Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rookie Jeremy Hellickson is brilliant again as Tampa Bay Rays rout Detroit Tigers 8-0


The fact that touted prospect Jeremy Hellickson has won his first two big-league starts has been impressive enough.

But it's how Hellickson completed the feat that has the Rays feeling like they have something special.

The rookie pitched seven shutout innings in Tampa Bay's 8-0 win over the Tigers on Tuesday night at Comerica Park, baffling hitters by offering a complete package to pull the Rays to within a half-game of the first-place Yankees.

"Jeremy was fabulous," manager Joe Maddon said. "The combination of composure, location, pitchability. That's the thing that really stands out about it. … To have a guy that young understand this concept of pitching so well, it's unusual."

Hellickson at one point retired 18 straight and allowed three hits.

"This guy knows how to pitch," Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon said. "He's fearless."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Hellickson was a bit "different," especially for a young pitcher, throwing changeups to right-handers, tossing a curveball for strike one, moving hitters off the plate and spotting his "sneaky" fastball.

"He was under control," Leyland said. "He was really impressive."

Hellickson, 23, called up in the middle of a pennant race to start for the injured Wade Davis, said he didn't feel any nerves like he did during his dazzling debut last week, when he gave up two runs over seven against the Twins.

"He just looks like he's the coolest cat on the field," Matt Joyce said. "He's something special."

Fewer than half of Hellickson's 86 pitches (40) were fastballs. But he had command of his offspeed stuff and was able to consistently repeat his delivery.

"I felt really good," Hellickson said. "As long as I can throw my curveball for a strike, I think I can be successful."

Said Maddon: "You don't have to be 6-(foot)-5 and throw 96 to be successful here."

Though the score indicated a blowout, it was much closer. The Rays (69-44) scored five in the ninth, tying a club record with five walks, three with the bases loaded.

They didn't need much the way Hellickson (2-0) was pitching.

"He was throwing any of his pitches in any count," catcher John Jaso said. "It seemed like he could throw anything for a strike at will."

After cruising through six on 77 pitches, Hellickson ran into trouble in the seventh. With one out, Damon and Brennan Boesch both singled between second and first, setting the table for Triple Crown threat Miguel Cabrera.

One pitch later, Hellickson got Cabrera to ground into an inning-ending double play.

That was his last inning, after just 86 pitches. But with Joaquin Benoit fresh, there was no need for Hellickson to go back out.

After all, he'll have plenty more chances to impress.

"This guy has legitimate, legitimate stuff," pitching coach Jim Hickey said. "This isn't just like some fuzzy, feel-good story. … I can see him having tremendous success."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Hellickson's start, by the numbers

40: Fastballs

26: Changeups

20: Curveballs

86: Total pitches

61: Strikes

25: Balls

18: Consecutive hitters Hellickson retired between the first and seventh innings

3: Third pitcher since at least 1952 to pitch seven or more innings and allow three hits or fewer in his first two major-league starts (Mike Norris, Oakland, 1975 and Lew Krausse, KC, 1961)

2-for-24: Right-handed hitters against Hellickson in two starts

2-0: Second Rays pitcher to win his first two big-league starts (Joe Kennedy in 2001)

Rookie Jeremy Hellickson is brilliant again as Tampa Bay Rays rout Detroit Tigers 8-0 08/10/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 10:43am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Alex Faedo, Florida advance to face LSU in College World Series finals


    OMAHA, Neb. — Alex Faedo pitched three-hit ball for 71/3 innings in a second straight strong performance against TCU, and Florida moved to the College World Series finals with a 3-0 win Saturday night.

    Florida’s Austin Langworthy scores on a single by Mike Rivera in the second inning during a 3-0 victory over TCU.
  2. Jones: Bucs need success to get national respect


    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones offers up his Two Cents on the world of sports.

    No respect

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Rays journal: Jumbo Diaz falters after getting within a strike of ending rally

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday's game got away starting with a leadoff walk in the seventh inning by Rays LHP Jose Alvarado, who was brought in exclusively to face Baltimore's lefty-swinging Seth Smith.

    Rays reliever Jumbo Diaz wipes his face as he walks off the mound after the Orioles score four during the seventh inning to give them a 7-3 lead. Diaz was one strike away from working out of the jam before he allowed a two-run double and a two-run homer on back-to-back pitches.
  4. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It was refreshing to see RHP Jacob Faria take the blame after the loss even though he gave the Rays a chance to win. Too often young pitchers are encouraged by what they did and not necessarily the outcome, but Faria, making just his fourth big-league start, came to the Trop to win, didn't, and pointed the finger …