A lot of pressure is on Jeff Locke tonight. Locke has gotten worse with each outing this season. After making the rotation out of Spring Training, we trusted the southpaw could (but predicted he wouldn’t) turn it up a notch or two.
It simply hasn’t happened.
After spending about seven years in the minor leagues and piling up the innings, Locke earned his shot this year. Well, sorta. But whatever. The opportunity for Jeff Locke is in front of him. Tonight could be his last or next to last start or it could be the start of something very special.
It’s entirely up to Jeff Locke and the stellar defense behind him tonight in Philadelphia. Brandon Inge will make his first start in the black and yellow at third base. The Bucs defense has played well, but Locke simply has allowed to much contact.
Having only six strikeouts is a disadvantage for Locke. The swing and miss has been missing.
With 50 big league innings under his size 24 belt coming into the season, we thought Locke would provide more muscles in the back of the Bucs rotation. But after his first three starts this season, it just doesn’t look like its all adding up right now. Now with 66+ innnings, his ERA+ matches his innings pitched. Yeh, it’s bad.
The big thing for Locke to do tonight in Philly is just pitch. Don’t think about everything, just let it loose. The lefty knows how to do it. There isn’t much more for him to prove in the minors.
The Bucs need a big start tonight from their fifth starter. Tonight would be a great time to get it going.