2013 WBC: R.A. Dickey Obvious Choice For Team USA

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The United States of America will start their 2013 World Baseball Classic journey later tonight, against Mexico, who is coming off of a devastating 6-5 loss to Italy in the Pool D opener yesterday. Joe Torre, USA manager, announced Monday that R.A. Dickey would be on the mound for their opener against Mexico.

Dickey, 2012 NL CY Young Award winner and 20 game winner for the New York Mets. This 38-year-old right hander is actually familiar with playing for the red, white, and blue after competing in the 1996 Olympics for team USA in Atlanta, where he won two games and ended up with a bronze medal.

Dickey was the obvious choice for team USA because of his ability to throw the one pitch that you can’t prepare for and that’s the knuckleball. The famous pitch has become his trademark, which explains his 20-6 record, 2.73 ERA, and five complete games last season. He dominated throughout the entire 2012 MLB season and it’s safe to say that no one ever actually figured him out.

So, how is Mexico going to figure him out tonight?

The knuckleball could work against Dickey because on some nights you either have it working or you absolutely don’t. That’s just the reality of the pitch, but Dickey has made it work more often than not. If this pitch happens to be working for him tonight than Mexico could be facing elimination a lot earlier than expected.

Team Mexico vs. R.A. Dickey

Jorge Cantu: 3-8, 2B, BB, SO.

Luis Cruz: 0-1

Ramiro Pena: 0-3

Gil Velazquez: 2-5, SO.

(Complete Coverage of the WBC will be on the MLB Network.)

Friday, March 8th, 9:00 p.m. ET.

Mexico @ United States

Saturday, March 9th, 9:00 p.m. ET.

United States @ Italy

Sunday, March 10th, 4:00 ET.

United States @ Canada

Follow Michael Stephenson on Twitter

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