What's buzzing:

Dickey's early-season struggles continue

The SportsXchange

MINNEAPOLIS -- Toronto Blue Jays right-handed pitcher R.A. Dickey is only two years removed from a Cy Young Award when he went 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA in 2012 with the New York Mets.

But those days are fading further into the rear-view mirror.

After a so-so 2013 (14-13, 4.58 ERA), Dickey has gotten off to a rough start in 2014. In the

final year of a two-year contract he signed with Toronto following his Cy Young season with the

Mets, Dickey dropped to 1-3 this season, losing the opener of a day/night doubleheader Thursday against the Minnesota Twins.

His line Thursday: 4 1/3 innings, five runs (all earned), seven hits, five walks and four

strikeouts. The Blue Jays ended up losing 7-0 in the first game and 9-5 in the second.

The walks didn't kill Dickey Thursday -- only one of them came around to score -- but they did blow up his pitch count. He threw 112 pitches, 67 of them strikes, in the abbreviated outing.

"I think the knuckleball has been moving a lot," Jays catcher Josh Thole said. "It's not like

it's been moving ball to ball and it's not even close. It's been moving a lot, more so than I've

seen in the past. That's been the contributing factor to the walks."

Jays manager John Gibbons gave Dickey a vote of confidence both during and after the loss Thursday. Dickey allowed five straight hitters to reach base in the fifth inning, but Gibbons let him try to work out of it. A bases-loaded double ended Dickey's day, but Gibbons said he isn't worried about the veteran knuckleballer.

"Dickey is our guy. It's early, he's here to get out of those innings," Gibbons said. "He ain't

going anywhere, I'll tell you that. He'll be fine."

Dickey credited Twins hitters for laying off his best pitches when he was ahead in the count

early, saying he just couldn't quite "put it all together."

"You're just not putting the whole game together. I pitched four good innings and I'm letting

some external something impact the inning," Dickey said. "Whether it's a ball that should have

been a strike or a ball that gets through a hole.

"But we're fortunate the other guys are going well. This won't remain this way; it's just tough

to weather."

With his knuckler moving better than it was at this time last year, the hope is Dickey will get

on track sooner rather than later.

"I've got 190 innings left, so I truly believe all the peripheral numbers will even out,"

Dickey said. "I'm traditionally a slow starter, so hopefully I can get back on track next time."

Instantly join a new league.

League type:
Free Yahoo League
League size:
10 players
Draft time:
Sep 4 9:00 am
View Comments (4)