Dickey now has a chance to get that milestone 20th win at home Thursday against the sinking Pirates. He would be the sixth Mets pitcher to reach that plateau and the first to do so since Frank Viola in 1990.
“The fans have been so loyal to me all year and what a neat thing to share with them on that day,” said Dickey, who received many cheers throughout the day but none louder than when he barely missed hitting a grand slam in the sixth inning, only to be robbed by a leaping catch from Bryan Petersen against the left-field wall.
On Thursday, Collins called his team out, suggesting it quit in a 16-1 loss to the Phillies, and Friday he pulled Lucas Duda from the game after he failed to run hard to first on a pop-up. But with Dickey on the mound, all the frustration turned to opportunity, all the energy turned into rooting for something, someone, however fleetingly.
“There’s not a guy in that [clubhouse] that isn’t rooting for R.A.,” Collins said. “The organization should be very proud of the fact that they stuck with this guy.”
* Closer Frank Francisco, who still is recovering from an elbow injury, threw in the outfield before the game but was not available because of soreness. Collins said because of the setback he doubts Francisco will be available rest of season.