Marlins 8, Devil Rays 4.
In baseball, momentum is only as good as tomorrow’s starting pitcher. The adage was never more evident than last night. The Rays came into the Marlins series riding high on a 4-game winning streak, their longest of the season and by the end of the third inning, Edwin Jackson had already exited stage-left after allowing 7 runs. The Rays have had their share of heart-breaking head-shaking losses. This was not one of them. In fact this one wasn’t painful at all. Rather by the middle of the third inning, it was actually laughable at how bad Jackson was. 7 hits and 3 walks. 62 pitches, only 34 strikes. An 0-6 record and a 7.78 ERA.
We are not basing this on anything but a gut feeling, but it would not surprise us if Jackson is removed from the rotation and relegated to the bullpen. Tim Corcoran would then be sent back to Durham with one of the Durham starters called up to take Jackson’s place. The next obvious question is “which one?” We understand there is a groundswell of support to promote Andy Sonnanstine, but that is not likely to happen, despite his 2.05 ERA and 57 to 9 strikeout to walk ratio. Keep in mind that Sonnanstine is not on the 40-man roster. While there are candidates to be removed from the 40-man to make room (cough, cough Gary Glover, cough cough), the team won’t until they have to, and there are other options at Durham that are already on the 40-man.
The most likely candidate is Jeff Niemann. Before last night, Niemann was pitching on the same pitching schedule as Jackson. However, Niemann’s start last night was rained out and his start was pushed back to tonight. Still, with an off-day on Monday, the Rays could still have Niemann slotted into Jackson’s spot and be on full rest for the series finale against the Mariners on Thursday.
Actually, the more we think about it, the more this makes sense. his first start would be at home against a team with a mediocre offense. It is a mid-week afternoon game that would normally have an anemic attendance figure and the debut of Niemann would give ticket sales a boost. Niemann would also not be forced to pitch in Chicago against the White Sox as his next start would come at home against the Tigers.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- The Hardball Times points out that the Rays infield defense has been horrible and not just because BJ Upton thinks Manute Bol is playing first base.
if there is one thing young pitchers need for their confidence, it’s good fielding behind them. And the Devil Rays’ infield defense is horrid. Compared to the average team, their infield has allowed 29 groundballs to go through for base hits, a staggering amount. If they had an average infield, they’d probably have two more wins on the ledger, and they’d be giving their pitchers a much-needed confidence boost.
- These stats always make us chuckle. On Thursday, Delmon Young became only the third player in major league history to hit 2 home runs in 1 game including a walk-off home run before his 22nd birthday. On a side not, he is the first player in majoe league history to do it in the month of May while wearing a green jersey while the moon was lined up with Aries.
- In Thursday’s victory, Scott Kazmir felt his fastball and slider were finally coming around. Unfortunately, and stop us if you have herd this before, He had to be removed from the game after 4 innings because he had already thrown…Thought you might have.
- Greg Norton had two walks and a single in his first action of the season.