First things first, the Rays lost 6-2 to the Jays last night, behind a very decent performance by AJ Burnett. Toronto have some very impressive hitters in their lineup – as the Devil Rays found to their cost in the 7th and 8th last night. Two solo-shots off of Jon Switzer, and then two 2-run homers off of Brian Meadows were enough to seal the victory.
But oh, how different it could have been. Scott Kazmir, making his second start since coming off the DL, was on a strict pitch count. Shame really.
Kaz was simply outstanding. He through 5 innings, allowed just 2 hits and no runs, and struck out 10. The Jays just couldn’t make contact most of the time – which is a shame, as it meant he had to throw more pitches per inning than he, and Joe Maddon, would have liked. Still, he’s looking good, and should be back to full strength pretty soon.
Then, there’s Carl Crawford. In case you haven’t read it, i’ll direct you to my birthday tribute to CC a few posts further down. Last night he showed a little more of why he’s so good. Each of his first three at-bats, he singled and then stole second. The third time, he stole after the Blue Jays had thrown two pitch-outs. You just can’t stop CC running. The thefts were his 40th, 41st and 42nd of the year. That means that CC is now the fifth active player with 4 or more 40-steal years, and one of two to do that over the last four seasons (Juan Pierre is the other). He’s the first player since Juan Samuel (’84-’87) to compile 200 steals and 50 triples over a 4-year span.
CC is GOOOOOOD.