Well, for all our discussions at the beginning of the year on if Wade Davis could keep up his pace, it seems we have our answer: not so much. After starting the year with a shiny ERA down in the twos, after last night's game, his ERA is sitting at a lofty 4.52, with a corresponding 5.38 FIP. Regression happens, and man, it stinks in this case.
To be fair, when Davis is on his game and is able to locate his pitches well, he's been very good at inducing weak contact, getting the timely strikeout, and limiting damage. The only issue with this strategy is it gives him a very small margin of error; if his command is off at all, like it was last night, then things can get ugly real fast.
Davis' final line from last night: 2.2 IP, 12 hits, 7 earned runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout, 2 homeruns allowed. The Rangers were ripping balls off Davis all night, and it didn't help that his defense let him down on a couple occasions. Sean Rodriguez made three errors on the night (although only one of them that affected Davis), and Longoria and Upton both botched plays they normally make. It was a pretty blah night for the Rays, one of those games you want to forget as soon it's finished.
I blame those damn hats.
- Zobrist and Ruggiano both hit homeruns later in the game, allowing the Rays to actually pull within four runs in the sixth inning. After Ruggs hit his blast, I thought the Rays might be making a comeback and make a game of it, but that was the last sign of offense we'd see from the Rays.
- Joyce went 2-4 on the night, which is awesome to see considering Derek Holland is a lefty. I'm glad to see he's getting playing time against lefties, and even happier to see him succeeding. His second hit was a hard hit ball that rocketed past Michael Young at second base, so it's not like he was just getting bloop hits either.
- Poor S-Rod. I felt bad for him after seeing him make his second throwing error, and then he bobbled another play at short not long after. By that third error, it just seemed like Rodriguez had gotten into his own head - so focused on the throw, he botched fielding the grounder cleanly. I still like him at shortstop, as his range has looked good and he has a strong arm, but we may have just seen part of the reason why Rodriguez was moved off short to begin with. I'm willing to deal with growing pains for now though; Rodriguez is so sure-handed at other positions, I find it hard to believe he's an error machine at short.
- Juan Cruz just doesn't look good out there. He had another performance last night where he walked two batters without getting any strikeouts, and he couldn't get an out before allowing two runs and getting pulled. I was all for giving him a shot at the beginning of the year, hoping the Rays' magic in relievers improving their walk rates would fix him too, but his shtick is starting to get old.
On the plus side, Adam Russell looked good out there again. He seems to be slowly getting things together.
- As we suspected, after the game Brandon Gomes was demoted and Alex Cobb promoted. I'm sorry to see Gomes go; he was effective out of the 'pen, while now Sonny is back out there in his stead. Oh well...at least we'll get to see Cobb pitch tonight.