Tag:R.A. Dickey
Posted on: September 17, 2011 10:13 am
Edited on: September 17, 2011 10:15 am
 

On Deck: Lester gets another shot at Rays

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

Jon LesterJeff NiemannWild card showdown, part 3: Have you heard the Rays are pressing the Red Sox for the American League wild card? And they're playing each other right now? Oh, maybe you have. Yeah, it's been covered to death, it seems, but it's still as big of a series as there is right now. Boston's win on Friday means the Rays won't leave town any closer than two games behind the Red Sox. Lefty Jon Lester takes the mound for the Red Sox, and with another victory, Boston could exhale -- at least a little. Lester was roughed up by the Rays in his last outing, as Tampa Bay recorded eight hits and four runs against him in just four innings of work. That broke a streak of five starts of allowing just one earned run or less. He's 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA in three starts against the Rays this season. Tampa Bay's Jeff Niemann's only faced the Red Sox once this season, allowing just two hits in eight shutout innings while striking out 10 on July 17. However, the Red Sox won that game, 1-0. Rays at Red Sox, 4:10 p.m. ET

Division title in sight: Both the Cardinals and the Phillies are still alive in the playoff hunt, but while the Cardinals need a lot of help, the Phillies have already clinched a playoff berth and with a win would clinch the National League East title. Of course, with a magic number of one, the Phillies could clinch the division before Roy Oswalt makes a pitch if the Braves lose their 4:10 pm. game against R.A. Dickey and the Mets at Turner Field. The Cards would welcome that as St. Louis trails Atlanta by just 3.5 games in the National League wild card race. Cardinals at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET

Stephen StrasburgStrasmas time again: With a combined 138-160 record, there would normally be very little reason to take notice of a September game between the Marlins and Nationals. But this isn't just any game, it's a Strasmas outing, as Stephen Strasburg makes his third start of the season. In eight total innings this season, Strasburg has allowed one run and struck out eight, allowing five hits. He has not walked a batter yet. Strasburg's last start went just three innings after throwing 31 pitches. With an extra day of rest, hopefully we'll get to see him go a little longer this time. He's scheduled to make at least one more start -- Sept. 23 against Atlanta -- and could pitch in the Nationals' last game of the season, Sept. 28 at Florida. Marlins at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:37 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 1:38 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Heisey hammers homers

Heisey

By Evan Brunell


UpChris Heisey, Reds -- Heisey went deep three times in Wednesday's night game against the Yankees, allowing the Reds to split the doubleheader with Johnny Cueto on the mound. As the Associated Press pointed out, only Pete Rose and Jay Bruce are other Reds players with three home runs out of the leadoff spot, and Heisey now joins them in a performance that should give him an even stronger grip on the left-field job. "When you get a hit in your first at-bat, it takes the pressure off the rest of your day," Heisey told the AP. "It relaxes you. Nobody likes to go 0-for-4 or 0-for-5. One home run's a good day, let alone three." Heisey stuffed the boxscore with a 3-for-5 day with three hits (those three homers, duh), five RBI and four runs, reaching base on a fielder's choice in the seventh.

Cliff Lee, Phillies
-- As mentioned On Deck, Cliff Lee doesn't usually face a pitcher with an ERA lower than him, but that was the case on Wednesday when Lee toted his 3.12 ERA to the mound against St. Louis' Kyle Lohse and his 2.88 ERA. Well, Lee corrected that with his second straight complete game, stifling the Cardinals en route to pushing his scoreless streak to 23 innings on a career-high 126 pitches, giving up six hits, one walk and whiffing three. Lee has had three other scoreless streaks reach double-digits with a 14-, 16- and 17-inning scoreless streak with the latter two coming in 2008 and the 14-inning one in 2005. Only one player -- Lohse himself -- reached third base against Lee, hitting a leadoff double before moving over to third.

R.A. Dickey, Mets -- Dickey wasn't around to earn the win as the Mets needed 13 innings to knock off the Athletics, but the knuckeballer did everything he could to keep New York in the game. The Mets pulled ahead by a run in the bottom eighth after Dickey had left, but closer Francisco Rodriguez promptly blew the game to send the game into extras. Dickey went eight strong, limiting Oakland to just three hits and one run, while allowing one walk and striking nine out. Overall a fine game for Dickey, who is proving last season was no joke as a breakout for the 36-year-old, and his ERA drops to 3.76.



