No, Elijah Dukes, this article is not for you so please go away. I am talking about breeding grounds for success.
Has anyone else noticed how the pitchers that have dominated the Rays so far have done their next time around? Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Tillman, and Zach Britton came in and pitched wonderfully against the Rays opening weekend despite the fact most called them bums and unknowns. This week, Tillman got the Tigers while the other two drew the red-hot Texas Rangers:
- Tillman: 4.2 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 2 BB, 4 Ks on 97 pitches
- Guthrie: 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
- Britton: 7.2 IP, 4 hits, 0 runs, 3 BB, 2 Ks
Tillman was ineffective but was also not himself in this content as there were reports of his velocity being under 90 for the entire start which was different from the guy the Rays saw on Saturday night. However, Guthrie and Britton were incredibly effective against a Rangers lineup that treated the Red Sox like a pinball machine opening weekend. Admittedly, the Rangers are a different team on the road, but Guthrie, coming off a stay in the hospital, was very effective today and Britton once again impressed.
The only other pitcher to have a second start after facing the Rays this season is Jered Weaver and all he did today was strike out 15 Blue Jays in 7 innings while holding them to a very Rays-like 1 run on four hits. The Rays are no doubt struggling but this is not all on the hitters, Derek Shelton, or the luck dragons. They've faced one "bum" but for the most part, have faced some very good major league stuff from guys like the aforementioned Orioles, Weaver, Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson, and the underrated Gavin Floyd today.