breaking news

Henry County hotel evacuated after man walked in with firearms

Dickey’s results not great, but he believes he’s close to ready


LAKELAND, Fla. – He worked 4 1/3 innings and was charged with eight hits and six runs, five of them earned, but the Braves’ R.A. Dickey walked away from Wednesday’s 8-6 loss to the Tigers feeling pretty good about where things stand for the aging knuckleballer with the regular season looming in two weeks.

His 7.71 ERA in three Grapefruit League starts might not inspire confidence from Braves fans who aren’t familiar with the recent work of a 42-year-old former Cy Young Award winner, who lost his spot in Toronto’s starting rotation late last season, but Dickey said he’s ready. Or, at least, close.

“It’s not about scoreboard results as much as it’s about making sure your body’s right,” said Dickey, who had three strikeouts to go with two walks and threw 46 strikes in 78 pitches. “I’m pretty close. Got a lot of ground balls, gave up a lot of first-pitch hits; a lot of times those are going to go right at guys, ground balls. I wasn’t great, but certainly good enough to win a baseball game.”

It was difficult to judge him on a windy, sunny day when a couple of ground balls did become hits, including one just before Andrew Romine’s two-run homer in the three-run third inning. The last run of that inning scored on a two-out wild pitch — with Kurt Suzuki catching Wednesday, Dickey had two wild pitches — and another run charged to Dickey scored after he left the game in the fifth, when prospect Johan Camargo lost an infield pop-up in the sun and had it land several feet in front of him.

Camargo made his sixth error of the season on the previous play, on a grounder to short, allowing Steven Moya to reach base.

Anyway, Dickey felt like a play here and a pitch there and things could have been quite different.

“I think so,” he said. “(Third baseman Chase) d’Arnaud made a great play down the line on a ball that another day is probably an out. It’s just we had some weird plays out there today. But it was all about getting your work in, making sure your body knows what it feels like to get up and down, up and down, up and down, to build into those first outings of the year.”

And in that regard, Dickey said mission accomplished. Dickey said he’d not be surprised to have a strong performance when the regular season begins. He’s made three official spring-training starts and one other in a minor league game.

“Oh, yeah, I’m really close,” he said. “I’m not all the way there, but I’m really close. I’m where I want to be, let’s put it that way. And Kurt did a pretty good job today, too.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Braves

Watch: A tribute to Braves great Chipper Jones
Watch: A tribute to Braves great Chipper Jones

Braves great Chipper Jones will be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Wednesday. It will be a slam dunk. Well, a home run at least.  It’s just a matter of how many votes the switch-hitting third baseman receives. Jones could finish with one of the highest voting percentages of all time. Chipper played 19 seasons for the Braves in...
A closer look at Braves trade target Christian Yelich
A closer look at Braves trade target Christian Yelich

The good news for Braves fans is that young Miami Marlins star outfielder Christian Yelich wants to be traded. The bad news is that the Braves once cut Yelich's brother. Christian Yelich is upset the Marlins are rebuilding and have traded away some of their best players. It would take a lot to acquire Yelich and at least 12 teams, including the Braves...
Chipper Q&A, Part 3: On Harper, Trout, Machado, Acuna, Jeter and NYC
Chipper Q&A, Part 3: On Harper, Trout, Machado, Acuna, Jeter and NYC

Chipper Jones became one of Atlanta’s most iconic athletes during a 19-year major league career spent entirely with the Braves, carving out a spot among the greatest all-around third basemen and most productive switch-hitters in baseball history. When the National Baseball Hall of Fame announces its 2018 class Jan. 24, Jones, an eight-time All-Star...
Braves trade for pitcher Shane Carle from Pirates
Braves trade for pitcher Shane Carle from Pirates

The Braves acquired right-handed pitcher Shane Carle from the Pirates in a trade Wednesday for a player to be named later or cash. The 26-year-old was designated for assignment twice in the past three weeks by the Rockies and Pirates. Carle made his major league debut with the Rockies in 2017, when he had a 6.75 ERA in three September relief appearances...
Chipper Q&A, Pt. 2: On HOF, Andruw, and being mistaken for ... Brett Favre?
Chipper Q&A, Pt. 2: On HOF, Andruw, and being mistaken for ... Brett Favre?

Chipper Jones was the greatest Braves position player since Hank Aaron and one of the finest switch-hitters and best all-around third basemen in baseball history. Now he’s poised to become a first-ballot Hall of Fame selection and have one of the highest voting percentages in history when the baseball Hall of Fame announces its Class of 2018...
More Stories