Devil Rays 5, Royals 1.
Let’s see if we can make it three for three…

On two previous occasions we have been critical of headlines found on On both occasions, the title of the article was subsequently changed. On the first occasion, the title was factually wrong and on the second occasion the title was a gross understatement. In the first case we suspect that the team may have requested the change and in the second case maybe they just realized it was dumb.

Now brings us this title: “Howell gets first win since Sept. 2006

The title is neither wrong, nor is it a gross understatement. So why do we have an issue with this particular title? Because it is just plain stupid and misleading.

Yes, this was Howell’s first win since September 2006. But it was also his first start since September 2006. In fact, Howell last won a major league game September 23, 2006 against the New York Yankees. He made one more start in 2006, five days later, against the Indians when he posted a no-decision.

In the first inning of yesterday’s game, JP Howell needed just 13 pitches to put down the Royals in order. Of those 13 pitches 5 were called strikes and of the 5 balls he threw, at least 4 of those were out of the strike zone with intent. In other words, Howell was commanding his pitches and hitting his spots. As Howell walked off the field after that first inning, we knew that the Rays would only need 2-3 runs to win the game. With Howell dealing and displaying confidence and command we had confidence that the Royals were not going to score many. How many times have Rays fans been able to say that with Jae Seo, Casey Fossum or Edwin Jackson on the mound?

In fact, the Axis of Evil made a combined 30 starts this season and Howell’s 8 innings may have been better than all but one of those starts. The only outing that may have been better was Seo’s outing on May 13 in Toronto in which he worked 7 shutout innings and allowed only 2 hits and 2 walks. In Howell’s 8 innings, he only allowed 5 hits and he did not walk a batter while striking out 7.


  • Joe Maddon stated that Edwin Jackson will make his next scheduled start on Thursday in Toronto.
  • With the promotion of Andy Sonnanstine, the Rays now have 7 rookies on the roster. 18 of the 25 players on the active roster have less than 3 years of major league experience.
  • Carl Crawford is now 2 hits shy of tying Aubrey Huff for the franchise record for career hits (870).
  • Edwin Jackson’s 0-7 record is one loss shy of the team record for consecutive losses to start a season. Tanyon Sturtze was 0-8 to start the 2002 season.

1 Comment

  1. 3RunHomer says:

    Too bad about Jackson. I thought his last start was his last chance. That guy belongs in the bullpen.

    It's Hammel time.


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