On a night that was no stranger to the long-ball, it was R.A. Dickey of the Toronto Blue Jays who was affected most. Dickey lengthened his streak of giving up at least one home run to eight games against the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. Although Dickey managed to fan nine batters in just six innings pitched, it was the four bombs that the White Sox put over the fence that people should remember.
At this stage in his career, it should’t matter how many times Dickey is able to make even the best hitters in the game look silly as they harmlessly swing at his knuckleball. Whether he continues to be susceptible to giving up a high number of home runs should be of utmost importance. With the Jays currently clinging to a slim 1.5-game lead on the Baltimore Orioles for the top spot in the AL East, it will take more than a nine-strikeout night coupled with giving up five earned runs on five hits, four of which were home runs to keep any hope of making the playoffs alive in Toronto.
Dickey’s inability to be more consistent with his knuckleball, like he was in his Cy Young season back in 2012 with the New York Mets, has made him nothing short of a disappointment so far in Toronto. Racking up a better than average amount of strikeouts means nothing when you’re sporting a 4.24 ERA after a game where you haven’t given your team a shot to win. If the 39-year-old knuckleballer wants his craft to continue to be trusted by the Blue Jays and beyond, he will have to figure out a way to avoid giving up home run after home run.