Another game, yet another tough luck loss for R.A. Dickey.
The man can’t catch a break. After limiting the Braves on Friday night to just two runs in seven innings pitched, the Mets couldn’t muster any more offense than a David Wright RBI double and lost another anaemic outing. Friday’s defeat now puts Dickey’s record at 5-10.
On the surface a 5-10 record looks discouraging and below average, but Dickey too many times has been the victim of poor run support and bullpen letdowns.
Dickey has pitched his fanny off and competes until the bitter end. His ERA (3.72) and WHIP (1.29) suggest that he is indeed a quality starter. Certainly not great, but good nonetheless.
Here are the stat lines from Dickey’s last nine games started:
8/5 vs. Atl.: 7 IP, five hits, zero walks, two runs and five strikeouts L
7/30 @Was: 6 IP, six hits, two walks, three runs and one strikeout L
7/25 @Cin: 6.2 IP, eight hits, one walk, two runs and seven strikeouts W
7/20 vs. St. Lou: 6.1 IP, eight hits, one walk, four runs and four strikeouts ND
7/15 vs. Phi: 7 IP, six hits, two walks, four runs and five strikeouts L
7/8 @SF: 7 IP, seven hits, zero walks, two runs and four strikeouts ND
7/3 vs. NYY: 5 IP, two hits, two walks, one run and three strikeouts ND
6/28 @Det: 7 IP, 10 hits, three walks, three runs and six strikeouts W
6/22 vs. Oak: 8 IP, three hits, one walk, one run and nine strikeouts ND
As you can see, Dickey has posted a quality start in six of nine outings, while pitching well in the Yankee game despite pitching only five innings. And in the other two vs. the Cardinals and Phillies, he was at least manageable. In fact, Dickey has not given up more than four runs since May 26 against the Cubs.
What’s not benefiting Dickey this year is his high number of walks issued. He has walked 41 batters in 140.2 innings pitched. This is not like the Dickey of last year, who only issued 42 all of last season. His career high for walks is 51 set in the 2008 season, which he’ll probably surpass this year.
While Dickey has been putting more runners on base via the walk, he has at least upped his strikeout numbers. With 95 strikeouts thus far, he is on pace to better last years’ mark of 104. That puts him basically at a 2 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio. His quintessential knuckleball just doesn’t have the same bite as it did last year, but yet somehow he has more strikeouts on the year.
I’m not suggesting that Dickey is a top of the line rotation ace, but the guy gives you all he’s got and then some. Remember this is a guy who is pitching on a torn plantar fascia. Most pundits thought Dickey would have a hard time replicating his success of 2011 in which he went 11-9 with a sparkling 2.84 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, and to some degree they’re right.
However, Dickey hasn’t been a complete bust and with a little better luck his season could have looked a whole lot brighter.
Sometimes if you don’t have bad luck, you have no luck at all.