When things looked bleak for the Mets about a month ago, with three of their starters out of the rotation, the Mets brought up knuckleballer R.A. Dickey from Triple-A Buffalo to make a spot start.
He hasn’t left the rotation since, and it’s not hard to imagine where the Mets would be without in 5-0 record and 2.82 ERA.
Tonight he’ll be vying to become the first Mets starter to win his first six decisions with the team, and the first Met to go 6-0 since Mike Pelfrey in 2008.
Dickey was on the ropes in his last start at Cleveland, but was able to make an in-inning adjustment to hold on for the victory.
The adjustment came at the suggestion of pitching coach Dan Warthen, who told Dickey to light a fire under the butterfly.
“I had runners on second and third and he came out and encouraged me to throw the hard one,’’ Dickey said. “It’s about 4, 5 mph harder than my comfort-zone knuckler. It was a good step in my evolution, learning to adjust in-game.’’
It’s a risky adjustment for a knuckleballer to make because there’s always the possibility the extra push could force the pitch to spin out into a slow fat batting practice fastball.