Hot Rod of the Day 5/1/14: Jake Faria

By Fletcher Keel

The Bowling Green Hot Rods closed the month of April the same way they began it: winning back to back games over the South Bend Silver Hawks.

Bowling Green and South Bend played two yesterday after a rainout on Tuesday, Michael John’s club swept the twin bill, and extended a season long win streak to three games. The Hot Rods got it done offensively in both games (each were 7 innings), winning by scores of 4-0 and 13-7. While there were any number of Hot Rods we could have pegged for HROTD for their offense, the opening game saw something that hasn’t happened since 2011.

Game one starter, Jake Faria, pitched 5.1 innings of perfect baseball, allowing just a single hit to Zach Esquerra in the top of the 6th inning. Faria wouldn’t allow that to rattle him, as he finished the job and recorded the first Hot Rod complete game shutout since July of 2011, when Victor Maeto pitched a no-hitter.

Faria was a 10th round draft pick in 2011, and has showed great improvement in each year he has been with the Rays. Faria can get guys to strike out (he K’ed six yesterday), but is noted as being a groundball pitcher, thanks in large part to a sinking low-90’s fastball. Faria also boasts a slider and changeup, which he does a good job of keeping down in the zone. Many people who know the Rays see Faria as a 3-4 starter, but he has come a long way in the last couple of years and we will have to see how good to can get. Faria’s is still just 20 years old, and the more he continues to develop his three groundball pitches, the quicker he’ll move up the farm.

Things are seemingly beginning to come together for this Hot Rods club, and more and more young stars seem to be emerging. You might want to mark your calendar for the next time Jake Faria throws, because he just have another special night.