What Dickey has done with his knuckleball has far surpassed what Showalter taught him. He has taken leaps forward with the pitch, learning how to control it and change speeds in ways Wakefield never could.
"It's a hard knuckleball," Baltimore center fielder Adam Jones said. "Wakefield's is big and slow, and you can see it. You still swing and miss, but you can see it. This one gets on you. It gets on you quick."
All Jones could do at times Monday was laugh. In his third at-bat of the night against Dickey, a ball started down the middle of the plate and broke out of the strike zone.
He turned behind him to catcher Josh Thole and asked, "What was that?"
Thole shook his head and grinned back at Jones.
"Whatever he figured out, you have to tip your cap to the man," Jones said. "I don't give credit to many pitchers, but you've just got to respect his game that much."
Dickey has been earning plenty of respect this season and is working on a streak of 42 2/3 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, the most by a Mets pitcher since Dwight Gooden threw 48 in 1985, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
"As much as any knuckleball moves, I don't know how he can control it and throw it over the plate consistently," Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy said. "It's a knuckleball that he can control and throw it for strikes. ... You look at the catcher, and he can barely catch them."
While Dickey has the most wins of any pitcher in the Major Leagues, he hasn't always been a success story. He once threw a below-average fastball and a curve that was nothing special. For that reason, he's different than a pure knuckleballer like Wakefield, and it's working to his advantage.
"You're not going up there thinking heater, but he still has that fastball," Jones said. "Obviously, it's not high velocity or anything, but when you go up there thinking about knuckleballs, that's pretty hard."