Local pitchers in position to meet as starters in MLB All-Star Game

Sunday, July 1, 2012 at 2:26pm
Staff reports

R.A. Dickey and David Price, a pair of Middle Tennessee products, were named to the National League and American League rosters, respectively, for the 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the league announced Sunday.

Both are scheduled to make their final starts before the All-Star break on Wednesday. That plus their performance thus far creates the possibility that they could be the starting pitchers in the contest, which is set for July 10 at Kansas City.

Dickey, 37, leads the Major League with 12 victories and consistently has made national headlines through the first half of the season.

The Montgomery Bell Academy graduate had just 45 career wins prior to this season but emerged as the New York Mets’ ace this summer when he has become one of the most dominant knuckleball pitchers in history.

He is 12-1 with a 2.15 ERA and a pair of shutouts. He has 116 strikeouts with just 25 walks in 113 innings pitched.

"Just getting to the All-Star Game would be fantastic," Dickey said recently, according to MLB.com. "Obviously it would be a tremendous honor, and I think it would give a real legitimacy to the knuckleball. A lot of people think the knuckleball is a gimmick. I like to try to prove that it's much more than that."

In his most recent outing he struck out 10 over eight scoreless innings in a 9-0 defeat of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. It was the sixth time in his last seven starts he did not allow an unearned run.

"You count the days till he throws," Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy said, according to MLB.com. "The guy's throwing the ball so well right now and he's set the bar so high. He continues to set it even higher."

Whereas Dickey has forged an unlikely All-Star appearance in the latter stages of a career spent primarily as a journeyman, Price has put himself in the All-Star conversation almost every year as a youngster.

This is the second time in three years the 26-year-old has been selected. He is tied for the American League lead with 11 victories.

The Blackman High School and Vanderbilt product was the American League’s starting pitcher in 2010. He faced just six batters, allowed one hit and struck out one as he cruised through two scorless innings in that one.

This season he has wins in five of his last six starts and is 11-4 on the season with a 2.92 ERA. He has struck out 97 and walked just 35 in 104.2 inning pitched.

He complained of soreness in his back during his most recent outing Friday but allowed just five hits over seven innings. He said Saturday he does not expect to miss any time because of the injury.