Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
R.A. Dickey wasn’t the best we’ve seen him today — according to a tweet from Barry Davis, Dickey said that his knuckleball was garbage, and that the best pitch he threw was on his key pick-off in the second — and yet he was decent enough yet again that I must admit I found myself wondering if he might be on pace for his best season as a Blue Jay.
Ho ho ho. How very wrong I was.
Dickey’s wobbly nine hit, one strikeout outing brought his ERA down to 4.15 for the season. His FIP now stands at 4.62, and his xFIP at 4.61. Aaaaaaaand… almost across the board, those numbers are worse than where he’s finished in each of his Blue Jays seasons. Dickey, we sometimes forget, has actually been pretty decent!
But here’s something: though he hasn’t been as good yet as the numbers he’s finished with in previous years, maybe we should be comparing where he’s at now to his previous starts.
Ho ho ho, again!
Dickey’s numbers after 13 starts in each of the three previous seasons are, perhaps unsurprisingly, almost uniformly worse than where he’s at right now. And the one season in which he was closest to — and, arguably, better than — where he’s at right now was 2014, likely his best season with the Jays (best ERA, FIP, xFIP, strikeout rate, and second best HR/FB% and innings total).
Last season Dickey had a 5.29 ERA after 13 starts, with a 5.33 FIP and 4.78 xFIP (which I’m not sure why I’m mentioning, as Dickey routinely outperforms his FIP — thanks to the knuckleball’s tendency to produce bad contact, plus his defensive abilities and his pick-off move). In 2014 his ERA was 4.30 at this stage (4.33 FIP, 4.36 xFIP), and in 2013 it was at 4.66 (4.65 FIP, 4.38 xFIP).
Not a bad start this year!
Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s going to be as exquisite over the season’s final four months as he has generally been during his Blue Jays career. But maybe it bodes well? I mean… is it coincidence that Dickey’s knuckler wasn’t working so well today, when it’s just a little bit on the chilly side of shortsleeve weather? I’d be curious to see his splits by game time temperature!
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Anyway, so… yeah. Dickey was fine-ish. Ho hum, the Jays got a good enough effort — dare I say a gutsy effort! — from their starter. More importantly: the bats and the bullpen!
Josh Donaldson was a fucking boss today in the kind of way that he was on a slightly more regular basis last year. Not that I’m complaining or that he’s been anything but straight-up great! I’m just sayin’, last year was special. And it’s great to get those kind of feels again — as we did from Donaldson today, both with some incredible glovework, and a huge afternoon (a double short of the cycle) at the dish. And Bautista was good, Justin kept on Smoak-in’, Pillar looked like the hot streak version of himself, and I’d imagine other guys got hits, too. (Though, unsur-fucking-prisingly, none were Carrera, Barney, Goins, or Thole. Nor was one Edwin, which… for the moment maybe isn’t that surprising either? So I guess they didn’t.)
And Jesse Chavez looked pretty good (!)… um… in the low leverage type of situation we can really only feel comfortable with him in just now. As did Aaron Loup and Gavin Floyd.
I think some other guy might have pitched, too, but his command name is escaping him me at this point.
I dunno. They won!