Last Updated: Oct 04,2012
Mets. Just won #20. He's a knuckleballer!
Grats, but there is more to this story ...
1. Pitchers don't develop at 35+, Dickey had eight years or so of mediocrity to below average then went to the Mets and 'developed.'
2. Knuckleballers tend to be VERY average pitchers, especially after age 32 or so. Look at both Niekros and Tim Wakefield. After age 32 or so your fastball tends to slow and a curve/slider tend to move less. By 35+ this is unheard of.
Pitching is all about control and knuckleballers have none. No control is the good and bad of knuckleballing but with normal lack of other pitches after 35+, there is more to the Dickey story than meet the eye.
edit: I forgot to add that knuckleballers do NOT have good SO and BB ratios like Dickey does. Remember the KB is unpredictable ...
So what are you suggesting then?
All your so called data makes the story even better then. The fact that he's come out of no where and had this amazing season really is phenomenal.
I hope he, deservedly, is rewarded with a Cy Young award.
It is really amazing - a knuckleball pitcher with a low strike count. They used to use oversized gloves to catch those pitchers.
On the other hand - I've read that the knuckleball doesn't put any stress on the arm which might be true if you look at the Niekro Brothers and Hoyt Wilhelm
NL Cy Young candidates are probably Cueto, Dickey, Cain, and Gonzalez. It will likely come down to Dickey/Cain because of the no-hitter/perfecto, respectively.
Just checked Dickey's stats.
From 2001 - 2009 never had an ERA below 4.62, prolly averaged 5.50. Also his WHIP was around 1.65, then plummeted to 1.19 the next year. This year his SO ratio magically jumped too.
Pitchers normally develop in around 3 years in their 20s, not after 8 MLB seasons and 35.
What I am saying is if it sounds too good to be true it normally is. Normally when numbers jump like this means enough PEDs that he could choke a horse, or maybe he was injured for 8 straight years but I doubt it.
How can PEDs improve the movement/control of a knuckler? That's the thing I don't get if you're alleging PED involvement. A knuckleballer doesn't need a good fastball. A fastball is just a change of pace pitch for a knuckleballer.
I mostly said there is more to this story, i just don't know what it is.
PEDs help pitchers recover, which at age 38 he should be tailing off not 'peaking'. Whether you throw a fastball, KB, or most junk pitches your arm motion should be the same and the pitch count is what matters.
Compare this guy to previous KBers and you will see striking differences. KBers have very little control, which is the good and the bad of KB. Dickey the last 3 years is showing great control.
The only real answer I can come up with is Dickey used to throw 90% KBs and now throws 10% KBs, but this would not explain much.
edit: I forgot to add that after never pitching more than 116.2 innings prior 2010, since joining the Mets Dickey is a durable starter at ... age 35+. Pitchers are notoriously fragile if not correctly 'seasoned' in MLB, which is part of the reason teams shut down guys like Joba and Strasburg after an inning count.
But again Dickey after being a very part-time pitcher 9 MLB seasons (2001-2009) all of a sudden he is a reliable inning chewer at 38. There is more to this story ...
Dickey didn't pitch a no hitter, he pitched consecutive 1 hitters.
That's some crazy accusations from kevincott. Dickey has been working hard on perfecting the knuckleball and seems to have gotten there. I'd be very surprised if there's anything more than that. As hard as the pitch is to throw, i don't see why that isn't a perfect plausible expansion.
In retrospect, you're right.. I don't know why I thought he had a no-no. He still would be in the running for it.
The KB is an unpredictable pitch, hard to hit and hard to get in the strike zone, it goes both ways.
KBers have relatively high BB ratios and low SO ratios, this is history and not me making accusations. My only real accusation is, there is more to the story.
Also history shows that pitchers don't develop control at 35 after being in MLB for 9 seasons. Also at 35+ you are known for breaking down and nagging injuries not at 35+ become a reliable innings guy, MLB history not me.
Interestingly enough, Dickey is actually injured now - he revealed after last night's game that he's been pitching all year with a strained oblique muscle that will require surgery in the offseason. Crazy to think about.
Fixed that for you
Oop, quite right. I wonder if maybe pitching with the torn muscle somehow changed his delivery or form or something, and somehow made his knuckler more lethal? :hmmmm:
I was thinking that too. If the pain isn't too bad, maybe he should have just left it!
The knuckler is not a pitch that's particularly hard on the body to deliver. In fact, a lot of position players mess around with knuckler on the side and coaches don't care as it's not going to put a strain on their arm like it would if they were trying to throw curves or sliders or something on the side. Rumor has it that Mickey Mantle had a knuckler that was very difficult to hit.
Dickey doesn't throw the typical KB. His averages mid to high 70's while most previous KBer's threw in the low to mid 60's. He didn't begin to learn the knuckleball until just a few years ago due to being hammered with his normal pitches and also several injuries.
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