NEW YORK, NY - JULY 05: R.A. Dickey #43 of the New York Mets pitches in the second inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on July 5, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
R.A. Dickey goes for his 16th win on Wednesday night. With a month and a half to go, he has a good chance to be the first New York Mets pitcher in 22 years to win 20 games. There have only been eight 20-win seasons in Met history, and Tom Seaver did it four times himself. Before we get to the Top 5 games-won list, here are the other three 20-win seasons. Seaver won 20 in 1971 (20-10, 1.76 ERA), David Cone 20 in 1988 (20-3, 2.22 ERA; 10 years later he won 20 games for the New York Yankees, for his only other 20-win season) and Frank Viola 20 in 1990 (20-12, 2.67 ERA; he won 24 games for the Twins in 1988, winning the AL Cy Young). Here's the Top 5 single-season Met winners:
5. Tom Seaver, 21, 1972: His third 20-win season in four years, Seaver went 21-12 in '72, with a 2.92 ERA and 1.115 WHIP. He struck out 249 batters in 262 innings pitched, threw three shutouts and had 13 complete games. The Franchise was second in the National League in wins and strikeouts, to Steve Carlton, and he came in fifth in the Cy Young voting.
4. Jerry Koosman, 21, 1976: After coming close in his rookie season of 1968, with 19 wins, Koosman finally broke the 20-win barrier in his ninth season with the Mets. San Diego Padres pitcher (and future Met) Randy Jones was the only one standing in the way of Koosman taking home the Cy Young in '76. The Met left-hander finished 21-10, with a 2.68 ERA, 1.096 WHIP, 200 strikeouts, 17 complete games and three shutouts, in 247.1 innings of work. His 21 wins were second in the NL, and he finished second in complete games, third in strikeouts, fourth in ERA and fifth in WHIP. Koosman also won 20 games for the Minnesota Twins, in 1979.
3. Tom Seaver, 22, 1975: His fourth and last 20-win season for the Mets (he also won 21 games in 1977, pitching for both the Mets and Cincinnati Reds), Seaver went 22-9 in '75, with a 1.088 WHIP, while winning his third and final Cy Young Award. He led the league in wins and strikeouts (243), finished third in ERA (2.38) and innings pitched (280.1), and fourth in shutouts (five) and complete games (15).
2. Dwight Gooden, 24, 1985: He won 19 and 18 games once each with the Mets and 17 twice, but his 1985 24-4 season was the greatest ever for a Met pitcher -- and one of the greatest in baseball history. He won the pitching triple crown (1.53 ERA and 268 strikeouts to go with his 24 wins), and he also led the NL in complete games (16) and innings pitched (276.2). He had a 0.965 WHIP and eight shutouts as well. Besides winning the Cy Young, Gooden finished fourth in the MVP voting that year.
1. Tom Seaver, 25, 1969: Seaver provided the first Met 20-win season and the first Met Cy Young to go with the first Met World Series in '69. He went 25-7, with a 2.21 ERA, 1.039 WHIP, 208 strikeouts, 18 complete games and five shutouts, in 273.1 innings. He led the league in wins and was fourth in ERA, and he came in second place in the MVP voting, to Willie McCovey. Besides his four 20-win seasons for the Mets, Seaver came close two other times, winning 19 in 1973 and 18 in 1970.