See what I did there with the title?
Seriously, though, what a wet fart of a dull thud of a *whack-off motion* of a way to start the season. Not that I have to tell anybody that.
Yet, it was a great time at Opera Bob’s, and a great day — thanks in part to the fact that @SporstBarHeroes (who you should still totally follow) learning that they’ve cleared the first hurdle in terms of getting funded! — even if what we watched on the field took a near-immediate nosedive into the shitter, as Jose Reyes pulled up lame in his first plate appearance, and R.A. Dickey struggled badly.
Some other things happened, too, of course — for example, Ryan Goins didn’t exactly look like the defensive dynamo he’s been billed as (or needs to be in order to justify having his bat in the lineup), the club’s pitiful bench and up-the-middle depth was exposed (not just in-game, with Goins and Izturis getting the reps, but with the Goins-esque Jonathan Diaz being the one called-up in Reyes’s place), Jeremy Jeffress looked like a guy who is only on the team because of some nonsense fear of losing him on waivers — but, with apologies to Erik Kratz, obviously what happened with the two front line players is by far the most important.
Reports have now come in saying that an MRI conducted today shows that Reyes has the same inflammation in his left hamstring that showed up the first time he had one done, early last week. Gregor Chisholm tweets that Reyes seemed encouraged by the results.
“It is a relief, that’s good news,” Reyes told Gregor, according to a second tweet. “Just showed some inflammation, no damage at all. Just need some rest, should be fine, back to play”
There is no timetable for his return, however, which certainly doesn’t smooth the sickly feeling in the pits of our stomachs. Nor does the fact that this isn’t a new issue, and that they flew him to Montreal and back and let him roam around on the turf over the weekend. However, as John Lott tweets, Reyes says he passed all the tests and felt it was safe to play (though not necessarily 100%).
Obviously its easy to question the wisdom of that decision now, and to wonder about the motivations behind not simply shutting him down for two weeks when he first pulled up lame — which they at least did this time, placing him on the DL before even waiting for the results of today’s MRI — but it’s especially easy if you’re an assface, frothing negative shit out your ass-mouth as though one bad game is representative of all that is doomed to fail about this now-underway season.
Some people need to get a grip, is all I’m saying.
Especially because I think there’s a chance that what happened to Jose Reyes — over which some level of non-asinine negativity is certainly justifiable — might even be less worrying that whateverthefuck is going on with R.A. Dickey.
I’m entirely just spitballin’ here, but the whole “today was not about results” thing from his last outing of the Spring, where he claimed that “what was paramount for me was to exercise my arm in a way where I felt good,” smells even fouler that it did when he first uttered it as an excuse.
Especially because of this:
Now… with this thing — which, FYI, you can click to embiggen — there’s good news and bad news. It is, of course, Dickey’s knuckleball velocity chart from FanGraphs, and what you can see about last night’s outing is that it tops out in exactly the same spot that it did during the period of last year when he was at his worst — when he was hurt. The bad news to take from that is, maybe Dickey is hurt. The good news, however, is… maybe Dickey’s hurt.
It’s hilariously impossible to diagnose an injury based solely on a thing like that, obviously, but the resemblance of last night’s velocity range to that period of last season is pretty striking. I wrote about the connection between injury and velocity and the quality of Dickey’s starts in September of last season, as Dickey was back up over the crucial 76 mph mark with his per-game average knuckleball velocity, and cruising through a 3.56 ERA/3.86 xFIP second half (which so many adorable comment mouth-breathers from last night had evidently forgotten, or willingly ignored just to pissily vent like little children).
His knuckleball velocity last night? 74.9.
That has to be better. He has to be better. Fortunately, so far it’s just one game — and it comes at a time in the season where it’s OK to think that he’s still got some building up to do. You just hate to be left wondering if, based on how badly he’s gone south in these last two games, maybe he tweaked a little something and isn’t telling anybody and is going to try to battle through it, no matter how much he sucks.
Obviously that’s huge speculation, but if there’s anything remotely close to true with it, hey! Playing with fire on injuries with an aging and fragile roster of players? What could possibly go wrong???