Padres 9, Devil Rays 0.
That should about do it for Edwin Jackson. We have tried to defend Jackson, even though he has been as bad as Jae Seo and Casey Fossum. We wanted the other two members of The Axis of Evil out of the rotation, but not Jackson. The reason was that Jackson has talent and he is young. There was room for improvement in Jackson that was not present in the other two. But after giving up 5 hits and 2 walks to the only 8 batters he faced last night, we now know that Jackson needs to be out of the rotation with no desire to ever see him there again.
Our change of heart is not based on how bad he looked as much as it was the timing of the performance. This was the single most important start in Jackson’s young career. The Rays had just sent Jackson a very clear message by recalling Jason Hammel from Durham. Andrew Friedman and Joe Maddon had given Jackson an ultimatum. Either show some improvement or your spot will go to Hammel. So instead of accepting the challenge, Jackson mailed it in. The biggest start of his career. His job as a major league starting pitcher on the line and he gave up. Didn’t even compete. He doesn’t even get two outs, before Maddon made a very symbolic move by yanking Jackson and replacing him with Hammel.
Pitchers have bad starts. They even have awful starts. We would be willing to bet that a lot of hall of fame pitchers had at least one start where they did not survive the first inning. It happens. But it should never happen in a big game. And this was a big game for Jackson. He quit on himself and he quit on his team. That is not the type of the pitcher you want on a team that is trying to build a winning mentality. When the pressure was greatest, Jackson wilted like Elijah Dukes’ bank account after another one-night stand.
We would be shocked if Jackson makes his next start. Good riddance.
This afternoon it is JP Howell’s turn. Pressure is not as great on Howell. His job is secure for the time being. But being a winning baseball team is about winning series and the Rays have a chance to win their third straight. The Padres are not a good offensive team (only Jackson can make them look like the Yankees). After such a strong first start, Howell was disappointing in his second outing. There is a bit of pressure on Howell this afternoon to go out and show he belongs by shutting down the Padres and winning the rubber match.
DEVIL RAYS WEBTOPIA…
- Elijah Dukes was given the night off yesterday. It was a move that was clearly related to his latest non-baseball headlines as the Rays were without another center fielder on the active roster.
- BJ Upton was placed on the DL and Jonny Gomes was recalled from Durham.
- The pitching staff recently has been like musical chairs. The opening paragraph of this article will make your head spin.
- Ever the team player, Delmon Young made it clear that he was not happy about having to play center field in the absence of Elijah Dukes.
I’ll do it because I have to, but I prefer to be in right
Mr. Young. We would like to introduce you to Mr. Wigginton. He is the dumpy looking white guy that often plays second base, even though he probably prefers not to. He may not like it, but we wouldn’t know because he never complains and he knows that his job is to do what is best for the team. Mr. Young, you are basically the 5th string center fielder, behind Upton, Dukes, Baldelli and the batboy. Two are hurt, one is an idiot and the 4th had a bar mitzvah last night. The team doesn’t want you playing center field any more than they want Danny DeVito being the closer. But sometimes these things happen. We love Mr. Wigginton because he is a gamer. Don’t get us wrong. We love you too, but only because you can hit the ball real hard and throw the ball real far. But we would like you to do us a favor. JUST SHUT THE HELL UP AND PLAY. Thanks. Have a good day.