The preeminent pitching matchup from last night saw Ricky Romero of the Toronto Blue Jays square off against David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays. While both starters threw well enough to earn quality starts, Romero clearly had the better stuff, giving up only a single hit over eight innings.

The only time that the Blue Jays’ ace ran into any trouble at all was in the second inning when the first three batters that Romero faced got on base. From 1993 – 2001, with the bases loaded and none out, teams have gone on to score an average of 2.381 runs. However, a typical team doesn’t have to face Ricky Romero with the bases loaded.

Here’s what happened after Romero walked Ben Zobrist, hit Casey Kotchman with a pitch, and then walked B.J. Upton.

First up was Matt Joyce, who Romero struck out in seven pitches, culminating in a swinging strike on a 2-2 count with a curveball that looked as though it was going to be up in the zone before dropping almost a foot in the air on its route from the pitcher’s hand to home plate:

Next up, was Kelly Shoppach who got ahead on Romero 2-0 before swinging and missing on three straight pitches, finishing once again with a curveball that had twice as big of a drop than the Major League average:

Next up was Sean Rodriguez, who got three four seam fastballs in awkward places in the zone, the final of which he grounded to Jose Bautista at third base, who fired it to second on a fielder’s choice that ended the inning.

After that, Romero only allowed a single hit and two other walks en route to a 3-1 Blue Jays victory over the Rays, putting Toronto only a half game behind Tampa Bay for third place in the American League East.

And The Rest

The first of the veterans have been placed on waivers. Now, let’s all overreact!

Baseball hitters would do better to drop the weight in the on deck circle.

Oh dear lord, it’s happened: the Arizona Diamondbacks have tied the San Francisco Giants for first place in the NL West.

Mark Teixeira set a switch-hitting home run record last night.

Rogers has entered the 21st Century and will now offer live streaming of Blue Jays games.

Tony LaRussa had the most Tony LaRussa game last night, accusing the Milwaukee Brewers of funny business and also ordering his pitcher to throw at a batter to “send a message.” Well done, Tony.

Could Clay Buchholz return to the mound at some point in the postseason.

Johan Santana’s comeback has hit a snag, and now has to be shut down, likely for the season.

Has Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane fallen behind in terms of baseball strategy?

If Jason Giambi gets traded before the post season he wouldn’t mind returning to Colorado next season, meaning that yes, Jason Giambi still plays baseball.

Dustin Pedroia is a big Ric Flair fan. Woooooo!

Oh, fake Ichiro! you should really know better.

It’s only a matter of time until Jim Crane is approved as the newest MLB owner.

Here are some made up conversations between real MLB general managers. Enjoy.

Hey, look. It’s Bryce Harper at the Hershey Factory. No, really.

Comments (31)

  1. Can we revise Ricky’s ceiling up to potential #1 starter? The guy gets better every time he pitches. Try and name 10 better AL pitchers. If Morrow puts it together and someone burns down Fenway park… playoffs baby!

  2. 10 Better Pitchers: Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Lincecum, Sabathia, Verlander, Weaver, Kershaw, Hernandez and Price.

  3. Romero has surpassed a lot of peoples expectations…

    I guess landing miss USA, gave him a little bit more swagger and confidence.

    obviously thats just a joke for the homers.

  4. He said AL pitchers…

    5/10 you listed were NL

  5. I’m not aware of any sport or MLB team that has live streaming of games in their market. So that’s an unjust rip of Rogers

  6. Yeah, Parkes….learn to read.

  7. @ Parkes

    fucking reallignment. now we have the phillies, dodgers, AND the Giants in the AL too?

  8. Sorry. AL Pitchers better than Romero: Sabathia, Verlander, Weaver, Hernandez, Price, Lester . . . I think you’re right. Haren? Beckett? Wilson? It’s pretty close.

  9. He didn’t say he top 10 in the AL means your an ace

    he just said can we move Romero’s ceiling up to a #1

  10. @Bob – Heard of MLB.tv?

