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R.A. Dickey is first knuckleballer to reach 20 wins in 32 years

September 27, 2012
  • New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey acknowledges fans at Citi Field in New York during his 20th win of the season.
New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey acknowledges fans at Citi Field in New… (Kathy Willens / Associated…)

New York Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey hit a major milestone Thursday afternoon and he did so in spectacular fashion.

With 13 strikeouts to tie his career high, the 10-year veteran reached the 20-win mark for the first time in his career with a 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Mets' final home game of the season.

The most games he had ever won in a season before this was 11 back in 2010.

Dickey, 37, is the first Mets pitcher to notch 20 wins since Frank Viola did it in 1990 and the first knuckleballer to do it since Houston's Joe Niekro way back in 1980, according to STATS LLC.

In reaching double digits in strikeouts for the seventh time this season, Dickey also increased his strikeout total to a National League-best 222. He allowed three runs and seven hits with two walks in 7 2/3 innings.

Dickey received numerous standing ovations from the crowd of 31,506 at Citi Field -- when he walked to the bullpen to warm up, when he returned to the dugout, when he took the mound and every time he batted.

Upon leaving the game with a 6-3 lead in the eighth inning, he tipped his hat to the fans and exchanged high fives with teammates in the dugout.

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