playoff hunt all season and were still able to dominate.

Kershaw only won 14 games, but that won't hurt him since that stat is becoming less relevant both with fans and voters. The lefty led the league in ERA (2.53) and WHIP (1.02) and helped the Dodgers nearly steal the final Wild Card.

Gonzalez led the league in victories (21) and posted an impressive 2.89 ERA, 1.13 WHIP while striking out 207 in 199.1 innings pitched. The Nationals finished with the league's best record as the 27-year-old out-pitched teammate Stephen Strasburg and, unlike the phenom, took the ball every fifth day.

Both Kershaw and Gonzalez were phenomenal this season, but if Dickey doesn't win the award, it will be because people wanted to vote for a "traditional" candidate. Dickey was the best pitcher in all of baseball and he deserves this honor.

This presentation Wednesday night also could serve as the final act for Dickey as a member of the Mets. The two sides are working on a new contract, but there's still a good chance he gets moved this offseason -- a move supported by Jimmy Hascup of SB Nation NY -- in an effort to avoid losing a star for nothing the way they did last year with Jose Reyes.

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