Good Gravy! I have been a die-hard Rays fan for over 6 years, and this last week has been the most painful experience in that stretch. The combination of high expectations and an exciting off-season have melded with the feces-stew of 2011, making the single most painful cocktail in baseball right now.
Yeah, the Red Sox are also 0-6, thank goodness, but that does not change the searing pain of watching talented baseball players lose day in and day out whilst the community of Rays fans begin killing each other in their insanity.
Here's some f'ing notes from the game:
- David Price did not have his greatest degree of awesomeness today, but still held the Adam Dunn-less White Sox to 3 runs in 6 innings. He gave up 9 hits (including 2 Alex Rios doubles, though the second was more like a doubl-wha?) and only struck out 2.
I never felt like Price was as good as his 2010 numbers suggested he was, but I expected him to improve (being young as he is). So far, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, and even Jeff Niemann (after his first two rough innings) have looked better than him.
- Dan Johnson has taken to swinging at first pitches. As R.J. Anderson noted on Twitter: "By my count, Dan Johnson has four first-pitch outs in 22 plate appearance this year. Had 15 in 140 last year --prorates to 25 in 140." This was before Johnson's 9th inning 1st-pitch groundout.
The spin on this: Something around 40% of Johnson's balls in play have been gounders, but his lone hit this season came on that deep double in the first game of the year. Eventually, some of those gounders must, MUST sneak through, or else I'm buying a copy of Short Hops and changing my affiliate to the Royals.
Either way, maybe Johnson needs a day off. He is one of many pressing Rays right now.
- THIS WAS NOT THE SAME EDWIN FROM BEFORE! Loyal DRaysBay fans will recall Edwin Jackson's old nickname on the site: Nuke. He usually had at least one godawful inning every game, and -- as a result -- helped the Rays lose many a contest.
Do not think the Rays faced that man today -- oh no! He has since matured and changed his approach. He's no longer a fastball with some other stuff guy; he now has legit sliders and changes and scowls and stuff. Last year, Jackson put together 3.86 / 3.71 (FIP / xFIP) season, not the near-5.00 garbage he tossed for us.
This makes Jackson yet another good-to-great pitcher the Rays have faced to start the season.
- All combined, the Rays struck out 14 times today and walked once. :(