R.A. Dickey rules

Hey, you know who has had a nice season? R.A. Dickey.

Dickey looked atypically hittable in the early innings of the Mets’ 6-3 win over the Pirates on Thursday, then characteristically dominant late. By the top of the 8th — when Dickey came out despite 111 pitches already on his ledger — the Pirates appeared overmatched, just sort of haplessly waving at knuckleballs. If you missed it: Same thing you’ve seen all year.

With two outs and behind in the count, Travis Snider managed to foul off a few knuckleballs, then lay off a few more to draw a walk. Terry Collins pulled Dickey after his 128th pitch put Snider on first base, and the knuckleballer walked off the field to a standing ovation.

One too-exciting ninth inning later, Dickey was officially the Mets’ first 20-game winner since Frank Viola did it in 1990. Pitcher wins, you know — whatever. There are better ways to show how awesome Dickey has been this season, for sure. The 222 strikeouts and 2.69 ERA over 227 2/3 innings are nice places to start. But if celebrating this particular milestone means celebrating Dickey’s 2012, so be it. Plus, it’s not exactly as if he’s benefited from the 1927 Yankees’ offense.

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