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R.A. is A-OK in winning No. 20

Newsday frontThe Mets didn't win much here in their four years but there was no shortage of good guys to come through the Bisons' clubhouse in that time. One of the best was knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, a journeyman trying to revive his career in his mid-30s with a trick pitch.

He made just nine starts for the Bisons in 2010, with one of them being his famous "Imperfect Perfect Game" on April 29 of that year against Durham where he allowed a single to the first batter and then retired the next 27 in order.

Dickey was gone to New York soon after and has exploded into a potential Cy Young Award winner. Thursday afternoon at Citi Field, he became a 20-game winner in the Mets' 6-5 win over the Pirates -- the first for the Amazins since 1990.

Dickey is the first knuckleballer to win 20 games since Joe Niekro of the Astros in 1980 and the third-oldest pitcher in history to post his first 20-win season (behind only Mike Mussina and Jamie Moyer).

ESPNNY.com has a full collection of links to today's Dickey coverage in the Big Apple.

I really like Filip Bondy's column in the Daily News, where he says of the final out, "The same washed-up pitcher who kept dreaming of comebacks in the minor leagues, who jogged the streets of Buffalo and visualized striking out top major league batters with his new pitch, the knuckler, could barely contain the tears."

In the Post, great friend of the blog Mike Vaccaro wrote of David Wright's home run that gave Dickey a cushion, "Suddenly what you heard at Citi Field wasn’t the blight of another fallen summer; it was the hope of what the joint could really be some October in the future."

Click here to see MLB.com's video recap.

Click here to see SNY's video of postgame remarks by Dickey and manager Terry Collins. 

---Mike Harrington
Twitter: @BNHarrington 

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