Having pitched in excess of 900 innings over a ten-year span in the majors, R.A. Dickey has finally achieved spiritual enlightenment with his knuckleball.
The secret to harnessing baseball’s most mysterious pitch must lie at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, either that or there’s been some kind of freakish meteorological phenomenon during June aiding Dickey’s delivery.
For whatever reason, Dickey’s knuckleball did extraordinary things this past month, making opposition hitters look like knuckleheads.
He started things off with a complete-game shutout of the Cardinals on June 2nd, striking out nine, while knocking in the first run of the 5-0 victory.
Five days later, Dickey threw seven and one-thirds scoreless innings to setup a 3-1 win over the Nationals.
In his third start, R.A. The Rugged Man extended his shutout streak to a career-best 32 and two-thirds innings, before conceding an unearned run in the ninth dig of a complete-game, one-hit win against Tampa Bay.
He then replicated that result with another complete-game, one-hit win against Baltimore in his next start, striking out 25 batters over the two games to become the first major leaguer since Dave Stieb in 1988 to throw consecutive one-hitters.
After a hiccup against Nick Swisher and the Yankees, Dickey hemmed up the Dodgers for three hits and ten strikeouts in eight innings to notch his fifth win in June.
Over the course of the month, Dickey led all pitchers in strikeouts (55), innings pitched (48.1), complete games (3) and shutouts (2), while holding his opposition to six runs (5 earned) at an ERA of 0.93 and .131 batting average.
Dickey may do for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro what Tommy John did for Tommy John surgery.
But before all you aspiring knuckleballers decide to ‘Dickey Kilimanjaro’, remember it was Dr. Frank Jobe that performed the innovative surgery on Tommy John and Hans Meyer’s knuckleball was schmutz.
2 Julio 2012