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. Re: Smoking pole

    Bro, there’s 3 months of baseball left.

  2. Assuming they make the playoffs I don’t see how he doesn’t get a start unless he turns into Josh Towers all of a sudden (and if that happened they don’t make it to begin with)

  3. Well said Stoeten.
    While Famous is right,there’s 3 months left.
    It’s a real question to ponder.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but hasn’t Dickey’s numbers been better in the second half of the season,especially in 2010,2011 and 2012?

  4. How the hell did you find that pic of RA…buy a lotto ticket Stoets…someone has to photoshop a parrot on a Edwin’s homerun pic…maybe I will..could be your next pic of a future Edwin post.

  5. I think a more interesting question is if what happens if they have to play the play in game and Dickey’s turn is up and he’s had the same type of second half?

  6. I don’t know why but I really like this “post-season probability” chart on

    From a low of 19% in April to a lofty high of 86% on June 6th, it’s a pretty great measure of the division. Right now the Jays are at 59%, which seems about bang on to me. I wonder if this poll will hit that number… my guess is much higher.

    Cool new feature with the poll, love to see more of those, and good article on RAD. I like to see some outside-the-box optimistic writing. RAD seems to be on the edge of fan favor, approaching goat status, love to see him pick it up and become at least a #3 starter here pretty soon.

    Hoping for a huge game from the Marcstro today (yes, I am still trying to make that nickname happen), the Jays could use some breathing room, Baltimore just 1.5 GB.

    • Here’s my take on Dickey starting in the post season, fwiw:

      Under the assumption that Jays win division, and the rotation is the same as now, Dickey will start game 3 because good Dickey is potentially fantastic for 4-5 innnings. I would have Buehrle buehrlin’ for game 1, and Stroman or Hutch (whoever is more consistent at the end of the year; I’d go with Stro at this point) going in game 2.

      The qualifier to Dickey starting would be that Gibbon will have his hook finally tuned based on this year’s Jekyll and Hyde act, and cross fingers for a longer appearance but prepared to rely on the bullpen. The hypothetical Jays playoff run will rely heavily on the bullpen, since it will be bolstered by the odd man (Happ?) out, from going to a 4-man rotation.

  7. ++++++++++++ Game Threat +++++++++

  8. From what I was told about Glenn standing far away from the plate, I’m guessing he pops out to first a lot? I’m also guessing the pitch was on the outside half

  9. I’d just like to commend Stoeten on the Title of the Post/Picture combo.

    Excellent work.

    Go Jays.

  10. Never mind Smarjklwzzkit if we’re in the hunt for any Chicago pitcher I’d rather have this guy (whom I’m sure is not available). What an arm. Dayum!

    • I’d sell the entire farm for Sale.

      Between the age, contract, left-handedness, performance to date and ability he’d be totally worth it.

      • I’m just as impressed with Stroman, given that he’s a year or so behind Sale.

        • That’s part of why I’d dump the farm for Sale.

          A core rotation moving forward of Sale, Stroman, and Hutch could cover the team for 5 years. That’s plenty of time time develop more arms after depleting the system, and these guy will be relatively inexpensive over that time.

          Fill out the bullpen and line up with FA’s and trades as time goes by.

  11. Can’t speak to the 1 game wc game but with the the playoff (DS and CS) format of 2-3-2, it’s possible to avoid starting Dickey , or whoever your worst SP is. He’ll start, it’s just a question of how long he’ll go.

  12. Wee-ow. Where is everyone? Do so many people have actual lives to be getting on with? No offense but…I’m surprised. Okay, SOME offense.

    Any DJF-ers @ the game today?

  13. Shit, Brad Glenn has to reach for everything. Stand closer to the plate, for fuck sakes! You’ll be able to foul some pitches off at least.

