The Yankees’ erratic offense was back to struggling again. After scoring 13 runs Thursday night in Baltimore, they managed one run off starter R.A. Dickey in this 2-1 loss to the Mets. The Yankees blamed his hard knuckler.
“That knuckleball was going everywhere, throwing it inside, throwing it outside, up and down,” said Mark Teixeira, who homered in the third but off a Dickey fastball.
So what’s it really like to try to hit a knuckler?
“It’s been described to me as eating soup with a fork,” Nick Swisher said.
“We really couldn’t tell where it was going.”
It was hard to tell that Dickey had been struggling, having shown up with a 1-5 record and a 5.08 ERA.
The Yankees left seven on base in six innings against Dickey.
Teixeira got caught looking at a knuckler with two on and one out in the fifth. Jose Reyes then robbed Alex Rodriguez with a diving stop on a grounder.
“The play Jose made to end that inning lifted our club up,” Terry Collins said. “I thought it gave our club energy that, ‘Hey we’re still in this game.’ ”
The Yankees couldn’t hit Mike O’Connor, Jason Isringhausen or Francisco Rodriguez, either. Each turned in a 1-2-3 inning. Swisher went down swinging to end the game against K-Rod after fanning in his last two at-bats against Dickey.
“You face somebody throwing 93, 94 after a knuckleballer all game, it kind of feels like 105 miles an hour,” Swisher said.
They ended up wasting a nice start from Freddy Garcia, who gave up the two runs and five hits over seven. Daniel Murphy hit a splitter to the right-field seats for the tiebreaking homer in the sixth.
“I thought it was a good pitch,” Garcia said. “He hit it with one hand. … The ballpark plays really small, but that’s part of the game.”
The Yankees have lost six straight at home for the first time since they dropped eight straight in 2003.
Game two Saturday night features A.J. Burnett and Chris Capuano as the starters.