Years later, Dickey performs better for Buck

R.A. Dickey earned the No. 4 starter's role out of spring training in 2006 for Buck Showalter's Texas Rangers.

Really, he earned the role because of Buck Showalter.

Yet Dickey's first start of that season became his last for the Rangers. Dickey, by then a full-time knuckleballer at Showalter and pitching coach Orel Hershiser's urging, allowed six homers in 3 1/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers. He spent the rest of the season at Triple-A Oklahoma.

He then departed as a minor league free agent.

Six years later, Showalter watched Dickey perform live from a dugout for the first time since that outing. All Dickey did was become the first NL pitcher in 68 years to toss a second straight one-hit complete game. Dickey also claimed the league lead, or at least a share of the lead, in wins (11), ERA (2.00) and strikeouts (103) pending the outcome of Matt Cain's outing with the San Francisco Giants.

"It was fairly poetic, I thought," Dickey said after the Mets beat Showalter's Baltimore Orioles, 5-0, Monday at Citi Field.

Read the full column here.