DownRamiro Pena, Yankees -- Poor Ramiro Pena just couldn't figure things out in the first game of a doubleheader against the Reds.  Pena received the start at third base as Alex Rodriguez took a breather and made three errors -- all on plays involving Drew Stubbs, as fellow Eye on Baseball sage C. Trent Rosecrans so sagely points out. Pena had two errors in the fifth, hitting Stubbs in the face with a throw. Pena then followed that up with a bad throw on a Ryan Hanigan grounder, allowing Stubbs, who had gotten to third at that point, to score. He then let one go through the wickers in the seventh before starting a double-play. He also contributed an 0-for-3 night at the plate. So yeah, bad day.

Neftali Feliz, Rangers -- Neftali Feliz was absolutely horrid, allowing four runs in the ninth inning to blow the game 5-3 against the Astros. How did it unfold? Glad you asked. Carlos Lee greeted Feliz with a double before the righty was able to get his first out. But then a RBI double followed, then an infield single, a back-breaking passed ball by catcher Yorvit Torrealba  to tie the game, then a two-run blast by Matt Downs. Feliz got one more out before being relieved, and the Rangers went quietly in the bottom half. Feliz now boasts a 3.21 ERA on the season. Not bad, right? But it's much worse than you think, as he's walked 15 and whiffed 19 in 28 innings, without adding to either total Wednesday night. Compare that to last season, when Feliz walked 18 and punched out 71 batters in 69 1/2 innings. This is a guy who was asking for a severe wakeup call and finally got it.

Ryan Raburn, Tigers
-- Detroit's had a fetish for Raburn for quite some time and while he looked to be delivering on that promise lately, he's collapsed in 2011 as a 30-year-old in his first year as a full-time starter. He won't get the entire year, though, if he keeps performing poorly, as he dragged his overall line to .204/.244/.336 with an 0-for-4 performance with three strikeouts. Why he was batting second, I have no idea. Raburn shifted over to play second base after starting the year in left, and the Tigers gave up on Scott Sizemore after yanking him around and shipped him to Oakland, where Sizemore has a .343/.425/.486 line in 11 games. Think the Tigers may want a do-over?

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: May 27, 2011 3:56 pm
Edited on: May 27, 2011 4:00 pm
 

Dickey has partial tear in right foot

By Matt Snyder

Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey has a partial tear in the plantar facia of his right foot, the Mets announced Friday afternoon. His status is day-to-day, according to press release from the team. Dickey told reporters Friday he's hopeful he can make his next start. The injury happened Thursday afternoon in Wrigley Field when Dickey scrambled off the mound to cover first base on a grounder and fell down. He said after the game he felt pain in his heel.

Dickey, a knuckleballer, is 2-5 with a 4.50 ERA this season. Most importantly, though, he's thrown 60 innings for the beaten-up Mets. With all the injuries, Dickey's been valuable to the Mets and they could ill-afford to lose him for an extended period. Fortunately, it appears he's just going to be dealing with pain in the next few days and should stay in the rotation.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: May 13, 2011 10:06 pm
 

Thole calls Mirabelli on catching knuckler

By Evan Brunell

TholeJosh Thole has had such a difficult time corralling R.A. Dickey's knuckleballer that he's started losing playing time to Ronny Paulino.

That poses a problem for the Mets, as Paulino is best utilized against left-handed pitchers but can't maximize his value as long as he's tied to Dickey, who can't control the pitcher he goes up against.

Dickey wanted to do a favor for the 24-year-old catcher, so phoned fellow knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who has given him pointers in the past, to see if his former personal catcher in Doug Mirabelli would be willing to speak to Thole. Mirabelli was a big part of Wakefield's career for a long time after joining the Red Sox midway through 2001 following Jason Varitek's season-ending injury. 'Belli stuck through the 2007 season with the team save for a one-month stint in San Diego back in 2006 when the Red Sox made a panic move to re-acquire the backstop after Josh Bard failed spectacularly in taking over.

“I called him and just chatted on the phone about different things,” Thole told ESPN New York. “I told him what I feel back there and then what I can do to correct it -- make my hands softer. After I called him, I caught R.A.’s bullpen. He sent me a text, ‘Hey, how did the bullpen go?’ I have plans to stay in touch with him and let him know if things are good, bad.

“R.A. had brought it to my attention and said, ‘Hey, if you want to call Doug, Doug would be more than happy to talk to you.’”

