R.A. Dickey Pulled from Game with Neck and Back Tightness

Tom Szczerbowski

The Blue Jays removed R.A. Dickey from his start against the White Sox after the sixth inning as a precaution as the knuckleballer was suffering from "neck and back tightness." Dickey was perfect through the first three innings and held the White Sox to just two hits, striking out seven and walking just one. He threw 64 pitches only, 47 for strikes. Teammate Jose Bautista is also suffering from back pain, and has been out since Sunday. Maybe the Blue Jays should look at getting some Obus Forme seat cushions.

Trainer George Poulis came to check on Dickey after his second-to-last pitch of the game, when he struck out Dewayne Wise swinging on a knuckleball with two outs in the sixth. John Gibbons decided to leave his starter in, and Dickey just took one more pitch to get out of the inning, throwing what MLB.com's Gameday called an "eephus" (68 mph) to Jeff Keppinger. The Blue Jays called in Esmil Rogers to pitch the seventh.

UPDATE

After the game, Gibbons revealed that Dickey had been feeling pain for a "couple of days" already, and that Dickey dug down and came out with a "gutsy effort." Gibbons said of Dickey, "he's a tough guy, I'm sure we'll see him in five days," probably setting off legions of Blue Jays fans to speculate whether he thinks of Bautista. Dickey felt a flareup from a muscle spasm--like what Bautista is going through--possibly due to a wrong movement during his delivery.

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