  14. Mastro-who? Good on ya mate!

  15. Stroman pitching like a boss

  16. Good for Mastro. That greasy outfielder hit a nice greaseball to deep centre.

  17. Yessir! Nice to see the kid do well. I remember they liked him a lot in the minors.

  18. the shot of those boys after the HR, awesome. Our future fan base!


  20. Well well well.
    Wasn’t expecting that

  21. The Marcstro pitching a gem!

  22. WTF are they thinking sending Dunn? Navarro is probably a step slower…maybe not.

  23. Do you smoke poles?

  24. He’s Stro Yo, and he’s the greatest pitcher ever


  26. Darin Mastroianni looks like Lil Bautista.

  27. Also Mastro is a slick lookin dude so i vote he sticks around based on that alone.

  28. Chiming in from the park. Stroman is filthy, Glenn needs a demotion.

    Go Jays.

    • After a few at bats you can tell Glenn needs to be demoted? Please pass me your crystal ball.

  29. So…. in need of wins and playing against three straight lefty pitchers and Bautista can’t tough it out enough to even DH? Cmon man… I mean I don’t know the extent of his injury but with every game being so important, he can’t just play through it and at least DH?

    • Really?

    • I would rather him get back to 100%. He’s our most valuable player, and we’re going to need him for the long haul. No use risking further injury, especially when we got two of our best pitchers going today & tomorrow (Stroman and Buerhle).

    • You’re an idiot. Also if he steps into a game and tweaks his hamstring and needs a DL, that’s an extra 15 games minimum he misses. As of right now they can still retroactively DL him if necessary.

      • As I said, I don’t know the extent of his injury. Lind was hitting while hurt, I just assumed that Bautista would be available to pinch hit at some point.

        • …so, if you don’t know about his injury, why are you spewing crap about him playing at DH?

          • …especially when he won’t be back til Tuesday? FFS

            • Last I heard they said he would be available this weekend. I am just wondering if he could pinch hit in a key situation and then have a pinch runner. I assumed he would be ok to DH this weekend if they said he would be available for this series.

            • Obviously he hasn’t been available to PH but the talking heads were saying thet he could be. Also, they were saying he may be able to start today. It’s a bit confusing given that but JB’s the last anyone should question.

              • …radio broadcast mentioned (Wilner, iirc) that Pat was called up largely because management decided to rest Joey Bats until Tuesday.

                • Fair enough, so I retract my statement having been given the new info.

                  • …and I retract the dick-ish tone of my two posts. I wrongly figured that the TV broadcast would convey the same info (I’m also probably wrong in assuming that you are/were watching the TV broadcast). My bad.

                    • Jerry just repeated the “Bautista being rested til Tuesday” comment from Gibby. Seems like the Monday off day was a factor.

  30. Why the hell was colby shading to right field with a power right hander…

  31. For once I agree with Pat and Buck. The kid (Stroman) has all kinds of stuff left and should be left in.

  32. Great game kid

  33. Holy fuck..Gibby you dolt.

  34. Why the fuck did they pull Stro. Folks in my section are pissed.

  35. Gibby’s an idiot for pulling Stroman.

  36. Fuck me gently

  37. FuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuckFuck

  38. Sooo the hype around Marcus Stroman might be legit

  39. even bloody buck knew that was a mistake

  40. Jays need bullpen + starter help which was known during the winter


  42. Well that escalted quickly

  43. Overmanagement loses games. Fucking Gibbons.

    • Overmanagement also wins games, such as in last Friday’s game.

      But yeah, pulling Stroman wasn’t smart. Maybe Gibby was having flashbacks of last night, not realizing that Stroman has the ability to work out of jams.


  44. I thought we had this game. I went to get a sandwich…my mistake. .dusty with two blown saves in a row

    • Not a blown save when he comes into the game in the 6th inning but a trainwreck no less.

      • It’ll end up being recorded as a blown save, I believe. It’s a weird system, but I don’t really care. Saves and blown saves are a stupid way to look at things.

