Last night, R.A. Dickey pitched eight innings and allowed four runs on eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts, but fell to 1-3 with a 4.10 ERA on the season.
He threw 104 pitches, 71 of which were strikes.
I thought Dickey looked as good as he has all year last night. He struggled with his knuckleball in the second inning, but after that, he was crisp and efficient, and honestly, he deserved much better than what he got at the end.
After the game, Dickey spoke with reporters and said:
“It starts with me. We have to find a way to be honest with ourselves about what kind of team we are. We can’t just keep telling ourselves, ‘Oh, we’re a better team than this.’ We may not be. And 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 keep waltzing through the season and saying, ‘Oh, we’re better than this,’ or ‘We’ve had some bad breaks,’ or ‘The umpires are bad,’ we’re going to look back and kick ourselves in the butt because we’ve done nothing about it. We’re walking too many guys, we’re not hitting with runners in scoring position. If you can identify the problem, it doesn’t have to be psychologically so overbearing.”
In addition, Dickey essentially said the following:
- It’s not hard to see what the problems are with the team.
- He feels the pitching staff must improve in allowing walks, himself included.
- The team is making an effort, but everyone is trying to do too much.
That’s a harsh assessment, but Dickey is absolutely right, and I am glad he is being honest with the situation, rather than just hoping things turn around. The question is, can these remarks resonate to the rest of the team? I certainly hope so, and soon for that matter.
Typically, I am very optimistic even when things aren’t looking good, but honestly, I’ve not seen the Mets this out of sync in a long time. They just can’t do anything right at this point. Granted, there are a lot of guys, such as Scott Hairston and Willie Harris playing more frequently then they probably should be, and with Ronny Paulino out, their catching depth is extremely thin, among other things. But they have failed time and time again to do the little things, such as get a bunt down, or make routine defensive plays at all nine positions which, at the Major League level, must be made no matter what.
In addition, the constant mental mistakes have been just mind boggling, most notably last night, when both Angel Pagan and Jose Reyes made two critical base running mistakes late in the game which cost dearly, and to me, those are worse than anything else. But, this is all a part of why they are 5-13 and the worst team in the National League.
If they could improve upon those aspects of the game, as Dickey suggests, and not essentially give games away like they have so far this season, I think they would be in a much better position to survive slumps from both the offense and the pitching staff, and win some games.