Sunday, September 2, 2012

September 2: Rays 9, Jays 4

Romero pitches pathetically; game finished early

After a very nice outing in New York against the Yankees where Romero gave up only 2 earned runs over seven innings, the fans were looking forward to Romero building off that game and hopefully finish up the season on a positive note. With David Price on the mound (2nd in the AL in ERA), it would be a tall order.

Unfortunately, the game was over very early for Ricky. In the bottom of the 1st with two out, Rajai pretty much missed a Longoria fly ball to left field that resulted in a run against Ricky. Rajai just didn't pick up the ball in time. Then in the 2nd, Ricky threw a 1-2 cutter for a home run against Ben Francisco. Carlos Pena then walked (plunking the ump in the process). Davis then hesitated on what should have been a single to Roberts (which turned into a double). That put runners on 2nd and 3rd with none out. Molina then singled, scoring another run. Jennings singled on the next pitch to score another run. Sierra then lost a ball in the sun and the ball bounced away from him, loading the bases, still with none out. Ben Zobrist then singled in two runs poast a diving Escobar to end Romero's afternoon. Romero's line: 7 runs on 8 hits, 1+ innings, 1 BB, 0K, and 43 pitches.

Chad Jenkins came in and gave up a run to Upton on a sacrfiice fly. After the top of two, it was 7-0 Rays. The Jays did threaten in the bottom of the 2nd, as Price gave up 3 walks to load the bases, but the Jays could not hit anyone home. Carlos Pena opened the 3rd with a deep home run against Jenkins (8-0 Rays). Tampa scored another another run from a Francisco ground rule double that knocked in Longoria (double). Chad Jenkins was acceptable in the 5th and 6th inning. And by the end of 6 it was 9-0 Rays.

The Jays did score 2 in the 7th off David Price, as Hechavarria singled, Rajai walked, and Colby singled to load the bases with 1 out. Edwin then hit a sacrific fly and Adam Lind singled on a high bouncing ball off the plate to score the two runs. Smart baserunning by Colby on Lind's single as third was left completely open on Lind's ground ball. Price then left the game (6.2 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 4 walks, 5Ks). Badenhop then came on to get Escobar to ground into a fielder's choice.

Laffey threw three innings of 3 hit ball, striking out three and walking 2. The Jays had a sputter of 9th inning offence as Colby singled and Edwin hit his 37th home run into the bullpen in left.

Final score: 9-4.

Offensively, Davis walked once in an 0-4 outing. Moises bat 0-4 again. Rasmus had a 2-4 afternoon, with all the others hit once. The Jays allowed 18 hits.

What is wrong with Ricky Romero? I still think it's definitely his head. In a game against David Price, he knew that he would have to be on top of his game to have a shot at winning. Rajai Davis' play to allow Roberts to reach 2nd took away the double play in the top of the 2nd. Sierra's loss of the ball in the sun did not help the cause. The ground ball singles were close to players. But mostly, Ricky just was not sharp and not mentally prepared to pitch this game. No excuses. If Ricky is going to succeed he has to get his mental game in order. Until that happens, you are going to see some very inconsistent starts. In the post game comments, Ricky had alot to say:
 Is any of it psychological? Do you go out there and feel like, ‘Here we go again?’
“No. Felt pretty good today. Just left some fastballs up. Other [hits] fell for them that inning. That’s just the way the game is. Everything went their way today.”

There’s probably no easy answer, but do you have any guesses about what may be wrong with you this year?
“No idea.”

Did the two days’ extra rest in New York help?
“No. I’m a starter in the big leagues and you’ve got to be ready to go every fifth day....  These performances have been rough. It’s tough to hear boos from your own fans. It’s tough to see your teammates going out there to battle every day. It’s been tough, it’s been stressful. But at the same time, you’ve just got to come back ready to work.”

Are you out of answers?
“Yeah. What more else can I say? It’s worn on me. I was born a winner. Going through something like this I’d never wish upon anyone.”
The thing is, Ricky, is that it is psychological.

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