Daily Process: Davis Battles Command; Rays Shutout By Bergesen | The Process Report

Daily Process: Davis Battles Command; Rays Shutout By Bergesen

The less velocity, more contact approach by Wade Davis is starting to take a turn for the worse. In his first six starts, Davis pitched at least six inning in each start and gave up a combined 12 earned runs in 39 innings. In his last two starts – both against the Baltimore Orioles – he has allowed seven earned runs in 10.1 innings while walking eight batters and surrendering three bombs.

The main caveat with Davis’ strategy is the need to be in complete control and command at all times. In this game, he left several balls up and over the plate that were converted into hits and then runs. The game-changing at-bat in this one was a shining example of that.

Already trailing 2-0 in the sixth inning, Davis faced Jake Fox with one out and one on. The two had a pretty good battle before Fox belted a two-run home run to left field. Following five straight foulballs, Davis threw a 92 MPH fastball that hung over the middle of the plate. Fox put it out of play, but this time he did so within the foul lines to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead.

Before Yesterday’s game, Joe Maddon said fastball control was key for Davis. This is especially true if he is going to continue to throw it at 90 MPH. The right-hander entered the game with a strike rate around 64% on his fastball, but was around 57% on Saturday. Again, when he missed it was elevated and around the heart of the plate. He did a fine job of mixing up his pitches and keeping his sequencing fresh; however, the execution was not there.

Behind Davis, Adam Russell struggled in an inning and a third of work. He allowed three hits and two walks in the span of eight batters. On the season, he has given up 10 walks in 14 innings of work.

Even if Davis and Russell had been sharper, it would have not mattered. After watching Jeremy Hellickson spin a shutout on Friday night, Brad Bergesen returned the favor on Saturday. The Rays had just four hits against him and none of those came after the third inning. Playing into the right-hander’s strength, the Rays put 14 balls in play on the ground. Tampa Bay had an opportunity to score in the first inning, but Evan Longoria grounded into a 5-4-3 double play with runners at the corner and no outs. Despite all the early season struggles by the offense, this was the first time they failed to score a run in 2011.



One Comment

  1. upnm42 wrote:

    When Powell returns Russell should go to Durham and work on his command of his better than average fastball. He needs to hit his spots and further experiment at this level is not warranted.Delaney will pitch well today and Gomes appears to be rounding into shape.They should stay.

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