      • When a pitcher leaves the game with a chance to win it (MarcStro), and you cough up the lead, you get a blown save, regardless of whether it’s the 6th inning or later. But like chiknpox said, saves and blown saves are a stupid way to look at things.

    • And we wont come back and win as We dont win games like Balt and Davis did the other night in clutch against Chisox and we failed to do last night (a big task needing 3)

      We still havent prevailed being down into last at bat this yr. its crazy based on quality of team we are by luck we havent done it… Yet its happened to us a handful of times

      3 trends that have kept us from being best team in baseball this yr:

      Uncharacteristic BB’s from all pitchers, give up 2-out rallies and lack of clutch hitting with game on the line/no “late” comebacks (we tied Cincy in 8th)

  45. Good job gibbon. Fucking weirdo lately.

    • I almost feel bad for him in a sense. First place, lots of pressure, missing key players, inconsistent bullpen and a GM that has made no moves to help the situation as of yet.

  46. It obviously hurts because Sale is so tough, to be up 2 on him in the 7th is huge.
    I immediately didn’t agree with the hook but it is defendable.
    I just can’t think of any good reasons.

    Almost 100 pitches – blah
    High leverage situation on a rookie – blah blah
    Innings count on Stroman so he can pitch in Sept. – blah blah blah

    We had the boot heel on one of the best pitchers in the game.


    Rally caps!

  47. Lol I love how the Sportsnet cameras have shown Gibby a million times since McGowan blew the lead

  48. With pitch counts, injury prevention and player safety being such a big thing in all professional sports these days, is it any surprise the Jays are limiting Stroman? Did anyone think he was going to pitch 200 innings this year? We’re in it for the long season, not Stroman pitching 7 or 8 innings every night. Gibby the best

    • I’m kind of with you on this. I don’t think I’d call Gibbons stupid for going to (arguably) one of his best relievers in a high leverage situation.

      Sometimes things don’t work out.

      Baseball, everyone.

  49. OK now I have a problem with bringing a lefty in to face a righty…and didn’t they just say Ramirez has 1 hit in 1 PA against Loup?

  50. Gibbons must be drinking the good stuff today.

  51. Seriously, if McGowan gets that out, which was even more likely than what happened, no one gives a shit about pulling Stroman. Hindsight is 20/20

    That said, McGowan is struggling a bit and the Jays could use another late inning bullpen arm along with other things but we’ll see.

  52. Tabby stop hyping francisco. Hes terrible and going to strike out. White sox arent scared of him

  53. Phat Juan!

  54. There’s hope…

  55. Doesn’t look like any bullpen decision is working today for Gibby.

  56. Nice job dudes…now we only need 3 runs, ok?

  57. Janssen. So good when push comes to shove.

  58. Beauty DP

  59. Time to get those runs back.

  60. Gose goes for 2!

  61. KAWA-SAKI!

  62. Spirit Animal!!

  63. This bench tho

  64. I’m so close to hating Gose most of the time and then he does something like that.

  65. Gose has been ok working the count lately. If he’d learn to bunt he’d have the 4th OF job hands down.

  66. Bunt single time Jose

  67. They going to pitch around Eddie?

  68. Kinda sad that two gibbons moves or non moves cost the jays two crucial wins

  69. Sigh

  70. Fucking team is soooo no clutch…. Ever… When it fucking matters. Best two opps to get a fucking late comeback andback to back Reyes & Melky do nothing

    • Baseball’s hard.

    • I guess you missed that game in Cinci?

      • He probably missed this game as well:

        Sure, we ended up losing that game in extras, but we were down to our last strike at the time.

      • He said it doesn’t count because they tied the game in the 8th. LOL!

      • Uhh cincy was a great awesome comeback and I havent missed a game hence I know we havent pulled out one trailing in last at bat.
        It’s hard to believe but it hasnt happened.

        What was great about Cincy game is we won one we had absolutely no biz winning (extreme example) but other than that we’ve had to literally be in control of games to win. Its frustrating because there hasnt been “the magic” good teams have. We’ve earned every bit of each victory

        • It’ll come.

