Roy Halladay reminded Scott Kazmir yesterday that he owns a Cy Young award and Kid K doesn’t. Kid K looked overpowering at times, striking out 8 of the first 9 hitters he faced, but he also gave up 2 home runs and 4 runs total in 7 innings as the Rays lost the rubber match to the Jays, 6-3. They will say that he only made two bad pitches all day. Well, winning pitchers don’t make bad pitches in crucial situations. The Rays bullpen, also known as heart attack in a can, didn’t help matters as usual. Brian Stokes entered the game in the 8th with the Rays still only down 1 and allowed 2 more runs to cross the plate, effectively ending the game. Rocco Baldelli was 3-4 and hit his 1st home run of the year. He was back at DH after playing center field on Saturday. Carlos Pena received his second straight start at first base and went 0-3 with 2 strike outs.
- Roy Halladay noticed the improved lineup that the Rays have this season. He stated that for the first time when facing the Rays, he felt that he needed to pitch around certain hitters and had to work for the victory.
- Even though Rocco Baldelli was back in center on Saturday, don’t be surprised if Rocco and Elijah Dukes continue to alternate in center and at DH, to help keep Rocco’s legs fresh. This will mean a lot more playing time in the field than was originally planned for Dukes this season, who was expected to get the majority of his at bats at DH.
- This just in…Shawn Camp struggles sometimes.
- Buster Olney points out that 7 of Akinori Iwamura’s 8 hits have either been up the middle or to the opposite field. He has now hit safely in all 5 games with an average of .562.
- This is a little stale, but new to us. Kevin Witt is back in Japan this season. He previously played in Japan in 2005 before signing with the Devil Rays. The 2006 International League MVP got off to a slow start with his new club, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He struck out 3 times on opening day. But he came back in game 2 and hit 2 home runs. He is hitting .189 in the first 12 games of the season. There is a term in baseball for a player like Kevin Witt…AAAA-talent. In other words, too good for AAA but not quite good enough for the majors. We may need to revisit that term as a lot of players like Witt have success in Japan. Maybe we should call them NPB-talent.
- The Devil Rays have caught the fancy of a British baseball fan (those exist?).
- Josh Hamilton spent last Thursday in the hospital with a bad flu. He is better but missed his first scheduled start yesterday.