Mon May 30 11:30pm EDT
Talk about refreshing! For the first time in almost three years, a very drenched Jo-Jo Reyes(notes) can look at the box score of a game he pitched and see the following bit of information near the bottom:
W: J. Reyes
Hey, no matter what you think of the fuss made over Reyes' tying the major league record of starts without a win at 28 earlier this week, you have to admit that it must be a pretty cool feeling for the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher right now. Pitching wins may not be the most reliable statistic, but let's be honest: Reyes owned an 0-13 record and a 6.59 ERA since last winning on June 13, 2008. The 28 straight games might have been a result of Reyes being an unfortunate victim of circumstance, but performances like the one he put together on Monday night were far from the norm during the dry spell.
Honestly, what a way to snap the skid. Reyes went all nine innings, striking out four and allowing only one run in the Jays' 11-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Though the Jays' offense did its part by posting seven runs in the fourth inning, Reyes didn't back into the victory. It was the first complete game of the left-hander's career and only the second thrown by a Jays pitcher this season.
By the end of the contest, the crowd at Rogers Centre was standing and chanting his name. After he struck out Jack Hannahan(notes) to earn the win, Reyes was approached by fellow pitcher Ricky Romero(notes), who said: "You can smile now, it's over."
"It was just an awesome game," a smiling Reyes said. "I guess this was the way to do it if I had to choose."
The win means that Reyes will share his weird and unlucky claim to fame with Matt Keough, who went 28 starts without a win with the Oakland A's in 1979. Keough was the subject of an interesting "where are they now?" article in the Toronto Star on Monday and it contained a piece of information that might prove inspiring for Reyes' future. After setting that record in '79, Keough bounced back in 1980 to win AL Comeback Player of the Year honors with a 16-13 record and 2.92 ERA.
Reyes still has a ways to go before his numbers look like that, but Monday's win made for a heck of a great start.
Or, depending how you look on it, one heck of a great ending.