        • You know that coming back from 8 runs down is far, far more difficult than getting a single hit in your last at-bat, right?

          Don’t forget they still had to score against one of the best closers in baseball in the 9th to win that game.

          • Agree with you as it was epic getting to Chapman! The one damn game couldnt watch this yr

            My frustration is us not winning those games back like Santos blew in the 9th in Pitt for instance. Great teams are going to have painful blown saves, we just havent returned the favor Chapman (tie game) aside and gotten to any closers.

            • Stuff like that is more dependent on luck (hit sequencing) than anything. I prefer to rely on actual tangible statistics which show the Jays offense to be one of the best in MLB.

              They’ve also had plenty of satisfying “clutch” wins that don’t happen to fit your arbitrary criteria: Melky’s double against Darvish in Texas, the 5-run ninth in Detroit…

              At the end of the day, wins all count the same.

              • Hit sequencing isn’t a product of luck. It’s a product of a good lineup that knows how to play situational ball

    • A player can’t just decide that he’s going to get a hit at a certain time. Stop being dumb.

  71. Didn’t expect to win today against Sale. But they could have. Should have. That’s what hurts about this one.

  72. Wish Gibbons had bunted with Kawa at first and none out. Did Reyes try to lay one down? I wasn’t watching.

    • No. I was hoping the same

    • Two games in a row where the crappy bottom order guys Tee it up for the big bats in the 9th and they do nothing

      • Shit, it’s almost like baseball’s difficult.

        • It is equally difficult for both teams. That is a fucking red herring.

          • That’s an even bigger red herring. One team is hitting, the other is pitching. It’s more difficult for the hitter to get on base than it is for the pitcher to get him out. Even more so late in the game.

          • It’s really not. Most of these guys can’t even manage to get a hit 30% of the time and they’re the best in the world.

  73. We still saw 6 more pitches than the White Sox 149 – 143 … the team has consistently seen a lot of pitches of late. Seitzerized I call it. Will pay off going forward. Stay on the boat.

  74. I’m more concerned about the fact that apparently his knuckleball is crap in cold weather. So…y’know…if he’s starting games in October…
    OK i’m not *that* concerned, but still. Like you say. Probably rather have d’Arnaud/Syndergaard in Triple A than Dickey on the roster.

  75. Hey Fukstik, where we’re you sitting today?

    • I was in section 231. Just got home ( had to take the wife out). We enjoyed the game but when my wife, who hasn’t been to a game in 5 years, says to me “why are they taking him out”? referring to the removal of Stroman as he works on a 2 hit fukin SO in the 7th, something is wrong in Gibbons head.
      Even my wife , who was getting into the PC with me after I explained it said ” How the fuk can he be tired at 95 pitches when he is 22 or so? And I explained to her that the Jays pen is only 50% good ( except Janssen) and she said “Then he”s a fukin idiot for removing him-too risky). She is more prescient than Tabby.
      I didn’t see a replay of the HR but I am going to guess it was a piss ass slider that he has been hanging over the plate far too much lately. I’ll catch the news later.
      Great day , extremely disappointed that 95 pitches of Stroman and a great game by mastronni or whatever was ruined by 1 stinkin pitch , especailly when Dayan is noted for swinging at first pitches.
      Anyway, I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but with this Blown save today, they have blown about 10 games now in the 7th inning or later- in .5 year! Unacceptable for a contender. Every team gets some but they are having far too many blow ups.
      McGowan now has 2 BS in a row and an ERA over 4-basically not good. But Santos who has been bad and Delabar ( dreadful) aren’t really options either . Don’t know what they’ll do.
      The offence against lefties is dismal. . Was weak but with JC and JB out, it’s really bad. Mastrooni provided a huge spark and we fuked it up. I’m with Parrot-Glenn looks overmatched to me just like Pillar-I say either play Lind and his 333 avg or play Gose who at least gives us speed.
      Losing Home games against a very weak opponent is bad enuf, losing them to said weak opponent when your have the game solidly in hand is heartwrenching. Ahh fuk it gotta go

  76. I know there is a few weeks left for players to sign from the draft but only 7 out of the 34 first round picks have yet to sign, including both Jays picks. What’s the deal?

