Jim Hickey was interviewed a few days ago on WDAE-AM 620 and talked extensively about how Rays pitchers are so focused on not being the guy that turns in a clunker and blows up the incredible run the staff is on, that it’s taken on a life of its own.
And nothing changed tonight, as Alex Cobb, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney six-hit the Jays.
Look, Joe’s as caught up in the hoopla surrounding Evan Longoria’s return as the next guy — he sat out Wednesday — but it’s the pitching that really deserves the excitement from fans and media. Especially the new plateau of dominance that has been reached over the past week or so.
Imagine if the Yankees’ staff had a run like the Rays’, the New York and national frenzy would be insane. But around the Bay area, all you hear is moaning about ugly hitting and boring games. Either fans have become so damned spoiled by this pitching staff, there’s not a very savvy fan base, or Rays fans prefer complaining over all else.
The reality is the Rays are 110 games into the season with a healthy staff that the American League has seen countless times, and they still can’t be touched. (Yeah, Joe knows Cobb was new to Toronto.) We can all sit around and say the Rays can’t continue this run of pitching, but the reality is that there’s no reason to believe it won’t last. The defense has returned and the arms are largely young and fresh.
Joe wants the bats to come around as much as the next guy and knows that has to happen for the Rays to compete in the playoffs, but the pitching at this point deserves a lot more love than it’s getting.
Enjoy this run. It’s historic.