Sunday, August 16, 2009

Can Garza match Kaz?

See what I mean about good pitching?

Scott Kazmir shakes off a two-run homer in the third inning Saturday and pitches into the seventh. Loads the bases with no-out in his last inning, but gets a ground ball to force a runner at second. He gives up a run to get an out. The rest of the inning is left to Russ Springer, and the rigthty does his job.

The Rays led 5-2 at the start of the seventh Saturday and would win 5-3.

Kaz gives them a quality start. The offense does enough against Toronto's Brian Tallet and the Rays say "goodbye" to the five-game losing streak.

As I blogged Saturday and later wrote in my Sunday column in the Bradenton Herald, the Rays have to get better outings from their starters and they have to get them on a nightly basis, or it's goodbye postseason.

Matt Garza throws this afternoon against the Jays.

I just saw him bouncing around the clubhouse while rock music rocked the room. He looks loose as ever. Garza always does before a start.

He needs to give the Rays more today than what he gave them in his last outing at Anaheim - six runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings. He needs to do what Kaz did Saturday: give them a quality start and turn a lead over to the bullpen.

Garza does that and the Rays win two straight with both victories going to the starting pitcher.

When was the last time that happened? Aug. 1 and Aug. 2 when David Price (seven innings, one run) and Jeff Niemann (eight innings, one run) beat the Royals on back-to-back nights at the Trop.

The rookies can do it. How about the vets?

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