R.A. Dickey was great on Friday night. R.A. Dickey was awful on Friday night.

Four innings, no hits, six strikeouts. Two innings (plus three batters), five hits, three home runs, three strikeouts, one walk.

This sort of inconsistency has been the maddening pattern for the former Cy Young winner in his second season with the Blue Jays. Worse, if there’s a physical reason for the fact that his OPS against has gone from .606 in innings one-through-three to .810 in innings three-through-six, it’s not showing up in a lack of velocity, a change in release point, or any other superficial way. I had a conversation last night with a reader I ran into while out on the town about this and many other things, and my basic contention was that there isn’t a whole lot of reason we can yet point to that would suggest this difference — or at least how drastic it is (because most pitcher will see some¬†decrease in effectiveness the more times they’re asked to turn a lineup over) — is more than just an unfortunate coincidence to a large degree. But the more I think about it — and I know a lot of fans are way ahead of me on this, and always were — the more it seems like the consistency he showed in his 2012 Cy Young season is the outlier, and what we’re seeing now feels more real.

It’s easy to be pessimistic, though, especially after a performance like that (yet again), and to forget that last season, after battling a stiff back/neck that sapped his velocity and made him far more ordinary than he is at full health, Dickey had a pretty excellent second half. Or… a pretty very good one, at least. It’s also easy to look at his age and think the worst, even though I would contend that he’s a far different pitcher than the kind of one you have to worry about that stuff so much on, simply because he’s not relying on velocity, even though he kind of totally is.

I don’t know. For some reason I’m still optimistic that it’s all going to click for an extended stretch. Maybe not one resembling his 2012, or the kind of guys the Blue Jays thought they were getting when they paid through the dickhole for him, but at least what we’ve seen this year, but with some of the suck turned down and the good turned up. Last night, though, my optimism was put to the test in a double-layered burrito of a question, which I will now put to you.

I reflexively said yes, but that sure isn’t where the safe money is, especially with so much ball yet to play before it becomes a question, if it even does. So… I don’t know. I don’t know. Maybe you do, though, so weigh in on our latest Smokin’ Poll: Will R.A. Dickey start a playoff game in 2014? Let’s see where your optimism is at!

Consider this your Game Threat!

Comments (311)

  1. I’m losing my mind watching this series. I thought they’d take at least 2, even with this dogshit lineup.

  2. The Strain was filmed in my neighbourhood. That + my extreme dislike of the sun + the health problems it causes me leads me to believe that I’m a vampire. But a vegetarian one.

    • How do feel about day games?

      • I hate them! I’ll watch on TV [but even then, I prefer under the lights]…but after getting a really, really awful burn a couple of years ago [seriously - I turned green!]…+ then going to another game where it was so mind-blowingly hot that people were leaving in the 1st inning [later that week they would close the dome due to extreme heat]. So now I never go to any day games.

        In fact, I don’t go to any games @ all. But I would if they had those sweet front row seats!

    • /ignore

  3. Makes you wonder what Mark would fetch at the deadline. If this road trip goes to shit then it must be considered. From what the asking prices are maybe the Jays could flip Mark toward a reboot in 2015 ? Not giving up by any means but wow it is interesting to think.

    If Headley is out there and can be a Jay for minimal prospect cost perhaps AA should get in done NOW. This next 10 days could really bury us. The team needs a shot in the arm

  4. And there go the wheels. Above our heads the roof is closing, symbolizing the end of the Jays season

  5. Sigh.

  6. This would be a nice comeback…

  7. So who do you bring in in high leverage situations these days beside Casey?

    Maybe Cecil when he comes back? Loup is still pretty good that way.

    But who else?

  8. Losing sucks more than winning.

  9. fuck why not give Glenn one more chance to get his first major league hit down 4 with 2 outs in the 9th?

  10. 13-16 start, then the 25-7 hot streak, and now 7-15 over the last 22 games. How frustrating.

    It’s been said before, but this team’s lack of depth is appalling. One injury can be survived, since Rasmus was out for most of the hot streak, but two injuries (Bautista and Lawrie) just destroys the roster, especially when a lefty is on the mound as we’ve seen during this series.

