For much of this season, R.A. Dickey has been the guy the New York Mets can count on to deliver. To be a dominating force on the mound with a pitch that belies that description. In the first half, it was to build on the storyline of the Mets being one of the more shocking team's. In the second half, it's been about stopping the bleeding.
Wednesday night against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park, Dickey could not be the Mets' savior in a 6-1 loss. He finished with nine strikeouts, but his knuckleball location was not spot-on -- too many were left in the middle of the strikzone, resulting in three home runs and five earned runs.
The knuckleball sensation has not been nearly as unhittable in the season's second half, but that's not to say he's been disappointing either. Couple that with the Mets' complete lack of offense and Dickey has to be flawless to pick up a win.
New York had a 46-41 record after the All-Star break. It's now 55-62. They've won three of their last 11 games. Wednesday's began with an RBI single up the middle by Brandon Phillips, but Dickey was able to hold it together -- even after the umpires asked him to remove the bracelets his daughters had made for him (and lasted 23 starts until now) in the second inning. The knuckleballer was clearly frazzled; he walked the first batter of the inning, but then refocused and struck out the side.
The Mets responded in the fourth with a run on a double-play groundout from Daniel Murphy. But then, Scott Rolen and Todd Frazier launched longballs in the fourth inning and the game quickly became out of reach ... as the Mets finished with only four hits: Mike Baxter and Ruben Tejada had two apiece.
Reds starter Mike Leake added to the lead, making it 5-1 with a single in the sixth, and Ryan Ludwick topped out the scoring with another single in the seventh.
While Dickey wasn't his best, you're just not going to win many games by getting four men on base.
|Final - 8.15.2012||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|New York Mets||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||4||0|
|WP: Mike Leake (5 - 7)
LP: R.A. Dickey (15 - 4)