  11. AL pitchers though?

  12. If you look at Fangraphs, Ricky has been almost the exact same pitcher as last year, except his BABIP is 25 points lower and accordingly, he’s stranding 8% more base-runners. FIP and xFIP are almost identical. Walk rate and K rate are nearly the same.

  13. Yea Bob, any other teams fans (or even Jays fans not in GTA (or Canada?)) can watch all their games through MLB.TV.

    If rogers didn’t have an MLB.TV blackout I would cancel my cable and watch MLB.TV through PS3.

  14. that weighted bat thing was on sportscience like 2 years ago.

  15. Yeah I watch all the Jays games on my computer in Chicago through MLB.TV. I might prefer the “Extra Innings” package on comcast but its like twice as expensive and they don’t have every game in HD which is really confusing.

    And looking at Fangraphs Pitcher WAR Ricky is 19th this year in the AL. at 2.4 but is 4.1 on Baseball Reference (For some reason I suck at B-R and can’t sort by current AL Pitcher WAR in 2011 so I guess someone coudl do that.). So that’s something to think about. I would probably take Haren over him and wouldn’t really have a problem with someone taking Beckett or Wilson and maybe Gio Gonzalez but obviously playing in Oakland helps him a ton.

  16. And big thanks to Justin Masterson for validating my distrust of WAR. Not saying it doesn’t have any value. Its more like a Delorean: seems like it has unlimited possibilities until you actually try and go back in time with a Sports Almanac and just have a fiery crash into a Walmart…

    • Why does Justin Masteron do that? He has pitched as many inning as Romero but surrendered fewer runs, though he’s done it by giving up only 4 home runs. He’s good, or at least he’s pitched well this year. What’s not to believe?

  17. And Ray wins troll of the day.

  18. Ricky has held opponents to;

    A .210 avg/ .552 ops with runners on.
    A .184 avg/ .482 ops with RISP.
    A .192 avg/ .471 ops with RISP and 2 outs.

    He’s climbing the AL ranks for sure.

  19. Interesting article on position players pitching and BABIP:

    http://mlb.sbnation.com/2011/8/3/2340803/position-players-pitching-babip-stats

  20. KLaw said awhile ago on the ESPN podcast that in his view Romero is not an ace because he would prefer several other lefty starters from the AL east over Romero. He said Lester, Sabathia, Price, and Matusz are all better.

    I disagree with KLaw on this one. In my view, Romero isn’t an ace, but is definitely a solid number 1 starter.

  21. I have a four part response to that
    1. I’m an unabashed homer
    2. Lets see Masterson’s ERA after getting beat down by the Sox and Yanks a few times per year
    3. Maybe I’ve seen only his bad starts, but come on. Justin Masterson? Sixth best pitcher in the AL? Better than James Shields?
    4. Ya, but…

    I don’t know, I’m almost definitely wrong and often am, but I have a lot of trouble believing that we can pinpoint exactly how many wins (not runs but actual wins) a player is worth based only on his wOBA. There’s just a ton going on in baseball games.

  22. Matusz?! Scratch him now, anyway haha

  23. @Ryan Hall

    I agree with you. IMO, KLaw is often biased in favour of younger talent. I find that he is very biased against Romero in general. I think it may stem back to Ricciardi vetoing him and everyone else on taking Tulowitski instead.

  24. The Billy Beane article reads like an old man in a rocking chair telling kids how it used to be. He’s out of touch, hje just doesn’t see it.

  25. I guess you could argue that Price is significantly better than Romero if you’re easily impressed by 19-win seasons and league-average xFIP.

    Last 3 seasons cumulative WAR:

    Price 8.9
    Romero 9.2

  26. A 0.3 WAR difference over 3 seasons really isn’t enough to draw any conclusion about who is better than who.

  27. Hey Donkey, Price only made 23 starts in 2009. maybe thats why

    David Price is younger and definetely has the higher ceiling..

    Romero is good and improving, but I’d still take Price any day

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