What are you in the mood for first, the bad news or the even worse details? Well, the disappointment comes in the form of the Toronto Blue Jays entering Sunday’s clash on the verge of being swept by their AL East rival, the Boston Red Sox, with a downward trend lurking in the backdrop. The dire-straits particulars entered the scene with the man toeing the Jay’s rubber attempting to stop the bleeding.
When a squad’s No. 1 (perceived anyway) receives that job title, usually a collective sigh of relief would allow breathing room for its fanbase. However, you know things are starting to get dreadful when R.A. Dickey‘s unreliable beginning to 2014 (and ghastly 2013) turns that supposed reassurance into a mutual moment of second-hand embarrassment. Compounding the anxiety was the notion of facing the other side of the coin, Boston’s cornerstone, southpaw Jon Lester.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of this tilt, where the seemingly unthinkable occurred. Dickey’s knuckleball was grooving to its own uptempo playlist. Speeds were impeccably mixed, and extraordinary command was front and center (zero walks should be considered a miraculous achievement, the first of its kind by Dickey in a Blue Jays’ uniform). On the other hand, the accolades would get overlooked by some if it wasn’t for the bailout assistance of reliever Steve Delabar; Dickey’s credit card has the postgame tab written all over it.
I will now hand over the good news — the Jays managed to keep their head above water and avoid the Boston brooms, as a clutch and heart-filled exhibition revealed itself. Now for the claws of the Bad News Bears, a black cloud remains over Dickey. The superb effort should only be filed under the bubble category, as the only “hope” presenting itself is that Jays’ supporters resist the temptation to fall for the tease.
Respect is definitely due, but the track record requires this presentation to transform itself from periodic genius to a consistent reality. — For now, let’s party.