  77. Balto and NY lost today so we are still 1.5 games up. But we’ve got to do better than this. That’s twice now we’ve had the winning run up in the 9th and lost.

    • This team can’t win while taking on injuries .It’s an all in scenario at this point. I would be willing to bet that Cletus and Sanchez are gone. I would not agree but hey thats me.

  78. With the Dutch playin I doubt we’ll be getting a new game threat.
    So without further ado.
    Here’s today’s line up

    Buehrle vs Quintana

    Yep,no Melky. Gibbons wants to give him a day off to go with the off day tommorrow.
    Hum, a lot of Bison players in the lineup.

  79. Just so those of of you that were advocating ad nauseum that we sign Drew for 14m+ or whatever , after one month in Boston he has played his way to the bench and they are discussing using him more ina utility type role! Good use of 10m for 1/2 year FFS. He is 1for 30 hitting about .101. Pathetic. Good call AA, he’s dogshit

  80. In the playoffs, Dickey should start in the pen as the ultimate long reliever. Run him out there once thru the lineup max, and you could use him every two days or so.

  81. A quick inning, let’s hope Buerhle’s got a concert to go to this evening.

  82. oh my goodness, the lineup. i mean, it doesn’t matter because we’re going to win, but still.

  83. anyone watching or listening – what’s the injury delay?

  84. Hey let’s trade for Beckham eh?

  85. The trickle down for Lawrie’s injury is killing this lineup. AA has got to make a move asap for a 3B. The upcoming road trip will be a massive test.

    FUCK ! Seirra ??? Fuck

  86. You can put it on the booooaaaaaard! YES!

  87. Cant believe Melky given day off w these injuries, off day tomorrow anyways and an important game to win.

    The way Quintana is going (low pitch count as well so going to be hard to get to their bp) and this lineup, 2-0 is reasonably insurmountable.

    Scared to death of this looming roadtrip as L here, yeah we’re still in 1st barely but only 6 games over 500. Things are pretty yuck right now

  88. K Jose…… time to swipe a bag.

  89. Well damn that was a game. Ochoa is the best goaltender I’ve seen in the tournament.

  90. Down again to this fucking team? Jesus. Glad I’m at work today, this series has been extraordinarily frustrating to watch.

  91. Losing 3 of 4 at home to the White Sox would be totally unacceptable and the height of ridiculousness

    • Given these garbage lineups (due to injuries) and all the lefties they’re facing, it wouldn’t be a surprise.

      The Jays aren’t talented enough to play through these kinds of injuries.

  92. Wonder why we didn’t DH Melky today instead of having Adam against the leftie pitcher?

    • Same reason he pulled Stroman yesterday, didn’t bunt with nobody out and Kawa at first in the bottom of the 9th Friday, and pulled Hutch after striking out the side on Thursday which is who the fuck knows.

      • I was ok with pulling Stroman, but I would not bring Dusty in with men on base. Totally with you on the bunt thing.

  93. Safe to say at this point that may was the outlier and June represents the real Jays. Not good enough. Need to do a tear down at the deadline.


  95. JOEY!!!!

  96. Fuck

  97. The lady rubbing on her phone + paying absolutely no attention to the tensest moment of the ballgame is the absolute worst.

    I’d love those seats!

  98. Quintana likely won’t make it out of the 7th.

    Happy to see Chicago’s whole bullpen are righties except Surkamp, who pitched Thursday and Saturday.

  99. UNREAL. Another quality start wasted so far. 6 outs to go. Come on Jays

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