  11. When Bautista and Lawrie went down it seemed those were the two players you could least afford to be without.

    Turns out…

  12. I hope Bautista makes it back soon.

  13. March: 0-1
    April: 12-15
    May: 21-9
    June: 12-15

    There’s a significant chance that May was the outlier.

  14. At least it seems Bautista will probably be back in the lineup Tuesday. Maybe they’ll swing a trade for a 2B.

  15. Really worried that this is just a .500 team and we are seeing a big time regression. Jbats is huge no doubt but the teams lineup vs lefties is AA caliber

  16. 7-4 Rays over Balto

  17. Sucks. But this team is still a buyer not a seller at the deadline.

    And breaking news this just in: Santos is dogshit.

    • Can’t believe what’s happening to that BP this year.

    • Where has AA been?

      • Well the Orioles just lost their series to the team with the worst record in MLB. I wonder if their fans are acting as childish as some of ours.
        Verlander has been getting lit up this year but I don’t see Tiger fans screaming for him to be traded etc. etc.
        This loss hurts but if we can hang on to the lead or sit close to it we should be good when everyone is back and healthy.

  18. 10-4 Rays, so looks like lead over Baltimore remains 1.5 games.

  19. By the way you can all relax. I finally made it back up to the cottage which is where I was when the Big Streak of May began. Haven’t been back since. They shall now commence winning like fuck once again.

  20. Calm the fuck down please. Check what happens when we get JB back. If you can’t see that this is a much better team than we’ve had for a while I’m sorry for you. AA’s head should be called for IF he fails to swing a decent trade. Yes, we need a starter and yes we need an infielder. If he can’t get either or both then he’s not the right GM for us. But give him a chance to do his thing.

    Better he is behind the scenes on his phone than in front of the media wringing his hands, no?

  21. Hahahaha wilner is losing his shit on the radio

  22. Very quietly Seattle has become a contender for a WC spot. The west may get both as the LAA now have a better record than we do and Seattle is tied. We have 4 with Oakland coming up followed by 3 with LAA. The Jays better figure out, and fast, how they are going to overcome left handed pitching as they will see a lot more of them once teams see the dogshit that passes for a MLB lineup against them. My God-has it reached the point where I wish we had Sierra back?Yikes! Compared to Glenn et al Holy Fuk.

    Look I am trying to stay a little positive but after seeing them cough it up yesterday with a baloney BP, and seeing Santos doing his usual shit job when he is not up or down 10 runs, I am getting fearful of their position at the AS break. Boston ain’t finished yet-ahhhh Fuk, man.
    Like I was saying last week, our biggest need is not SP-It is a bat or two as we have no depth whatsoever ( NOT to dismiss the SP completely of course but it was good again today). Mastrianni spiked one out yesterday and we still managed to lose but holy fuk man, we need more steady pop from the OF-Is Quentin of SD on the market?
    I think my brother who was a LH pitcher, albeit not very good, at one time ,would salivate at facing them ( except for EE of course, especially with Melky “resting”)
    Now we get the first pace Brewers who are 19 over unlike the Chisox at 12 under.
    Ok, rant over. But please guys, get some fukin reinforcements

    • Im more than a little worried the Brewers are going to take this team to school. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

      • Relax. The Jays swept the A’s and the Tigers. They’re capable of playing the best teams well.

        That said, hurry back, Jose.

      • For whatever reason, the Brewers always seem to have Toronto’s number. I’m not expecting much out of this series.

      • Whatever.
        Can’t wait to get bombed in a stupid red bucket hat.
        Hopefully the roofs open

  23. I have a few hours to waste in Washington before I fly hone so please accept my nonsense for the next few hours. The problem is AA manages the Jays like a Rotisserie League. Multiple crazy moves every day. Most of the time no justification for the moves. No stability for the roster. JP did the same shit. Please look back at the Workd Series years of 1992 and 1993 and how Gillick ran the team. I was always about roster stability and some minor moves. I understand moved have to be made when people get hurt, but just like I said last year, AA simply doesn’t know what he is going as far as Roster Management and having depth etc. He has never dealt with a winning team. You just have to look at the Construction of the Roster. Also, Gibbons is the wrong choice especially when Francona was available. If the Jays don’t make the playoffs, AA and Gibbons must go

    • Huh? Roster stability in ’92 and ’93? Practically half the ’92 team was gone after they won.

