Two nights in Los Angeles Califorina Anaheim Los Angeles The Stadium in SoCal not used by the Dodgers or Padres, two wins. Strike that. Two convincing wins, one of which came against a right-handed pitcher that used to own us. What planet is this again?
Ervin Santana threw fastballs early in the count trying to set up his slider (which was awful the few times he actually got to it) and the Rays hit fastballs early in the count.
–we interrupt this post to inform you that one of those fastballs, the one that Longo squared up, just landed–
Where I come from, a Rays win — a series win no less — in SoCal is a headline akin to Man bites Dog. But, the Rays killed that (rally) monkey earlier this season. Wade Davis was last night’s story.
Davis did just what a 5th starter is supposed to do. Particularly a 5th starter that is given a big early lead. He threw fastballs, in the strike zone, and got outs.
According to Brooks Baseball, 65 of Davis’s 85 pitches were fastballs (44 4-seamers and 21 2-seamers) and his 85th pitch had the same velocity as his first pitch. That tells us two important things about a young pitcher coming off his first trip to the DL:
- His arm doesn’t hurt; and
- He didn’t lose any confidence in his stuff.
More importantly, Davis was able to overcome some kinks in his delivery that caused a short bout of wildness in the bottom of the 3rd. After a visit from Jim Hickey and another visit from John Jaso, he was able to find his rhythm and last into the 6th inning.
Davis’s start is vital for several reasons. The Rays won’t use him in the postseason but, they only get to make that decision if they get there. And, to get there, they need Davis to take the ball every 5th day, give them a chance to win, and keep the bullpen from being overworked.
Based on last night’s performance; he understands his job.