Rays morning after: Rookie Jake Faria pitches like a veteran and acts the part
The Rays have ample reason to feel good about what rookie stater Jake Faria has done, coming up and limiting the White Sox and Blue Jays to one run each while pitching into the seventh inning both times.
But it may be even more impressive how he has done it, looking as cool calm and collected as a veteran as opposed to a 23-year-old making his first two big-league starts.
"He's a young pitcher that doesn't seem fazed by too much,'' manager Kevin Cash said after Tuesday's 8-1 win over the Jays. "Fell behind in a couple counts, went 2-0 and 3-0 on a couple, and came right back in and made pitch after big pitch to settle everything down. He doesn't seem like he gets overly amped on anything. That's a sign of a pitcher that's in control. And that's what he showed.''
Faria said the key is to not get any more nervous in facing the White Sox and Blue Jays then Triple-A Charlotte or Class A Dunedin.
"The funny thing is like, so, before every game in my entire minor-league career I'm super nervous,'' he said. "Because, it's the same thing up here, any team, any day can come out and bang you around. So it's just the fact I feel the same way before every game has kind of made it a little easier to come up and make the transition.''
While nervous about pitching, Faria also said he was calm about the assignment because he knew, like last week, how much help he'd get.
"I felt the same, just really calm all day knowing I was going to sit down (with pitching coach Jim Hickey) and (C Derek Norris) and go over the lineup before the game. Just knowing what Hick brings to the table and the front office brings to the table makes it real easy to be confident going into the game.''
Also, there was a sense of familiarity.
"The adrenaline wasn't pumping as high just because I had success the first game, so definitely a little smoother from the beginning,'' Faria said.
One thing that was different was pitching in front of nearly 40,000 fans.
"That's probably the most people I've ever thrown in front of in my life,'' he said. "It was cool to hear them getting after it and cheering. It was fun.''
* In hitting three home runs, the Rays hit the 100 mark in their 67th game, quickest in club history.
* Logan Morrison's 18th home run ties him with Toronto's Justin Smoak and Cincinnati's Joey Votto for most as a first baseman in the majors.
* At 35-32, the Rays not only matched their season-high by getting three games over .500 but put them into the second AL wild-card spot, a game ahead of the Indians.