- Last Updated: 11:42 AM, June 25, 2012
- Posted: 2:24 AM, June 25, 2012
Talk about a buzz kill. R.A. Dickey was hyped-up for his nationally televised start last night against the Yankees and CC Sabathia was probably a little too excited.
A knuckleball has a life of its own. If you try too hard, you can overthrow it; you can squeeze the life out of the pitch. That’s what happened to Dickey in the Mets’ 6-5 loss to the Yankees, giving the Bronx Bombers yet another Subway Series.
There was lots of life at Citi Field because Dickey was on the mound for the final ride of the subway this season in front of the largest crowd in the ballpark’s history, 42,364. One former Mets pitcher who could relate to what Dickey has accomplished this season was in the house, too.
“I’m here to watch R.A. pitch,’’ Dwight Gooden said before the game. “His control of that knuckleball is amazing.’’
Dickey’s control left him in key moments against the patient Yankees. His streak of not allowing an earned run ended at
44 2/3 innings when Mark Teixeira lifted a sacrifice fly for the Yankees’ first run in the third. The next batter, Nick Swisher, crushed a three-run home run to right-center off a high floater of a knuckleball.
Dickey’s streak is the second-longest such streak in franchise history. The only one longer belongs to Gooden — 49 innings in 1985.
“I’m hoping to start another one,’’ Dickey said. “I didn’t have a great knuckleball, I kept searching for it. All good things come to an end or they wouldn’t end. The knuckleball is a fickle pitch and she did not cooperate tonight on a couple different occasions.
“A lot of times here you can hear the Yankees fans, but tonight I felt our guys were just electric all night long. You have to slow the game down, it can almost speed you up. You’ve got to find a way to take a breath and get back at the job at hand. I felt I was where I needed to be, I just didn’t execute a couple pitches.’’
Dickey had gone 11 straight games with a quality start and had not given up a home run since May 17. He did not get the loss; that went to Miguel Batista, who surrendered Robinson Cano’s go-ahead home run in the eighth.
Dickey’s success is contingent on taking the spin off the ball, but he was not able to do that last night as much as usual. Swisher’s blast put the Yankees on top 4-0, and it was 5-1 before some sloppy Yankees fielding helped allow the Mets to claw back and tie the game 5-5 in the sixth.
Dickey came into the night having pitched consecutive one-hitters, becoming only the 10th pitcher since 1900 to throw consecutive one-hitters, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He lasted only six innings, his shortest outing since May 17.
Dickey allowed five hits and five earned runs; walked three, struck out three, made an error, threw his first wild pitch of 2012, surrendered the home run and hit a batter. His ERA jumped from 2.00 to 2.31.
Before the series, the Yankees were labeled chickens by Mets closer Frank Francisco, who was put on the disabled list before the game.
At least the Mets’ chicken mascot is living the good life. Little Jerry Seinfeld was given a new home before the game, and will live at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen.
Yes, the Mets only won one Subway Series game, but they did save a chicken.
“Little Jerry is going to spend the night in the Lower East Side then he is off to Watkins Glen,’’ said Jeff Lapadula as he carried the chicken out of Citi Field in a plastic crate two hours before the game.
“Jerry will be able to spend the rest of the days basking in the sunshine enjoying fresh air,’’ said Meredith Turner of Farm Sanctuary. “This is the luckiest bird ever.’’
The chicken found a home on the night R.A. Dickey finally laid an egg.