Raise your hand if you had R.A. Dickey as your National League Cy Young Award winner at the start of the season.
That list is probably short, but the knuckleballer could very well find himself with the award when the Baseball Writers' Association of America hands out the National League honor on Wednesday.
The same guy who once served up six home runs in an inning, Dickey was the best pitcher in the NL this season from start to finish, as he became the New York Mets' first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990.
"It would put a silver lining on an otherwise sad season," Dickey said of a Cy Young Award while being honored at the Lou Gehrig Sports Awards benefit last week. "That's one. Two is it's something fantastic to celebrate with the fan base. I tell you what, I've never had an experience like I did in the final three or four games this year, with people coming to the park and the show of support. To be able to almost as a gift give that back to those guys would be a real treat for me. It would mean a lot to the Mets organization, too.
"So there's a lot at stake, and what kid doesn't want to win a Cy Young, right? So I'm hopeful we'll get a shot at it."
At 37, Dickey put forth his best season as a pro, going 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA and 230 strikeouts. He also led the NL in innings (233 2/3), strikeouts, shutouts (three) and complete games (five), while ranking second in both ERA and wins.
Plus, Dickey revealed late in the season that he had been pitching since April with a torn abdominal muscle, which he had surgically repaired last month.
Dickey's other two finalists include last year's winner, Los Angeles left- hander Clayton Kershaw along with Washington southpaw Gio Gonzalez.
Kershaw led the league in ERA (2.53) and WHIP (1.02) while posting a minuscule 0.77 ERA over his final five starts. He also was just one strikeout shy of Dickey's league-leading total, but also missed some time down the stretch with a hip injury.
Gonzalez, meanwhile, fell two-thirds of an inning shy of the 200-inning plateau, but finished with a 2.89 ERA and led the majors with 21 wins. He also recorded a career-best 207 strikeouts.
The American League winner also will be announced on Wednesday.
THE SPORTS NETWORK PICK:
R.A. DICKEY, NEW YORK METS