LIVE Game Thread: Toronto Blue Jays (13-22) at Tampa Bay Rays (15-18) – 2012 Cy Young Award Edition


Apr 28, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher R.A. Dickey (43) delivers a pitch during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Yankees won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Once upon a time (way back in the year two-thousand and twelve) R.A. Dickey and David Price ruled all of Major League Baseball. It wasn’t even six months ago that both men were considered at least by Cy Young voters the two best pitchers in baseball. How quickly things have changed into now just the sixth week of the 2013 season.

I’m reading a headline on ESPN as I write this – David Price’s fastball isn’t as fast. I wonder how long it took to come up with that beauty? Sounds like the same story as we have been hearing in Toronto about Morrow, but this year has been BAD for the former first overall [Devil] Rays pick. Price appears to be a shadow of his former self to start the season with awful numbers including 10.9 H/9 and 1.6 HR/9. He only gave up 16 home runs all of last year – so far in 2013 he’s already allowed eight. Price’s strikeout rate is also slightly down from 8.7 K/9 to 8.1 K/9. Rumors are swirling as many wonder if Price must be injured. Only time will tell if he’s able to regain at least some of his former dominance.

April 2, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher David Price (14) reacts as he talks with pitching coach Jim Hickey (48) in the dugout against the Baltimore Orioles during opening day at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Dineley recently provided us some insight into the early struggles of Robert Allen Dickey. I’ve watched most of his starts thus far and even with his neck and back issues Dickey has looked okay to me (other than a couple of crippling innings). But is the eye-test fooling me? I do have a concern with the frequency of walks, which are significantly up at 3.6 BB/9 this year compared to only 2.1 BB/9 in 2012. Hitters aren’t chasing like they did last year. According to ESPN Stats & Info, hitters (mostly NL) chased on 1/3 of his pitches outside of the zone. They compared this to his last start on Saturday where the Seattle Mariners only chased 16% of the time. It’s also very interesting to compare the ESPN Stats & Info articles on Dickey in 2013 vs. 2012.

This magical storyline hits the diamond tonight with a 7:10 PM start time at Tropicana.

Screw a winning streak – I just want the Blue Jays to win a series.

Blue Jays starting lineup:

Join us for LIVE updates as the Jays try to clinch a series victory tonight.

Random News & Notes:

The last Cy Young matchup was Tom Glavine vs. Rogers Clemens on July 15, 2009 (ESPN)… At least Dickey won’t get booed off the mound if he pitches poorly in Tampa… Batters are hitting .302 off Price this year (ESPN)… Jose Bautista hasn’t homered since April 27th… Kelly Johnson is 15-35 with 12 RBIs in his past 9 games (ESPN)… the last time he faced the Rays, Dickey allowed only an infield single in a 9-1 Mets win (ESPN)… the Blue Jays are 5-10 since we started the LIVE Game Thread on Jays Journal more than two weeks ago…