Monday night, R.A. Dickey pitched his second straight one-hitter.
Monday night, R.A. Dickey struck out 13 Baltimore Orioles.
Afterward, some of those Orioles weren't willing to give Dickey all the credit. As Newsday's Tom Pedulla reports, some of them thought Dickey had some help from plate-umpire Eric Cooper. And they weren't real shy about it:
"There were some questionable calls," said centerfielder and cleanup hitter Adam Jones after he came up empty in three at-bats. "It's human error."
Rightfielder Chris Davis thought he and Dickey were only partly responsible for his 0-for-4 futility with three strikeouts.
"When you go up there looking for a ball in the strike zone and you are not getting it . . . ," he said.
Asked to complete the thought, the Orioles' No. 3 hitter declined. But he also said of some of the 81 strikes called during Dickey's 114-pitch evening, "This is our job. This is our living. When it affects the outcome, it's tough."
Shortstop J.J. Hardy , who batted just ahead of Davis and took the same 0-for-4 collar with one strikeout, all but clamped his hand onto his wallet when asked to comment.
"I can't say what I want to say," he said. "What I want to say, I get fined."
Buck Showalter wasn't having the best time of his life, either. Near the end, I thought he might pop out of the dugout and get ejected when Cooper rang up J.J. Hardy. Afterward, though, he didn't say enough to get fined. There was this, though: "I think they were a little frustrated by the liberalness of some of the pitches."
Also, they were frustrated by the movement of the pitches. And by their inability to hit the pitches.
We can actually look at these things now. Via Brooks Baseball.net, we've got every pitch plotted against a strike zone. And while it does seem that Dickey got seven or eight called strikes on pitches that were actually just outside the zone, it also seems that Orioles pitchers got almost exactly the same number of questionable called strikes.
Dickey's second one-hitter probably wasn't the result of human error any more than the first one was. Or the four outstanding performances before that.