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Now that’s more like it Kaz…

After Tuesdays opening game Clunker, the Rays came back with a bang on Wednesday. The Rays won convincingly but the most important part of the win was Scott Kazmir. Kazmir started the game looking unfortunately like his last years self. You remember the typical Kazmir start; don’t you? Tons of walks…. High pitch counts and no sense of aggressively attacking the hitters from the start. Kaz helped himself out by striking out Youkilis and Rocco to end the first after giving up 2 consecutive walks. After the first, Kaz basically cruised the rest of the game; pitching 6 innings scattering 5 hits. This can be a real important step in Kaz’s development. Last year Kaz started the year on the DL… came back from his injury with a roar. After his great 5-1 start of the season, Kazmir was a very average and inconsistent 7-7 for the rest of the year. Kazmir would have a dominant game followed by an average and sometimes awful start.
The Rays need Kaz to be that dominant ace. Shields is a great pitcher (at least at home) as is Garza.. but when you see Kaz pitch you can sense that Santana/Beckett-esque stuff that is desperately trying to get out of his small frame. Hopefully pitching coach Jim Hickey can try and make sure Kazmir stays consistent throughout the year. Obviously Kazmir can’t be great every start but Hickey can at least make sure Kazmir attacks the hitters from the get go so that he isn’t struggling with constant 3-2 counts. So here is hoping that this is a good start for Scott and that he keeps it up for the entire year.