Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Welcome Back Scott Kazmir?

Scott Kazmir was in a groove last night. He had a rhythm, and he looked confident. He had a little extra fire, as the radar gun was hitting 93 again. I wasn't going to over-value his performance in my mind since he had boatloads of help from the defense. Then there was one at-bat, a mono e mono match-up against Alex Rodriguez. A perfect pitch that A-Rod couldn't catch up to for strike 3 gave me glimpses of the ghosts of Kazmir's past.

I won't say that Kazmir is back to his all-star form yet, or that he could lead the AL in strikeouts again yet. I won't even change my stance that he should be traded at this point, since one game doesn't change everything. However, Kazmir had a confident and comfortable look that I hadn't seen since 2007. His confidence is improving, and his game is almost there. He is 1 grand slam (which frankly doesn't really matter since the Rays didn't get a base runner in that game) away from giving up only 3 runs in his last 3 starts. Last night, he was finally rewarded with his first win since May 9.

So, Scott Kazmir, we would like to welcome you back. If this was your last start in a Rays' uniform, we thank you for all you have done. If you do stay, we are excited to see if you can continue to work your way back to the Scott Kazmir we saw in 2007. Either way, it is now a win-win situation for the Rays. I wouldn't have been able to say that at this time yesterday, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why.

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