R.A. Dickey Wins 20th Game of 2012, Makes Strong Case for NL Cy Young Award

R.A. Dickey Wins 20th Game of 2012, Makes Strong Case for NL Cy Young AwardThe National League Cy Young battle got even closer on Thursday when Mets ace R.A. Dickey picked up his 20th win of the season, tying the Nationals' Gio Gonzalez for the league lead.

Dickey struck out 13 and only allowed three earned runs over 7 2/3 innings against the Pirates to become the ninth 20-game winner in Mets franchise history. On the season, he has a 2.69 ERA in 227 2/3 innings of work, striking out 222 while only allowing 54 free passes.

Dickey's 2012 campaign is easily the best of his career, coming off of a 2011 season where he won just eight games and was on the losing end of 13. 

Gonzalez, who pitches against the Phillies on Thursday, could earn his 21st win of the year. Gonzalez is 20-8 this season with a 2.84 ERA in 193 1/3 innings. He's struck out 201 batters while walking 73.

There's also Braves closer Craig Kimbrel, who's only thrown 60 1/3 innings on the season, but in that time has been nothing short of brilliant.

Based off of the numbers, Dickey has a slight edge. He solely leads the league in strikeouts, but is second in ERA and third in WHIP. Gonzalez is only in the Top 5 in strikeouts, and Kimbrel just hasn't pitched enough innings.

Has Dickey's year — which will end without a playoff appearance — been better than that of Gonzalez and Kimbrel, who will both be pitching in October?

Sure, the 37-year-old knuckleballer will be watching his NL East foes pitch in the postseason, but he's clearly had the better year. The 2012 NL Cy Young belongs to Dickey.

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R.A. Dickey Wins 20th Game of 2012, Makes Strong Case for NL Cy Young Award

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