      • He meant during each season and I agree with him

        • Right. You might actually want to look at how things unfolded towards the World Series years. Last time I checked, Toronto basically had a new everyday lineup — the only everyday guys left from the 1990 team were Pat Borders, Manny Lee, and Kelly Gruber — in 1991, changed up a few players in 1992, and then had a ton of new faces in ’93. But hey! Revisionism is fun.

          • You just don’t get it do you? I will spell it out so maybe you can understand, simpleton: The op meant stability of roster in each individual year; that is few call-ups and new faces during 1992 and during 1993. There was not the revolving door to AAA there is this season. The benches and bullpens were pretty much the same players. This is NOT a comparison of one year to the other but of each championship year individually to 2014.

            There. Do you comprehend now? Do you get it? Basic intelligence is fun, isn’t it?

            • That was for (the no doubt ironically named) King Dong.

              • The last time I checked, Toronto only won in ’92 and ’93. Anyway, you can bleat on and on about roster stability all you want. You’re trying to come up with a magic formula and “roster stability” seems to be a synonym for chemistry, which is dumb as fuck. The game today is very different and bench guys are, at best, replacement level guys. It’s not like a bench guy is going to replace what starting players provide.

        • Yeah but comparing the 2014 version of the team with the 92, 93 teams doesn’t make any sense. Those were championship teams. Gillick spent a long time building the farm and those teams (plus FAs like Winfield and Morris and Molitor) were the results. Keep in mind in both of those years the Jays were at or close to the highest payroll in MLB.

    • I remember things a little different.
      There was a change of 7 players between the 92 and 93 team.
      For the first time in history the 3 top BA’s in the AL were from the same team,in 93.Olerud,Molitor and Alomar
      Cito was known to stick with players through their cold streaks,to a fault.
      Gillick did tinker with the team.when asked which team he assmbled did he think was the best, the 92 or 93 team? He responded neither, the 91 team was the best he put together.And he changed that one for the 92 team.
      The team started to get better in 85 put didn’t get to the WS until 92. A lot of changes happened between 85 and 92.

      Also Francona was already signed by the time that the decision was made to let Farrell go to Boston because Boston hadn’t yet fired their manager.Francona was never an option for the Jays.

      When the 2013 team was constructed by AA The Jays were the overwhelming choice as WS favorites.The confidence in players such as J Johnson was so high that it was suggested that he be signed for 7/150 so he couldn’t hit FA..Nobody really balked at the idea.

      Shit happens . It’s baseball.
      But to lay the blame at AA’s feet,especially when everybody agreed he made the right moves at the time,is wrong..

    • There is absolutely justification for the moves.

  24. Odd that the ‘pitching scout’ ‘humour is gone’ troll disappeared just when the THTfan troll appeared.

  25. I’m going to the game on Tues., 0-6 this season.
    I’m feeling positive though. Positive!

  26. After watching the fuckup on Saturday I didn’t think I d be going for awhile. I mean I can watch the Bisons in Buffalo for 1/10 the cost. Anyway the brother in law has tix for wed afternoon so I’ll try again. Hopefully not a LHP and hopefully Bats is back to help out

  27. You have Kratz and Jimenez down in AAA who have hit lefties well. Glenn has to crowd the plate a little more it’s probably no wonder why it’s taken him so long to advance through the system. I think he can be good if he makes some adjustments. I know 3 catchers sounds dumb but the lineup against lefties has to be better and Thole is dead weight from Dickey anyways

    I can’t even speculate about trades because that’s all it is: speculation. Everyone can bitch and moan but until a deal is made you make the best with what you have and it can be made better.

  28. Daniel Norris is getting the hang of Double A: after a rough start, two very good games for 25Ks in 16 innings and a WHIP of 1.00. A nice trade piece or worth the wait?

