When the Toronto Blue Jays acquired R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets two years ago, they thought they were getting a big-game pitcher they could count on if they had their backs against the wall. Tonight the Jays will be looking for Dickey to come through on his end of the bargain against the Boston Red Sox.
The Jays are currently pegged as -115 home favorites even though Dickey has lost six of his last seven starts. Dickey has struggled at times throughout the skid, but it certainly isn’t all on him – the Jays have scored just 12 runs over those seven games. Still Dickey knows winning is all that matters this time of the year.
”I have a hard enough time tending to my own garden,” Dickey told reporters. ”If I can just concentrate on being me and hopefully I’ll get us deep into the ballgame with a chance to win the game. That’s all I can do. And that’s all I try to do.”
After suffering a 14-1 lashing from Boston in the first game of the series, the Jays rebounded to take Game 2 7-3 thanks to six shutout innings from J.A. Happ. That’s the kind of performance Toronto needs from Dickey tonight.
He gave up two homers and five earned runs over seven innings of work in a 5-1 loss to the woeful Texas Rangers the last time he took the hill. Dickey put away the first seven batters he faced in that game and struck out seven while 75 of his 109 pitches for strikes, so that outing wasn’t all bad either. Still, Dickey’s 7-10 record isn’t what the Jays were hoping for after he went 14-13 last year. They were hoping they were getting the 2012 version of Dickey that won the NL Cy Young award after going 20-6.
After holding a comfortable lead in the AL East earlier this year, The Jays head into Tuesday’s action tied with the Yankees in second place in the division, four games back of the Baltimore Orioles.
The Toronto Blue Jays are set at +200 to win the AL East and at +1400 to win the World Series. They finish their series with the Red Sox Thursday before traveling to New York for a three-game set with the Yankees over the weekend.