R.A. Dickey walked slowly off the field following his 111th pitch, the last of his seventh inning. An electric Citi Field crowd -- the hungriest, if not the rowdiest, in years -- serenaded him, but Dickey did not acknowledge them. None of his teammates offered a handshake when he returned to the dugout. Near the bat rack, a conference took place.
Finally, after a span of minutes that seemed like hours, Dickey emerged with his bat. The crowd went ballistic.
Such was the scene Thursday at Citi, where Dickey became the league's second 20-game winner amidst the type of jubilant atmosphere that so rarely surfaces here. The Mets beat the Pirates, 6-5, on the strength of their knuckleballer's pitching and David Wright's tie-breaking three-run homer. If Dickey was not the National League Cy Young favorite before Thursday's game, he certainly is now.
Read more: MLB.com Gameday | mets.com: Gameday