New York Mets fans can remember the days of the one-two punch of Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman and how dominant they were together. Fast forward about 40 plus years and those fans can be experiencing deja vu as Johan Santana and R.A Dickey are destroying the competition. But who is Seaver and who is Koosman? Better translation, who is Batman and who is Robin?
Santana and Dickey are having phenomenal seasons and are rewriting Mets history. Santana (4-3) threw the first Mets no-hitter after 8,019 attempts and Dickey (10-1) now holds the franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings. They are among the top 10 strikeout leaders in the National League and are among the top 20 in most pitching statistic leaders. But what sets them apart from other amazing pitching duos is who they are as individuals and their supporting cast. When you take a look at the Mets, you see a team filled with minor league talent and a team that many did not consider to be above .500. You take a look at the National League East Division standings and many would think the standings are in the wrong order with the Washington Nationals in 1st and the New York Mets in 2nd. But the standings are correct and both teams are having remarkable seasons. These "minor leaguers" are proving they can compete in the big leagues and all thanks go to the dynamic duo of Santana and Dickey.
Johan Santana missed the 2011 season because of a shoulder injury and many were skeptical of how he would perform this year. While Santana's 4 wins and 3 losses record does not speak to the season he is having, his other numbers back up the claim of him being a top pitcher in the National League. In two consecutive games, he pitched 18 scoreless innings giving up a total of 4 hits and striking out 15 total. He is the first Met pitcher to pitch a no-hitter. He has thrown at least 5 strikeouts in every game he has started and has a WHIP of 1.13. There is no denying that he has pitched marvelously this entire season and it is his positive attitude and a leader on this team that has played vital to how the rest of the team is performing. Without Santana, the Mets would be a completely different team and every baseball fan can attest to that.
R.A Dickey was considered a nobody, someone who did not belong in the majors and signed minor league contract after minor league contract. Dickey is 37 years old and has been involved in professional baseball since 1996 and it is only fitting that the team with the slogan "Ya Gotta Believe" is the team where he is finding success. He has relied on the knuckleball and it has done wonders for him. Dickey makes a pitch that is so difficult to perfect look so easy when he is pitching. It is this pitch that has him with a league leading 10 wins. In wins, strikeouts, WHIP and ERA (Earned Run Average), he is among the top 5. In his last five outings alone, Dickey has struck out 50 batters and has only one earned run and tossed a one-hitter in his last start. This is not a one-hit wonder. This is a Cy Young candidate.
Absolutely no one would ever think R.A Dickey would be among the top pitchers in the majors today, but the numbers speak for themselves. He has undergone many struggles in his personal life and the hope he has to conquer adversity are seen in his pitches. It has allowed him to perfect the knuckleball and prove the naysayers wrong. R.A Dickey's career is no fluke and for anyone to say it is a fluke would be ludicrous because he is a reminder to everyone to never give up, even when people put you down and dash your dreams. Dickey lets his pitching do the talking.
So does it matter who is the modern-day Seaver or Koosman? No, and Santana and Dickey know that. It does not matter who is the better pitcher and while Dickey's numbers are better than Santana's numbers, without Santana, Dickey could not carry this team. Every hero needs a sidekick. Seaver needed Koosman. Both supported each other and complemented each other which made them a dynamic duo. Johan Santana and R.A Dickey are the modern-day Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman They are Queens heroes and New York's dynamic duo fighting for a common goal. To win.