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: April 21, 2011 1:24 pm
 

Dickey has harsh words for Mets

By C. Trent Rosecrans

There's something about knuckleballers that have always fascinated me. The pitch is so unpredictable to even the men who throw it, that it takes a special type of person and personality to succeed with the pitch.

Is it any doubt the first tell-all book in baseball -- the one that broke all the rules -- was written by a knuckleballer? Jim Bouton was different for a baseball player and his book, Ball Four, proved it.

Now, if you're a Mets fan, you probably have noticed that squad isn't playing too well. R.A. Dickey's noticed as well.

R.A. Dickey"We have to find a way to be honest with ourselves about what kind of team we are," Dickey told the New York Times. "We can't keep telling ourselves, 'Oh, we're a better team than this.' We may not be.

"We've got to be honest about that and identify what we're doing wrong and do it better. That's the only way you have any real growth. If we want to reach the destination that we have set out, then we've got to be honest with ourselves about how can we take more ownership and what's going on around us."

That's a pretty honest assessment, and in my gig, I admire honestly. I'm not so sure how Mets fans would feel about this. I didn't see much chatter about it on the Mets blogs I looked at, which I found odd, except that for the most part people were wondering if MLB would step in and take over the Mets, like they've done the Dodgers. (Remember Mets fans, the last time MLB took over a team completely, they put Omar Minaya in charge, so be careful what you wish for.)

Dickey wasn't just talking in broad strokes, he also called himself out, including his 14 walks in 26 1/3 innings. The Mets have walked 76 batters in 18 games, the second-most in baseball.

"Collectively, each one of us has to own what's ours to won," Dickey said. "As a staff, we've got to quite walking guys, all of us, period, myself included."

So what says you, Met fan? You like Dickey's talk or just want him to close his mouth and get someone out?

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
Posted on: March 12, 2011 9:19 pm
Edited on: March 12, 2011 9:21 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/12: Castro, Ellsbury blossom

By Evan Brunell

CastroSaturday was a day full of star performances -- it was tough to whittle the list down to just three. Many of the stars were hitters, which comes as no surprise. Pitchers are only just now going deeper into games and transitioning from rounding everything into shape to competitively pitching while hitters are ahead of the curve.

3 UP

1. SS Starlin Castro, CHC: 3 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 4 RBI, 2 HR. Castro put on a power display Saturday, blasting two home runs and filling up the stat sheet. Castro is set to be the Cubs' starting shortstop in his first full season. While Castro impressed last season with a .300/.347/.408 line in 506 plate appearances, it was with just three home runs at age 20 and should add power over the next few years.

2. CF Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS: 3 AB, 3 R, 3 H, 3 RBI, 1 HR. Is Ellsbury a man on a mission to prove his detractors wrong after appearing in just 18 games last season and having his work ethic called into question? Now hitting .440 in spring training, Ellsbury could really turn heads if he returns to the lineup and builds upon his 2009 year (.301/.355/.415).

3. SP Zach Britton, BAL: 4 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K. The Orioles have to be thrilled with Britton, who now has given up no runs in 10 innings this spring. He has zero chance of breaking camp with the team, partly due to the major-league rotation being full and partly because there's no reason to call him up until June at the earliest to delay free agency another year. But don't worry, O's fans: Britton's coming to Baltimore ... soon.

3 DOWN

1. CF Roger Bernadina, WAS: 4 AB, 0 H, 3 K. Mike Morse is slated to be the Nationals' starting left fielder, narrowing the outfield competition to just center field where Nyjer Morgan is attempting to hold off Rick Ankiel and Bernadina. Unfortunately for Bernadina, just one terrible game could be enough to put him squarely behind in the competition. Given Morgan's incumbency and Ankiel's history, Bernadina already faced an uphill battle before flirting with the golden sombrero.

2. SP R.A. Dickey, NYM: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 K. Dickey's got a lock on a rotation spot, but if he doesn't perform up to snuff could be replaced in the season. Such is the life of a journeyman knuckleballer. He'll have these days from time to time -- but he can't have too many of them.

