Bum heel, yet no bunts

June, 11, 2011
In the two games since R.A. Dickey tore the plantar fascia in his heel in Chicago, there have been precisely zero bunts against him. What gives?

Terry Collins said a couple of opposing players have shown bunt, but it’s just not that easy against a knuckleball. For the record, Dickey -- who again faces the Pirates on Saturday night -- has maintained he can still field his position. But the biting pain does remain for a minute or two after he exerts himself, which theoretically ought to affect the next couple of pitches.

“The issue is this thing is hard to hit, let alone bunting it, and making it a good bunt,” Collins said about the knuckleball. “When you’re bunting, it’s got to be in a certain spot. And if that ball is breaking away from you, you’re going to have a tough time trying to locate to wherever you want to bunt it.”

In starts against the Pirates and Braves since returning from the injury suffered at Wrigley Field, Dickey has allowed four runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out 13 in 15 2/3 innings.

“I’m going on the premise that he has to concentrate so much on the pitch to stay away from the foot that I think he’s getting himself in a much better position for his delivery,” Collins said about the recent success. “I think he’s concentrating more on the pitch itself than just throwing.”
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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