Coaches help Dodgers prepare for Mets' Dickey

Coaches help Dodgers prepare for Mets' Dickey

LOS ANGELES -- How will the Dodgers prepare to beat Mets knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey for their Friday night game?

Coaches Tim Wallach and Trey Hillman are offering to throw knuckleballs to any hitter requesting during batting practice.

Hillman said that's what he did for the entire lineup when he managed in Japan against the occasional knuckleballer.

"I don't think you ever want to see that thing," manager Don Mattingly said. "Honestly, guys don't really like hitting off it. At the end of the day, we're going to have to [Friday].

"We saw him last year, and he's really good. He's different because he throws it hard. He gives you a different feel up there. It's not the Charlie Hough, Phil Niekro kind of slow dancer. He's more of hard knuckleballer. [Tim] Wakefield threw a harder one than those other guys and I thought he was tougher to face of those three."

Wallach, who messes around with knuckleballs while playing catch, actually took them into games with success when, as a starting third baseman for the Expos, he was pressed into blowout relief duties twice.

"I got good hitters out with my knuckleball, like Ron Gant and Will Clark," Wallach said. "If they request it, it's always good to see a variation of it."