It is not unusual for Joe Maddon to speak positively about his players when they are down. But last night he was even more upbeat than usual when speaking about JP Howell’s performance…

“You look at J.P.’s [Howell] outing and people are going to be critical of that but he pitched well. Of course you don’t want to give up the homerun to [Ike] Davis there. But he gets a dribbler and a jam shot. You just can’t control ball in play sometimes. Sometimes guys get lucky sometimes they don’t. So again, I thought those two guys actually pitched really well and then the flood gates did open.”

Maybe the one cliché that annoys us the most in baseball is how a pitcher just made “one bad pitch,” or “just two bad pitches.” We hate it. The difference between winning and losing is often one or two bad pitches, and when you make them.

Let’s take a look at Howell’s pitch that Davis hit for a home run. Notice where Jose Molina wants the pitch and then notice that Howell misses that spot by about two feet!

It’s not even close. And it is right in Davis’ wheelhouse. Unlucky? No way. A pitcher that can only throw 85 can’t do this. EVER.

Maybe the other hits were unlucky. But this pitch was like mixing all the ingredients together the right way and then overcooking a 30-minute dish by two hours. The rest doesn’t matter.



  1. Michael says:

    it’s four inches in off the plate

    i think this actually is a case of just getting beat

    Peralta has thrown far more offensive pitches this year

    • Cork Gaines says:

      C’mon. Pitchers “just get beat” when they make a good pitch and a guy still hits it. This was not a good pitch. This was not even close to a good pitch. 87 mph inside, to a lefty power hitter with an open stance that does not crowd the plate, is not a good pitch. Reid Brignac could have hit that out of the park.

    • Raysfan137 says:

      Peralta has more velocity and more sneaky stuff that keeps hitters guessing. That let’s his “more offensive” pitchers slip by more often. JP has no velocity and no consistency. That let’s people wait around for that one big mistake.See video above for examples. Cork is right. It’s never about 1 pitch. It’s about what you have the supports that one pitch.

  2. Don says:

    Joe has a tremendous loyalty to his players as well he should. With JP it is even more so. He feels partially responsible for his injury to begin with for “overusing” him. But that has to be put aside now. at the minimum he needs a breather for 15 days or so

    • Raysfan137 says:

      Don – I totally agree. Although it is an emotional response and not data driven, it surely seems there is some loyalty to JP going on here. He hasn’t really shown that he deserves to be here right now. But then again, what else do we have ? In any event, I don’t understand the logic on when we’re using him. Doesn’t seem consistent. Ramos has had his issues this year and last, but seems to show more potential for consistency when he gets a few innings. Why not bring him in first last night to face those few lefties ? I’m not a Joe hater. Just not getting a few things – especially what appears to be JP loyalty.

  3. Raysfan137 says:

    Look at Howell’s finish after the release. His mechanics are horrible. Last night they were better than they have been all year, and they were still horrible. Usually he has to use his glove hand to stop from falling over. If you’re pitching that far off balance, you cannot repeat your delivery and you’re going to make big mistakes. When you make big mistakes, you wake up in a ditch. Don’t wake up in a ditch. Go some place and work on your mechanics.

  4. don says:

    Gee..lots of Don clones…thats good…JP howell is over the hill no matter what Maddon says..when he brought him in the… white towels were out…Ok he’s Sonnenstine all over again….
    You show me a real pitcher that falls down after pitch…can’t wait for a line on the right side of the mound….

    • Raysfan137 says:

      Don clones ? I’ll pretend you aren’t arrogant enough to mean that the way it comes across. Anyway, I thought they had moved on from cloning sheep. Cork made the original point. The rest of us are just sheep.

  5. wendy says:

    Why is JP Howell still with this team? He has GOT to have some naked pictures or something on someone in the top office! Rediculous. This guy can’t get anything over 85 ?? And not accurate on top of that? Embarrassing for Rays fans. Yep—he’s got pictures!

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