    Also, on the WFAN Francesa audio page, an interview with Josh Thole where he kind of trolls Jays fans – “they LOVE doing the wave, they do it 3 or4 times a night” and “they’re hockey fans, they don’t know any different”. Totally feeding into Francesa’s unending need to make sure everyone acknowledges there’s no place like NY to play. (here is the link, scroll to the June 25th interview with Thole)

    • Wow that’s excellent for Norris.He should be at AAA at the latest next year. No way you trade Norris unless it’s part of a package for a Price or a Samardzija. And neither of those guys will be around after 2015 so that probably won’t happen. IMO AA will probably do a deal for a 1/2 season rental type guy.

  29. What trade target is more important at the moment.. INF bat or SP?

    • RH bat that mashes LHP

    • I know the White Sox ain’t very good. But outside of Dickey, look at the other 3 starting pitcher performances this weekend. Stroman, Buehrle and Happ all looked good. The hitting just wasn’t here.

      Hell the Jays even had a shot of winning the Dickey game if they’d had some more bats.

      A starting pitcher would be very nice, but at this point IF seems a greater priority.

      • *there

      • This team does not have a DH when lefties are starting.

        This is a big issue.

        • Bautista being out and not able to even DH hurt. Melky a day off also. With them you have something more like


          Then if Bautista plays in the OF you could have Glenn (Kratz would be so much better) as DH/C. Wish Lawrie wasn’t hurt. I’m sure a lot of lineups would look like shit missing a superstar, a key player, and when the next best bat against lefties is in AAA

          • Even at full health this team need production from DH against LHP.

            The cost of a real upgrade at SP or 2B is too expensive.

            The only way to the promised land is to mash the ball. Hitters get hot and cold…. so stack the line up to better he odds.

            • Full health and production from DH vs lefties would definitely put the lineup over the top. We’ve known for a while that a Lind platoon partner was necessary if not very much needed.

              I kind of agree about the cost for real upgrades at SP and 2B. I guess this teams best hope is that the starting pitching overachieves or just does well enough that a hot offense can score enough to win. Bullpen is a concern too though. It’s tough. I almost feel sorry for AA

              • At least it responded to the right person…

              • The pitching is either gonna deliver, be adequate (which is what my money is on), or struggle as a group.

                The only thing AA can really do is deepen the line up, and a Rh DH is what this team needs…… they can always mash their way to the playoffs regardless of the pitching.

                • Once you get to the playoffs, anything can happen.

                  Need the lefty masher bat and depth in case of injuries anywhere you can find it, but especially with the pitching staff.

                  The more I think about it the more I’m against selling the farm for guys. Even if they carry the team to the playoffs, as I said, anything can happen, and it’s a lot more likely that you lose than you win. There isn’t much left of the immediate future to sell, unlike when the blockbuster trades were made. Improve the depth, and if it’s meant to be its meant to be

                  • Looking at starters on probable playoff teams is useful too:

                    Detroit – top 4 starters are RHP, Smyly is only leftie and he won’t start in the playoffs.
                    Oakland – Milone and Kazmir are LHP, Gray and Chavez are RHP.
                    Angels – CJ Wilson and Santiago, and Santiago isn’t starting in the playoffs.
                    Seattle – all RHP.
                    Royals – Chen and Vargas are LHP.

                    Of course you have to get to the playoffs first.

                    Kazmir and Milone with both be pitching in the OAK series this week. And so will Wilson for the California Angels.

                    • “Of course you have to get to the playoffs first” is what I’m most concerned about.

                      Also, having that bat on the bench will come into play in the chess game of match ups which is the current state of MLB playoffs.

                      So yeah, I think that a RH DH is the top priority for this team, despite what all the talking heads are saying.

                    • I would also add that the Jays badly need a solid reliever. The bullpen is mostly atrocious. Having another arm in there that can be relied upon would be huge.

  30. Listening to Schulman and Kruk talk about how redhot the jays were and what dogshit they are now is depressing me – also it’s raining

  31. Tony Gwynn analyzing Barry Bonds’ swing

    Requires flash

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