Devil Rays 9, Dodgers 4.
Early on, it looked like yet another typical performance from Edwin Jackson. After allowing 4 hits (including a home run) and 2 runs in the top of the first, Jackson settled down and held the Dodgers to 5 hits and a walk over the next 5 innings, and did not allow a run. It was not a great performance. The Rays should be able to expect more than just 6 innings and 89 pitches from a 23-year old that appears to be pitching well. However, Jackson was good enough to pick up his first win since 2005 and his first win as a member of the Devil Rays.
And while it was not a great performance it was all that the Rays need from a 5th starter. If Jackson can take the ball every 5th day and give the team 6 innings and hold the opposition to 3 runs or less, that should be good enough for the Rays to win half of the time and that is all you can ever hope to expect from a 5th starter. So maybe Jackson is good enough for the back end of the rotation. As long as he keeps the number of implosions to a minimum and begins to show progress towards becoming some semblance of the pitcher some seem to think he can be, then Jackson will remain in the rotation and Jason Hammel better get used to his role in the bullpen.
After winning 2 of 3 from the Dodgers over the weekend, the Devil Rays are now 14-12 since May 27 and are 4-3-2 in their last 9 series. Don’t look now folks, but the Devil Rays are a competitive team. The Charlie Hough Line is still within shouting distance, but the Rays will have a tough time getting any closer over the next 11 games, with 4 at the Trop against the White Sox, 4 on the road at Cleveland followed by 3 in Boston. Compounding the difficulty of this portion of the schedule is that the Rays are 3 games into a stretch in which they have 17 straight games without an off-day, the last 10 of which will be on the road. The only benefit is that the Rays will end the first half of the season on the road in Kansas City, with an opportunity to enter the all-star break on a positive note.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Carl Crawford has 67 triples since the start of the 2003 season. That is 19 more than the next highest total. Crawford says the key to his success is thinking three right out of the box and taking very sharp turns at first and second base, which goes against traditional baseball thinking.
- The Devil Rays have several all-star candidates for the July 10th mid-summer classic. Al Reyes is nearly assured a spot. The question is whether the Rays can secure 2 spots on the roster.
- Stuart Sternberg addressed the media about the team’s decision to inactivate Elijah Dukes. Sternberg speaks of helping Dukes and that for the first time, Dukes wants to be helped and to be better. However, it seems clear that the team would have traded Dukes if an acceptable offer had been made and will now hold on to Dukes in the hopes that his value will increase in the future.