Hurdle carefully considers Bucs' speed game

Hurdle carefully considers Bucs' speed game

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates have been looking for something to jump-start their running game, and when they look at R.A. Dickey, they probably see him holding a starter's gun along with a baseball.

Tuesday's starter for the Mets features the knuckleball, which would appear to be the ideal pitch on which to run. The Bucs did take some liberties while winning both of Dickey's starts against them last season, but manager Clint Hurdle doesn't consider him an easy target.

"You'd like to think you can, but he's very quick to the plate," Hurdle said. "We did try to put it in play the last time. So we'll see."

Besides quick feet, Dickey also has a legitimate fastball to foul up runners. Entering Tuesday's game at PNC Park, he hadn't allowed a single stolen base in his first eight starts this season, and runners were a mere 44-for-68 against him lifetime.

Dickey clearly can't be stereotyped on the level of Tim Wakefield, against whom basestealers had a 76 percent success rate (448-for-585).

"You always ran on Tim, because his knuckleball was violent. You never knew where it was going," Hurdle said.