R.A. Dickey brings his knuckleball to the mound in Arlington, Texas this afternoon as the Toronto Blue Jays try to stave off elimination again in Game 4 of their ALDS matchup with the Rangers. Derek Holland takes the mound for the home team today in Global Life Park in Arlington at 4:00 PM EDT.
The Rangers took the first two games of the series in the Rogers Centre, but the Jays remained alive with a win in Game 3.
Dickey, who was drafted in the 1st Round of the 1996 Draft by the Rangers and learned his knuckleball while with Texas in 2005, talked yesterday about being back in Arlington this afternoon with a chance to help keep the Jays' season alive.
"You know, it's special for sure," Dickey told reporters. "And that seems like such a cliche word but it's funny how it's come full-circle for me personally, having learned the knuckleball here in 2005, and now potentially with a chance to take the series back to Toronto with a Game 4 start. It's poetic, is what it is for me. It's a neat narrative."
The 40-year-old, 13-year veteran finished the regular season (11-11) in 33 starts with a 3.91 ERA, a 4.48 FIP, 61 walks (2.56 BB/9), 126 Ks (5.29 K/9) and a .240/.303/.405 line against in 214 ⅓ innings pitched.
Jays' skipper John Gibbons was asked yesterday how important it was that Dickey believed that the humidity and heat in Texas would actually help his knuckleball.
"Yeah, you know, the mind's so important in this game," Gibbons said.
"If he's feeling good and he believes that, it makes perfect sense. I don't know if I can get into physics, I have a hard enough time with this. Maybe the humidity, the heavier air, I don't know. We'll see."
Derek Holland, 29, returned from a torn muscle in his left shoulder in August to make 10 starts for the Rangers this season, going (4-3) with a 4.91 ERA, a 5.30 FIP, 17 walks (2.61 BB/9), 41 Ks (6.29 K/9) and a .265/.335/.493 line against in 58 ⅔ IP.
"Derek has been a key pitcher for us," Rangers' skipper Jeff Banister told reporters in explaining his choice of Holland as today's starter.
"Felt like Derek is ready for this stage, for this game. Nothing that he hasn't done before. He's been here before, he's been in these type of games and has shown up very well in the fast.
"We expect Derek to come out and throw a quality baseball game for us."
|TORONTO BLUE JAYS||TEXAS RANGERS|
|Ben Revere - LF||Delino DeShields Jr. - CF|
|Josh Donaldson - 3B||Shin-Soo Choo - RF|
|Jose Bautista - RF||Prince Fielder - DH|
|Edwin Encarnacion - DH||Mitch Moreland - 1B|
|Chris Colabello - 1B||Elvis Andrus - SS|
|Troy Tulowitzki - SS||Josh Hamilton - LF|
|Russell Martin - C||Robinson Chirinos - C|
|Kevin Pillar - CF||Rougned Odor - 2B|
|Ryan Goins - 2B||Hanser Alberto - 3B|
|R.A. Dickey - RHP||Derek Holland - LHP|
Holland vs the Blue Jays:
Dickey vs the Rangers: