Rays morning after: Jake Odorizzi knows he has to be better
RHP Jake Odorizzi has not been his usual consistent self.
And he knows that he can't consistently be off his game like that.
"There's definitely way better in me than what I'm doing right now,'' Odorizzi said after Wednesday's frustrating 7-6 loss. "I will be better. And I will be better hopefully soon.''
Odorizzi didn't have a specific explanation for his struggles Wednesday, saying he felt fine physically and warmed up well, but it was a battle from the start.
"Probably the most off I've seen him from a strike-throwing point in a long time or maybe ever,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "You could tell from the first inning he didn't have his command. I know he pitches up in the zone with the fastball for strikes but he was missing way up or way down underneath.''
Both Odorizzi and Cash said there was some good in the bad, such as the way Odorizzi fell behind dangerous Josh Donaldson 3-0 and 2-0 and struck him out both times, just not enough.
"I made a lot of good pitches after a lot of un-competitive pitches,'' Odorizzi said.
Odorizzi got no help from his defense, as two potential double plays didn't get turned by fill-in second baseman Taylor Featherston, and catcher Derek Norris' errant throw to second set up a run.
But Odorizzi was the one that "yanked" the changeup that Kendrys Morales crushed for a three-run, 465-foot homer, ending his night after 99 pitches in 4 1/3 innings, and he put the blame on himself as he stands 4-3 with a 3.77 ERA.
"Just a move forward type of an outing,'' he said. "I'll be better next time out. I know I'm very capable of throwing a lot better than I am for the most part this season. It's just kind of been a grind from start to start. It's better than what I was doing last year on a start to start basis. So I can't really discouraged too much about how the results have gone, because I've seen it go much worse when I've been feeling much better. So it's baseball. And I just have to be better next time out and continue that trend.''
Among other issues, Odorizzi has allowed a homer in nine straight starts and 17 of his last 18. Twenty six of the 34 runs he has allowed this season have come on homers.
* Rookie LHP Jose Alvarado said he didn't miss by much in throwing the fastball that Russell Martin launched for the game-winning homer in the eighth, but it was too much over the middle of the plate. Actually, he said, the Rays want him to throw it more over the plate given the movement on his pitch. "He likes when they ask him for a fastball because he believes in his fastball,'' third-base coach Charlie Montoyo said, helping out as a translator. "The pitching coach had a meeting and said stay in the middle with him because he has a good fastball.''
* Logan Morrison hit his 19th homer, now tops among all major-league first basemen.