His memorable year began with a climb to the 19,341-foot Uhuru Peak of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
"He was taking his career and putting it in jeopardy, putting it in harm's way," Collins said. "You don't know what's going to happen. But it wasn't about him. It has never been about him."
Dickey joined Washington's Gio Gonzalez as the top winners in the majors — until Gonzalez beat the Phillies to improve his record to 21-8. They figure to duel for the NL Cy Young Award.
Dickey fell behind 2-0 and 3-1 and overcame an outstanding, climbing catch by Snider more than 2 feet above the right-field wall that robbed Mike Baxter of a tying home run in the second inning.
Former Texas teammate Rod Barajas hit an opposite-field RBI double that hopped the right-field wall in the second, and Jordy Mercer following with a run-scoring infield single.
Ike Davis led off the bottom half with his 31st homer, but Barajas boosted the lead to 3-1 when he homered on an 0-2 pitch in the fourth, a drive over the old 16-foot wall in left. Kevin Correia (11-11) gave up Scott Hairston's RBI single in the fourth and Murphy's tying single in the fifth before Wright hit an opposite-field drive to right for his 21st home run this season and a 6-3 lead.
Dickey was watching on TV in the clubhouse at the time.
"There were times he picked us up and really carried us as a team on his back," said Wright, happy to provide the hit that made the difference.
Dickey said after the seventh inning he was "pooped," but Collins sent him out for the eighth.
"I said, look, this ballpark is filled with energy today. Use it to your advantage," the manager recalled. "These people deserve to see you walk off the mound."
Responded Dickey: "Don't leave me hanging."
Jon Rauch, pitching on his 34th birthday, came in after a two-out walk, finished the eighth and allowed Alex Presley's two-run homer in the nervy ninth. Bobby Parnell retired Josh Harrison on a groundout and Jose Tabata on a flyout for his fifth save.
Dickey came back on the field for handshakes and soaked in the fans' love.
"I feel it in my face. I don't know if that makes any sense," Dickey said. "I want to get emotional. It's hard because we've had the type of season that we've had."
His family stayed back in Nashville, Tenn. — the kids are in school — but planned to meet him in Atlanta on Thursday night for the start of the Mets' final trip. He had some close friends at the game.
Through all the tough times, Dickey pictured this type of success in his mind.
"I never abandoned hope. I always held that out," he said. "My hope always outweighed my doubt, and that's what kind of kept me going."
NOTES: Pittsburgh, which led the NL Central at the All-Star break, lost for the 20th time in 26 games and dropped to 76-80. ... Snider gave the Pirates a memory with one of the best defensive plays of the season. He dug his cleats into the chain-link fence, hooked his left arm on top of the wall in front of the Mo's Zone seats, hoisted himself up and grabbed Baxter's drive in the webbing of the glove on his right hand well about the 8-foot wall. ... Andrew McCutchen bruised his left knee on a failed attempt at a diving catch on a soft fly to center in the seventh inning. He went 0 for 4, dropping to .332 and giving up the NL batting lead to San Francisco's Buster Posey, who went 2 for 4 and is hitting .333. ... The Mets drew 2,242,803 to Citi Field this year, down from 3.15 million in 2009, 2.56 million in 2010 and 2.35 million last year. This is the team's lowest home attendance since 2.19 million at Shea Stadium in 2003. ... Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez shaved off his mustache before the game in a charity fundraiser.
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