Royals Win World Series; Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey to Stay in Toronto?

 

Royal CelebrationWe predict that the Kansas City Royals will defeat the New York Mets 7-2 in Game 5 on Monday, November 2, early in the morning, after a grueling 12 innings, to win the World Series.

Hey, we were right! ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick notes that the Royals “are world champions for the first time since 1985.”

Christian Colon’s RBI single in the 12th inning capped another in a postseason-long run of late-inning rallies, and the Royals beat the New York Mets 7-2 to capture the World Series in five games.

While Edinson Volquez pitched admirably in his return from his father’s funeral in the Dominican Republic, the Royals were no match for Matt Harvey for much of the night and entered the ninth inning trailing 2-0.

But as they’ve done throughout the postseason, the Royals made an improbable late-inning comeback to bring an opposing team to its knees.

World Series Mets v RoyalsThe Royals had beaten the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series. During the World Series, the Mets and the Royals twice played extra innings—in Game 1 with 14 innings and Game 5 with 12 innings—after the Royals had come from behind to even the score.

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This baseball season, there’s been talk about when and whether R.A. Dickey will leave the Blue Jays—in fact, we did some of the talking, back in June (in a post that also wondered whether Tim Wakefield might become a pitching coach).

Last week, TipOfTheTower blogger Chris Okrainetz explained “Why the Toronto Blue Jays Should Bring Back R.A. Dickey,” who, although he has his critics, is “a starting pitcher who has consistently pitched 200-plus innings in every season since 2011. With fellow workhorse Mark Buehrle retiring, and the status of ace David Price yet to be determined, the 200-innings Dickey provides will be a very valuable asset to the 2016 Blue Jays.”

Dickey did have a forgettable start in the ALCS, but that doesn’t overshadow his strong second half where he compiled a 8-1 record, to go along with a 2.80 ERA and a 1.003 WHIP in 15 starts. Much like his ALCS, though, his first half of the season was a disappointment, highlighted by a 3-10 record.

The most important stat when it comes to Dickey, however, is his innings. Over the past four seasons Dickey has thrown a major league leading 888 1/3 innings, which is 2 2/3 innings ahead of James Shields. Dislike Dickey and his unpredictable knuckleball all you want [Hey! We like Dickey and his unpredictable knuckleball!], but those are very valuable innings in a 162-game schedule, especially for a team that sees itself returning to the postseason.

CBC Radio has audio of an interview with Dickey about the playoffs, the fans, and his future. “My hope and my heart is in Toronto and I’m hoping to compete next year as a Blue Jay,” he says.

Meanwhile, Steve Adams at MLBTradeRumors says in a late October article that “Blue Jays Plan to Exercise R.A. Dickey’s Option”:

The Blue Jays will exercise their $12MM club option on right-hander R.A. Dickey for the 2016 season, sources tell Jon Heyman of CBS Sports….

Dickey, who turns 41 years old tomorrow, logged more than 200 innings for the fifth consecutive season and posted a 3.91 ERA with 5.3 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 and a 41.9 percent ground-ball rate in his 214 1/3 frames this year. He came under criticism from some Jays fans after an ugly final start in the postseason — five runs (four earned) in just 1 2/3 innings — but Dickey was outstanding over the final four months of the regular season.

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