You never want your starting ace to be a grinder. You want him to be a surgeon, rather than a butcher. You want to see an artist on the hill, not a house painter. Same tools, but different results. However, for the Blue Jays' acknowledged No. 1 starter, Ricky Romero, the 27-year-old is going through a stretch of self-doubt he has not experienced before.

On Wednesday afternoon, in a 5-4 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field, Romero set a career high with seven walks. In addition, he hit two batters, with almost half of his 104 pitches over six innings being balls. He only allowed two hits. Two of the walks came around to score in the first inning and a hit batter leading off the third became the third of the four runs he allowed.

"I can't explain it, I'm frustrated," Romero said. "It's frustrating. This game takes it out of you more mentally than physically and right now it's gotten its toll on me, you know. I'm trying to do things and fix things and it's just not going my way. The team did a good job in battling back. That's a tough Tampa team every time we play them. It's just unfortunate we came up with the loss."