About Last Night: R.A. Dickey regrets one pitch

In last night’s 4-3 loss to the Astros, R.A. Dickey allowed three runs on three hits with two walks and six strikeouts in six innings. Most important, he let up a two out, two-run home run to Matt Downs in the sixth inning.

“That’s the nature of the game,” Dickey told reporters after the game, “Tonight was a night where I literally threw one pitch I regretted, and it got hit out of the park. Normally, that doesn’t happen. One more little wiggle to the knuckleball there, he pops that up or he hits that off the end. That was the only pitch I’d take back all night. I’d hate to say I’m satisfied, but I feel like I’m in a good place with it.”

Dickey took a no hitter into the sixth inning. He faced 24 batters during the game, throwing 55 of his 77 pitches for strikes.

He is now 3-1 with a 4.45 ERA in five starts, and has allowed a league-high seven home runs in 30 1/3 innings so far this season.

“He was outstanding,” Terry Collins said. He’s really frustrated about the home runs. That’s usually not his thing. Obviously he threw the ball very, very well and gave us a chance. We just gave him nothing to work with early.”

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Michael Baron: Outside of the one pitch to Downs, Dickey was outstanding last night and deserved better than his ultimate fate. As Collins said, Dickey has been vulnerable to the home run ball early in the year, and pitching in that ballpark doesn’t do much to cure that problem. Still, he had insane movement on his knuckleball from the very beginning and, once again, continued to vary the speed on his knuckleball rather than regularly using his fastball as his off-speed pitch. That’s an interesting adjustment for R.A. because the fastball has been a key weapon for him since he arrived. With that said, his fast knuckler was between 78-82 mph and he made most of the Astros hitters look very foolish in the batters box with those pitches.

Dickey’s 4.45 ERA is not indicative as to how well he’s pitched this year nor does it represent how good his knuckleball has been overall. His signature pitch has more movement now than it’s had at any point during his tenure with the Mets, and if not for one bad outing and just a couple of mistakes, his line is probably a lot prettier than it is today.