Dickey gets past control issues while stifling Mets
Knuckleballer walks five but strikes out seven to beat former team
By Jamie Ross
TORONTO -- After R.A. Dickey helped the Blue Jays to a 7-1 win over the Mets on Thursday, the knuckleballer said he'd leave it to everyone else to build the storyline. To him, it was just another start.
Facing his former team for the first time since he was traded to Toronto following his 2012 National League Cy Young Award-winning season, the right-hander came through with his sixth quality start of the year as the Blue Jays downed the Mets in the series finale at Rogers Centre.
"It just happened to come against the Mets," Dickey said after he tied a season high with seven strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. "Hopefully, I'll have 20 more just like it."
Dickey carried a no-hitter into the fifth and didn't surrender a run until Lucas Duda went yard in the eighth to break up the shutout. But by then, the game was already out of reach, as the Blue Jays' bats recorded a five-run fourth inning to give Dickey more than enough support as the 40-year-old improved his record to 3-6.
He left the game to a loud ovation from the Toronto faithful, who hadn't witnessed a Dickey win since he threw a complete game against the Angels on May 21. He was in similar form against the Mets, allowing only one run on three hits despite walking five batters, marking the first start of his career in which he's issued that many walks and still won.
"Any time you come off and people are glad you pitched, it feels good," Dickey said. "I really appreciated that."
Dickey battled walks early on, issuing three in the second inning to give the Mets the bases loaded with two outs. But he came through with a big strikeout of Curtis Granderson to escape that jam and preserve the Blue Jays' early one-run lead. From there, the offense took over and Dickey settled in, avoiding any real danger the rest of the way outside of the Duda homer.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said that although Dickey struggled with walks early, the veteran hurler dug in the rest of the way.
"He gutted it out, he really did. He was determined," Gibbons said. "And then the offense took over and gave him a little breather."
Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.