Game Two: June 18 – 4:10 pm ET
R.A. Dickey (4-7, 4.16 ERA, 4.81 FIP) vs.
Yovani Gallardo (1-1, 7.00 ERA, 4.03 FIP)
Gallardo has had some success against the Jays in the past, but I don’t really foresee him providing a big challenge for Jays hitters. His strikeout ability has all but deteriorated, his walk rate is below average, and he’s fresh coming off the DL so rust could be an issue.
He’s the type of pitcher who nibbles on the edges and gets hitters to expand the zone, not to get whiffs, but in order to get weak contact. He’s not the pitcher he once was, and he won’t attack hitters or get many swing and misses on pitches inside the zone, so the strategy must be to be patient and force him to go inside the zone with his average stuff.
Dickey has continuously gotten better this year, as his ERA per month has gone from 6.75 to 3.20 and to 2.45 in June. The peripherals he’s posted this year obviously don’t support a 2.45 ERA, and his K%, BB% and FIP have gone in the opposite direction of his ERA.
It just goes to show the unpredictability of the knuckleball. The movement it creates, the way individual hitters react to it, and the results it derives from start to start can be completely different.
Dickey has made a habit of turning it on as the year goes on, and I’m not 100% sure if that’s due to weather or comfort on Dickey’s behalf, but it’s clearly become a pattern. Hopefully this can continue nonetheless.
Next: Stroman looks to build off last start against the Phillies