However, the mysterious decision to insert R.A. Dickey ahead of schedule and having McGowan open the weekend series vs. the Baltimore Orioles was a puzzling maneuver that didn’t pay off. Wouldn’t you want your No. 1 starter taking the hill in a hostile environment against an AL East rival that has recently earned contender status?
Whichever the case, John Gibbons‘ “forward thinking” in this scenario was misplaced, regardless of the early-game success showcased from the knuckleballer on this night. As the game began, one could not help but be impressed by the back-to-basics approach of the knuckleballer’s increased velocity, resulting in more swing and misses; that is, until the pitch stopped dancing.
Dickey’s start on Thursday makes you wonder just how sustainable his repertoire can be when the lineup turns over for the third time. While his last two starts have instilled some faith, there was still nothing to save Dickey from the long balls that continue to plague him.
Bad omen of the night: at the exact same time of Jonathan Villar‘s three-run shot, the breaking news of Brendan Shanahan becoming the new Toronto Maple Leafs president hit the wire. An interesting evening indeed.