3. SP Carlos Silva, CHC: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. Poor Carlos Silva. This competition for the No. 5 spot in the rotation must really be getting to him. After the clunker against the Reds which featured five projected starters, Silva has a ghastly 16.20 ERA. He may have sealed his fate with this game.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

More MLB coverage
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: February 20, 2011 12:00 pm
 

Morning Pepper: Castillo finally reports to Mets

Castillo

OPEN MOUTH, INSERT FOOT: Over the last few days, the Mets (especially skipper Terry Collins) have made no secret of their displeasure that Luis Castillo had yet to show up to spring training yet despite position players not being required to report until Saturday. Collins said he would have hoped Castillo would have showed up early to show a commitment to the team and to winning the second-base job. The media jumped on the story, also excoriating Castillo. With a $6 million salary in the final year of a contract that has been a headache for New York, the former Marlin is a prime candidate to be released at the end of spring training along with Oliver Perez.

One problem: Castillo was dealing with a medical issue in the family, as his 50-year-old brother is set to have "serious" surgery Monday, and quite understandably was spending time with his brother and dealing with the issues, much like a smattering of other ballplayers were late to camp due to visa complications, medical issues, births in the family and the like.

"I know my situation here, and I try to be practice baseball," Castillo said to ESPN New York upon arrival after speaking to Collins. "That's not easy, because my brother is my family.

To be fair to Collins, Castillo made no mention of this issue in a mid-week phone conversation and one would think it smart to mention it. That said, this is egg on the face for the new-era Mets they simply did not need. (ESPN New York)

THANKS, BUT NO THANKS: Kevin Millwood isn't interested in a minor-league deal, turning down an offer from the Yankees on a contract similar to Freddy Garcia. (New York Post)

WELCOME TO TAMPA, HERE'S A BOBBLEHEAD: Need more proof that Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez are being looked at to take up the slack on the Rays? The team will hand out a ManRam bobblehead May 29 against the Indians. Damon's turn comes July 17 against Boston. (St. Petersburg Times)

HERE'S SOME TYLENOL: Concussions are taking center stage in the NFL, but baseball has its own problems. The good news? In recent years, baseball has been paying attention to the problem and concussion-related DL injuries are on the rise. Now, Jeff Zimmerman takes a look at what we know so far. The takeaway? Even 60 days after the concussion is drastically worse than the player's production leading up to the injury. (Fangraphs)

THE RED LIGHT COMES ON: Carl Crawford has a lot to live up to in his first season in Boston with a $142-million contract in hand. How will Crawford adjust to the increased pressure and media coverage? Just fine, it appears. (Boston Globe)

STAND ASIDE, Miguel Batista: There's a new author in town as R.A. Dickey plans to publish a book in the coming year that will display the "intertwining paths of his personal and professional lives, with stories and anecdotes from his childhood and through the approaching season." Dickey mentions he will be honest about certain affairs that may not please people, but will not throw anyone under the bus. Dickey is one of the more literate ballplayers in the game and is penning the book largely himself, so it will be interesting to see how the book turns out. (New York Times)

YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOOOOAAARRRD... YES!: Wily Mo Pena put on a power display, with second baseman Kelly Johnson saying Pena hit eight home runs for every nine swings. Pena's known for his power and BP is a great way to showcase it, but how about hitting a curveball instead? (Arizona Republic)

LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE: As baseball readies for Opening Day, Andrew Simon takes a... unique look at what fans of each team have to look forward to. Hey, K.C. fans: "The additions of Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur should help offset the loss of Yuniesky Betancourt." (ThePostGame.com)

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: January 28, 2011 11:09 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2011 11:11 am
 

Mets, Dickey strike deal

R.A. Dickey While we at Facts & Rumors discuss the merits of R.A. Dickey's case in our arbitration board, Dickey and the Mets have turned it into a purely theoretical exercise, agreeing on a two-year deal with a club option for a third. Andy Martino of the New York Daily News was first to report the deal.

Dickey had filed for $4.7 million in arbitration, with the team countering with $3.35 million. Dickey, a journeyman who has worked to master the knuckleball, has never had a multi-year deal before and never made more than $600,000 in a season, so no matter the financial particulars this will be the most money and security the 36-year-old has ever had.

Dickey had a breakout season with the Mets in 2010, going 11-9 with a 2.84 ERA, the seventh-lowest ERA among National League starters. Considering it was the first time Dickey had put up a full successful season in the majors, a multi-year deal is certainly a calculated risk, but if he can repeat the success he found in 2010 it will be nice for the Mets to have a rotation piece locked up with cost certainty.

UPDATE: Martino reports that the deal is worth $7.5 million total for the two guaranteed seasons, with additional money available through incentives and of course the option year.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Category: MLB
Tags: Mets, R.A. Dickey
 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com