The knuckleball can be a strange and unpredictable pitch on some night, seemingly fluttering with a mind of its own. Thursday night was one of those nights, where R.A. Dickey battled his calling card all night. Luckily for him, the New York Mets found it to also be a very difficult pitch to hit in the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 win over the Mets.
While Dickey’s pitching line will show that he allowed just three hits on the night and struck out seven Mets hitters, the Blue Jays starter was seemingly at odds with the knuckleball from the get-go, issuing five walks on the night. However, Dickey kept the walks from hurting him, including stranding three free passes in the second inning.
That was enough to enable the Blue Jays offensive machine to do its job. Kevin Pillar got the engine company started, plating Chris Colabello in the second inning with a sharp single to center. However, the real damage came in the bottom of the fourth inning.
After getting Colabello to ground out to start the frame, Mets starter Bartolo Colon gave up three consecutive hits to Russell Martin, Ezequiel Carrera, and Pillar to load up the bases. Ryan Goins did his part, cashing in Martin in a groundball to first, aided by a hard-slide from Pillar to break up the double play. The Blue Jays then followed with consecutive RBIs from Jose Reyes (single), Josh Donaldson (double), and Jose Bautista (single) to give Toronto five runs in the inning and blow the game wide open.
Dickey took it from there, shutting out the Mets until the top of the eighth inning, when Lucas Duda would knock a solo home run to right field to plate the Mets only run of the game.
- It was another impressive night for Pillar at the plate, with the center fielder notching another two hits. He now has 22 hits in 52 at-bats in June, good enough for a .423 average this month.
- Also collecting multiple hits were Jose Reyes and Josh Donaldson, both of whom continue their assault from the top of the order. That production has been instrumental during the current hot streak.
- Edwin Encarnacion received the night off on Thursday, allowing Bautista to DH and Justin Smoak to get a start at first base. It’s been categorized as a routine day off, but with the bumps and dents he’s incurred over the season already, Edwin certainly could use the night off.
- Dickey dominated New York over the first seven innings, despite the walks. However, it was interesting to see John Gibbons send him back out there for the eighth inning, especially with Dickey already having 116 pitches in his pocket at that point. Yes, the bullpen badly needed the break and we are talking about a knuckle-baller, but it still seemed like a strange call.
- Did I mention yet to go fill out your All-Star ballots and vote for Donaldson?