ST PETERSBURG FL - OCTOBER 07: Desmond Jennings #27 the Tampa Bay Rays waits on deck during Game 2 of the ALDS against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field on October 7 2010 in St. Petersburg Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
After three solid starts beginning in the middle of June, Wade Davis has posted two consecutive not-solid -- perhaps entirely liquid -- starts. On July 6th, he went only 5 innings and gave the Twins 4 R and 3 ER. Today, he went 5 and 1/3 and donated 6 R and 5 ER to the Kansas City Royals.
Facing a total of 27 batters, Davis walked none and struck out 3, but allowed 11 hits -- including a homer and 4 doubles. The New Wade Davis approach we saw early this year -- throwing softer, striking out fewer batters -- did not appear to be the problem tonight as Davis got his fastball into the low mid-90s even as late as the 6th inning and averaged 92+ MPH on the night.
No, it appeared to be just One of Those Days, the days in which the opposing pitcher -- Luke Hochevar -- sports an in-game FIP of 9.34 and our starter's 4.27 FIP somehow proves insufficient. J.P. Howell and Brandon Gomes each had a pair of runs tagged against them, but it appears the BABIP beasts were in full ferocity against Howell (.750), Gomes (.500), and Davis (.435).
The Rays offense did not have a bad game, but certainly did not help themselves. They loaded the bases after scoring two in the first frame, but then a Matt Joyce strikeout and B.J. Upton ground-into-double-play (they come in bunches, apparently) ended the threat.
Evan Longoria seems to be thankfully gaining momentum again, going 1 for 3 with two walks and a beautiful 2-run shot in the 6th inning. Matt Joyce followed with a dinger of his own. Johnny Damon continued his interminable march into the history books, clubbing a double on his way to a 3 for 5 night.
Big news of the night:
- The Rays called up outfielder Desmond Jennings and sent down Reid Brignac. As Steve notes, the Desmond Jennings era has begun, but it's hard to say this means B.J. Upton is also on his way out. Maybe we will know more after dawnbreak.
However, one must assume this means, at present, the Rays will employ Sean Rodriguez as the full-time shortstop and post Ben Zobrist at second. Or perhaps call up Dan Johnson and move Casey Kotchman to second, then put Robinson Chirinos at short so Nevin Ashley can catch. #rosterbate
- Matt Moore made his Triple-A debut with the Durham Bulls. He went only 5 innings, but struck out 7. In the meantime, I will be over here, resisting Scott Kazmir thoughts.