The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
THE GOOD: King David the Dominant. David Price’s fastball usage was back up a little yesterday (69.4%), but that’s ok. With the threat of the changeup and slider, his fastball becomes that much more dominant. Prior to yesterday, Price averaged 6.5 swinging strikes on his fastball per game. Yesterday he had 11. And his 17 total swinging strikes was well-above his average for the year (9.3). The result was a career-high and franchise-record 14 strikeouts with just 2 walks in 7 shutout innings. Of course, he will need to remember to keep the change and slider in his arsenal. Otherwise, too many days like this (70% fastballs) and the batters will start to catch up again…Flash Jennings, A-Ah, The Savior Of The Universe. It took a masterful performance by Price to keep Desmond Jennings from getting number one star honors. Flash went 4-5, including 2 home runs in each of the first two innings. The first was Jennings’ first career leadoff home run. Projecting his numbers over a full season would give Jennings 38 home runs and 67 stolen bases. The steals might be on target (speed never slumps), but obviously the home runs are bloated. Still, it gives us a sense of just how good he has been in his first month as an everyday player.
THE BAD: The Big Tease. For a little while there last night, it looked like the Rays had a shot to pull within 5.5 games of the Yankees (6 in the loss column). That is significant because the Rays still have 6 games left with the Yankees. But the Yankees were able to split their double-header and now the Rays still trail by 6.5 (7 in the loss column). CoolStandings.com still only gives the Rays a 3.7 percent shot at making the playoffs. The Rays are staying just close enough for us to raise our eyebrow, but not close enough to get excited.
THE TELLING: Yesterday marked just the 5th time this season the Rays have scored 12 runs. And their 12-run winning margin tied their season-high when they beat the Twins 15-3 back in April…Prospect Matt Moore recorded his 200th strikeout yesterday.
He is the only minor leaguer with 200 strikeouts since 2005 and (see comments for explanation) Moore has now done it two years in a row…Desmond Jennings is now tied for 6th on the Rays with 8 home runs despite playing in only 34 games.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Kyle Farnsworth wasn’t needed, but he was available. [The Heater]
- Double-A pitching prospect Nick Barnese has been shut down for the season due to “shoulder fatigue.” [Biscuit Crumbs]
- ESPN.com breaks down David Price’s fastball even further. [ESPN]
- The Yankees are not happy about how the Orioles handled the rescheduling of the games between the two clubs. To which Brian Anderson responded on the air yesterday: “Shut Up.” [New York Post]
- Be sure to check in with Joe for all the coverage you need from this weekend’s preseason game. [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 4, Charlotte 3: Matt Moore struck out 6 in 6 innings, but struggled a bit with his control, walking 4 and allowing 3 runs on 6 hits…SS Tim Beckham went 0-4 with a strikeout…RF Brandon Guyerwent 1-4 with a triple…CF Justin Ruggiano homered for the first time on his rehab assignment…DH Stephen Vogt went 1-3 and is hitting .333 at triple-A.
- MONTGOMERY 4, Carolina 3: Shane Dyer held the Mudcats to 1 run in 6.1 innings, striking out 3 and walking 1…Matt Bush struck out 2 in a perfect 1.2 innings of relief…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 0-5 with 2 strikeouts. He did steal his 4th base at double-A.
- CHARLOTTE 7, Fort Myers 0: CJ Riefenhausertossed 6 shutout innings, striking out 3 and giving up 3 hits and 2 walks…DH Ty Bortnick went 2-3.
- BOWLING GREEN 2, Great Lakes 1 (10): In 6 innings, Victor Mateo allowed 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 2…CF Kevin Kiermaier went 1-4 and scored the winning run in the 10th on a walk-off balk.
- HUDSON VALLEY: (no games scheduled)
- Elizabethton 8, PRINCETON 2: 3B Taylor Motter hit his 4th home run and C Justin O’Connor added his 8th for all the P-Rays scoring.