About Last Night: Dickey didn't have feel for knuckleball

In yesterday’s 4-2 win over the Braves, R.A. Dickey allowed two runs and five hits while walking four and striking out three.

The two runs came on a two-run home run by Martin Prado in the fifth inning. He threw 94 pitches, 58 of which were strikes.

After the game, Dickey spoke with reporters and said:

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“[This] was a great community win. … There’s days when you feel really dominant and there’s days when you’re just trying to survive. Today I was trying to survive the best I could. I didn’t have my best stuff, but a lot of days are like that. I’d say, probably if you have 33 starts in a year, you probably have 10 where you feel really good and things really fall into place. … But I made enough good pitches. It’s a goal of mine to be dependable, to give our team a chance to win, to be trustworthy when I’m thrown out there. I put a lot of pride in that. It’s a big deal to me.”

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Terry Collins said Dickey struggled with the feel for the knuckleball due to the cold and wind during the game, saying Dickey felt like he was “throwing glass.”

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Michael Baron: Part of what has allowed Dickey to be successful over the last couple of years has not just been his knuckleball, but his ability to use a fastball as his off-speed pitch in any count. He still needs to use the knuckleball predominantly even when it isn’t dancing as his fastball is ineffective without it, but the fastball is a key component to his effectiveness, especially when he doesn’t have his best stuff. There were several occasions when Dickey used his fastball yesterday which were either missed or fouled off, and that helped Dickey to change the Braves’ timing despite the inconsistency of his knuckleball during the game. Outside of the home run hit by Prado, there wasn’t a lot of good contact made against Dickey at any point, which is a testament to his ability to change speeds and adjust to the oppositions swing patterns instantly.

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For more on Dickey’s first win of the 2012 season, check out the Daily News, Newsday, and ESPN New York.