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Dickey fails to help himself out at plate

New York Mets R.A. Dickey pitches against the

New York Mets R.A. Dickey pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning of a baseball game. (Sept. 17, 2011) Photo Credit: AP

ATLANTA -- It was a knuckleball to Chipper Jones that ultimately decided the Mets' 1-0 loss to the Braves Saturday afternoon at Turner Field. But Dickey was more upset about his own at-bats than any that Atlanta had against him.

Dickey struck out three times, and twice after failing to get down bunts that would have set up promising chances for the Mets. In the third inning, the Mets had runners at first and second for Dickey, who struck out before Jose Reyes hit into a rare double play.

In the sixth, Dickey tried again after a leadoff single by Ruben Tejada, but a wild pitch on the third strike still got Tejada to second. It was the third-inning flub that frustrated Dickey long afterward.

"He was hard to see for me," Dickey said of Tim Hudson. "He didn't match up visually for me. I struggle with him. He's got a good sinker and the shadows were tough, but that's no excuse at the end of the day. I mean that could have been the difference in the game."

Following the game, Dickey was consoled by Hall-of-Famer Phil Niekro, who had worked with him in the past. "He saw me sitting there, ruminating after the loss, and came over and offered some words of encouragement. I appreciated it."

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