Knuckleballs and missed chances
R.A. Dickey’s knuckleball messed with Reds hitters just as much as missed chances tortured them during a 4-2 loss to the Mets.
New York seized control of the game with a four-run seventh. The Reds were 1-for-9 RISP and had 11 men left on base. A shot at a .500 record was missed as the Reds fell to 51-52 as their short-lived winning streak ends at two.
“We had chances a couple of times. They got the hits when they needed them and we didn’t,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said
*Mike Leake deserved better again with 6 1/3 ip, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. He’s allowed 3 ER over his last two starts and has two losses.
*Dickey had only 57 pitches thrown through five innings and finished with 86 pitches/61 strikes over 6 2/3 innings.
*Paul Janish was 3-for-4 with a run scored in his first game after being recalled from AAA Louisville.
*Brandon Phillips made a nice diving stop to rob Carlos Beltran to end the top of the third inning.
*Logan Ondrusek did not fare very well. Upon entering in the seventh with a runner on first base and two out, Ondrusek gave up three-straight hits and allowed the one inherited run and two of his own runs. He had a 1.53 ERA going in and no runs allowed in his previous 11 appearances.
*Jose Arredondo had a shaky start to the ninth with a hit batter and a walk but he escaped with a 5-4-3 double play and a line out to first base to give the Reds a chance in the bottom half.
“I remember he throws different kinds of knuckleballs – some hard and some soft. You know the basic rule – see it high, let it fly. See it low, let it go. But it’s tough when never see it every day of the week. You can see it high still, and the ball still moves a little bit and you won’t get a good piece.” — Todd Frazier on R.A. Dickey
“During the beginning of the game, once you see him, the more you get used to him and you know what to expect. Once he comes out of the game, the next pitchers that you see, it’s pretty tough on you. When you have a dude come in throwing 100 mph when you’re so used to seeing 70 mph, you be like, ‘Man, wow.’ It messes your timing up. There’s no excuses, but Dickey messed me up for the remainder of the game. I was so used to swinging at the high pitch.” — Brandon Phillips
“Hopefully we’ll put together a string of five or six or seven together soon just to take some pressure off people. The good thing is this division is still up for grabs. Even though we’re not even close to mid-stride, all these other teams are letting us stay in it. We seem to keep battling and hopefully we can put something together.” — Mike Leake
“I don’t worry about it. I’m going out there when the phone rings and just getting people out. I faced the Reds many a time when I was with the Cardinals, so I’m familiar with their hitters. With Bruce, I know he comes up big a lot of times so I didn’t want to give in to him.” — Jason Isringhausen on the decision to pitch around Jay Bruce for a two-out walk in the 9th to face Phillips with the bases loaded. Phillips struck out to end the game.