Veteran knuckleballer drops to 0-6 in Toronto this season
By Alykhan Ravjiani
TORONTO -- Thursday night ended in familiar fashion for Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey.
Dickey allowed three runs on eight hits over seven innings in a 4-1 loss to the Indians at Rogers Centre, and the veteran right-hander's record fell to 0-6 at home this season. The Blue Jays also fell to 0-8 in games started by Dickey at home, a result the veteran knuckleballer has no explanation for.
"You know, I don't know," Dickey said. "I don't pay attention to the splits like that. I want to put up quality innings for my team. I've got a little note card in my locker that says 'no negativity allowed' and that's part of it.
"I think it's coincidental to be honest with you. I remember last year it was kind of the same and then I went 8- or 9-1 [to end the year.] If I keep pitching well it's going to turn. I've just got to keep doing my part."
Dickey was outdueled on Thursday by Carlos Carrasco, who spun 7 1/3 strong innings and struck out 14 to extend Cleveland's franchise-record-tying win streak to 13 games.
Much of Dickey's record at home is a reflection of both the competition and subsequent run support the former Cy Young Award winner has received. Including Thursday's loss, the Blue Jays have averaged 3.2 runs of support per game for Dickey, the lowest on the Blue Jays' staff, while he's also been opposed by the likes of Clayton Kershaw, David Price, Jake Odorizzi, and Chris Sale.
"At some point, you've got to tip your cap to the other guy," said Dickey, who pitched his 58th straight home start of at least five innings. "[Carrasco] pitched a heck of a game and it's always forward. We've got another opportunity tomorrow to try and put this behind us as quickly as possible."
While Dickey surrendered a pair of solo home runs, he also limited the Indians' red-hot offense to two hits after the fourth inning. Dickey's overall record in June concludes at 3-3, but the 41-year-old has quietly strung together back-to-back strong months, which bodes well for the Blue Jays' staff and his personal fortunes at home moving forward.
"I felt like I had a pretty good [knuckleball] from the beginning," Dickey said "They ran into a few that didn't do much. For the most part, the velocity was good, the movement was good, I was changing speeds pretty well -- innings three to seven, in particular. On another night I could have thrown a complete game."
"I've been feeling great. There's a lot of reason for optimism as far as I'm concerned with my personal growth throughout the year and I'm looking forward to keep competing."
Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.