Faria leads the Rays in his major league debut

by Gary Shelton on June 7, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Pitcher Jacob Faria was just what the Rays needed./STEVEN MUNCIE

Pitcher Jacob Faria was just what the Rays needed./STEVEN MUNCIE

Thursday, 2 a.m.

The future is tall, unhurried, controlled.

The future throws 94 miles an hour, and he is unshaken by his surroundings. The future has a rather large support group. After Wednesday night, it will get larger.

For the Tampa Bay Rays, the future looks very much like Jacob Faria, who is old enough to end a losing streak, stave off last place and give a glimpse into the future at what may be.

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Tim Beckham had the big hit to lead the Rays../STEVEN MUNCIE

Tim Beckham had the big hit to lead the Rays../STEVEN MUNCIE

Faria, 23, made his major league debut Wednesday night, leading the Rays to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. The Rays ended a four-game losing streak and held off Toronto in the scramble to stay out of the AL East cellar.

It was easy to see why Faria is considered to be part of the Rays' tomorrow, along with Blake Snell and Brent Honeywell.

Faria gave up hits to two of the first three White Sox batters, then settled down and retired 18 of the next 19 batters. According to Statcast, he got 15 swings and misses, including 10 on his fastball. His average fastball velocity was 92.7 mph, and his max velocity was 94.4 mph. By comparison, he averaged 81.3 mph on his 14 changeups thrown.

Corey Dickerson had two more hits for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Logan Morrison had a hit for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

“Usually after starts, my legs would be exhausted,” Faria said. “But I feel like I could go run a mile right now. I’ve still got a ton of adrenaline going. It feels great.

“I think (after the first inning), it was just take a deep breath, realize it’s still baseball, and then do what I can do — throw strikes, get in the strike zone, and let them do with it what they’re going to do. In the first, I was trying to show them, ‘Hey, this is what’s up,’ but you don’t have to do that. Just going back and being me and trying to get in the strike zone.”

The Rays needed the effort. They had lost four straight games, and they entered tied with the Blue Jays for the AL cellar. Faria is only a year removed from starting his AA season at 1-6. This year,he was 6-1 in Durham.

“When it comes down to it, it’s the same game — you’ve got to execute, you’ve got to mix it up — if you do that, you’ll be successful,” Faria said. “I just had to sit back and think. It’s baseball, I just had to go back and do what I know how to do.

Alex Colome had his 16th save./STEVEN MUNCIE

Alex Colome had his 16th save./STEVEN MUNCIE

“In the first inning, I got those first couple hitters out of the way and then was able to get my blood pressure down, if that’s the right way to say it. But, yeah, right in the middle of the first inning is when I was able to settle it down.”

Faria went 6 1/3 innings and struck out five batters.
“He had good stuff,” said teammate Tim Beckham, who had a bases-loaded single on a eight-pitch at bat in the third. “Working his changeup, working his slider really well. He kept the hitters off. They came up being aggressive on him and he didn’t back down. He kept going after them and it was impressive.”

Faria allowed just two runners to reach second base.

Rays' manager Kevin Cash was impressed, too.

“Probably the most impressive thing is the way he came out of the gate and you could tell he was amped and probably throwing some balls up in the zone,” Cash said. “His energy, anxiety, whatever you want to call it, wasn’t helping, but he was able to correct a lot of issues really quick for a young pitcher in that type of atmosphere. We needed a win and generally you don’t ask for a guy to come up and make his major league debut to provide that, but it worked out. He was just outstanding for us.

“The way he just threw strikes overall. That was the biggest thing that he showed zero fear of attacking and getting outs within the zone. That’s a big ask for a young guy to come in and come get some of these hitters out, but you have to prove and establish that you are willing to get them out in the zone and not looking for a chase every single time they are going to swing. And he did that.

Steven Souza Jr. reacts after a stirkeout./STEVEN MUNCIE

Steven Souza Jr. reacts after a stirkeout./STEVEN MUNCIE

"He threw some really good changeups, he threw some change-ups earlier in the count and then threw some nasty ones to get a couple punch outs. I was just generally really impressed with the fastball command and not altering his approach because he’s at a different level now.”
Corey Dickerson of the Rays had his 26th multi-hit game, which leads the American League.

Alex Colome saved his 16h game, which is third in the major leagues.

The Rays try to win the series today, which would make them 6-1-1 in their last eight series. Jake Odorizzi pitches against Derek Holland.

Evan Longoria scores a run in the Rays' 3-1 victory./STEVEN MUNCIE

Evan Longoria scores a run in the Rays' 3-1 victory./STEVEN MUNCIE

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