Dickey's success spurs rotation competition

Dickey's success spurs rotation competition

NEW YORK -- Nobody could have predicted what R.A. Dickey has accomplished in 2012, not even Mets manager Terry Collins.

But the skipper said Dickey's success hasn't put pressure on the tail end of the rotation, or even redefined what should be expected from a starter on his ballclub.

"I don't think it's putting pressure on them, I think it's competition," Collins said. "I think they're trying to do the same thing he's doing."

Overall, Mets starters are 27-17 with a 3.51 ERA entering Wednesday -- which ranked third in the Majors behind only Washington (3.06) and the Dodgers (3.15). The rotation is anchored by Dickey and Johan Santana, but Collins said that starters Dillon Gee and Jon Niese have embraced the competition and aren't feeling any heat.

Entering Wednesday's start against the Orioles, Gee held a 4.43 ERA, but had delivered six consecutive quality starts. Niese's ERA stood at 3.82, and he's been a reliable starter for the Mets in 2012.

"You want to step up and do the same thing and be a whole part of it," Collins said. "The starting pitching on this team is very credible, and it has been. I think our guys have taken that competition and run with it and done a good job."