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Let a Dickey Be Your Umbrella

On Umbrella Day at Citi Field, R.A. Dickey shielded Mets fans everywhere from the elements [1].

Let the Phillies have Roy Oswalt [2] (the big snot). No way he’s as perfect a righthanded addition to their rotation as R.A.’s been to ours. Kudos to Omar Minaya for making the under-the-radar acquisition of the century last December. Kudos to Jerry Manuel for not pulling him from today’s game until he absolutely had to. Just let R.A. Dickey do his thing and, more often than not, good things will happen.

God, I love this guy. God, don’t we all? For two months we’ve been invoking Terry Leach and Rick Reed to explain the element of delightful surprise R.A. Dickey has brought to Met pitching, how an emergency afterthought became a life preserver and then an every-fifth-day staple. Leach went 11-1 in 1987 when nobody was counting on him. Reed went 13-9 in 1997 and made himself a cornerstone of Met success for five seasons. In the future, I get the feeling that if we’re compelled to cite Leach or Reed, we’ll be able to say, “They came out of nowhere and to our rescue — you know, like R.A. Dickey in 2010.”

In the postgame interview on SNY, Dickey told Kevin Burkhardt there should be no doubt about hard this team works, citing the dirt on the uniforms of Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan after thirteen innings the night before. It was his way of saying “we never give up” without being banal about it. Typical R.A. Isn’t that something? We have enough of a sample to frame something as typical of the journeyman whose arrival in our organization we barely noticed when it occurred. I’d also say getting to one out in the ninth with a shutout the afternoon after a late night bullpenpalooza is Typical R.A.

And as if to back up Dickey’s thoughts on Met effort, Ike Davis said not being in the lineup yesterday allowed him to spend three hours in the batting cage and get some things worked out. Three hours yesterday led to a three runs on one swing today. Another great in-season pickup (of sorts) for those diligent Mets of Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel.

I’m really glad we won this Thursday rubber game, just as I was really sorry we lost the Wednesday middle game [3] and was happy we won the Tuesday opening game [4]. I’m thrilled we won a series. But I have to confess I’ve almost thought not at all about the standings while we’ve been taking on the Cardinals. I’ve glanced at Brave and Phillie scores and just took a look at the daunting Wild Card alignment, but I’ve stopped actively thinking of us being in any kind of race. Maybe that’s why the Oswalt deal isn’t fazing me at the moment. Does it really have anything to do with us for 2010, at least? We’re just some .500 team trying to get back on track, I’ve kind of accepted.

Yet I haven’t accepted that every game doesn’t matter on its own merit. My own personal experience aside, last night sucked because last night sucked. The night before was great because the night before was great. This afternoon’s result fills me with jubilation because it’s a Mets win engineered by guys for whom I root very hard. Even if this Met August becomes as irrelevant to the National League playoff picture as last Met August, these Mets demand our support and our attention. Whatever you think of Minaya and Manuel, their players transcend their performance even in the wake of the horrid several weeks before this very nice bounceback set.

Mets baseball can always be better, but when you’ve got a Dickey and Davis making you happy, it can’t be beat.