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: Hellboy. Let’s just pretend that Josh Hamilton home run never happened. And yes, we hate it when managers defend an outing by saying “he made one bad pitch.” In this case, that one bad pitch didn’t make a difference. The Rays weren’t scoring last night if the game went 18 innings. And any pitcher will take 6 innings and 2 runs against the Rangers offense. If there was a black mark it was the walks. Once again Hellickson struggled with his control walking 4 (1 intentionally). When Hellboy is great, he is a control and command wizard. But this season his strikeout-to-walk ratio is only about 2-to-1. He needs to be at least 3-to-1 and maybe more like 3.5-to-1.
THE BAD: Sunk by the Sinker. Prior to the 9th inning, the Rays hit a grand total of 3 balls out of the infield. And one of those was a groundball single…Not My Longo. It is not often you see Evan Longoria get cheated on swing. But with 2 outs in the 9th, two runners on base, and 2 strikes, Dirtbag got a cutter down-and-away and while just protecting the plate, hit a weak groundball to second base for a game-ending double-play.
THE TELLING: It looks like Jose Lobaton is the catcher the Rays want to call up on Thursday, but he might not be ready…It is not even September, and the 8 teams that lead the playoff chases all have at least a 79.4 percent chance at making the playoffs. That means there is a 60.1 percent chance that all 8 playoff spots in baseball are already decided. It is going to be a boring month…Tim Beckham will be one of the seven prospects that will participate in the Arizona Fall League.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- 3B Russ Canzler was named International League MVP. Prior to last night, Canzler was 4th in the IL with a .312 avg, and leads with a .932 OPS. Canzler joins Dan Johnson, Kevin Witt, Toby Hall, and Steve Cox as Rays prospects to win the IL MVP award. [@SteveCarney]
- Dirk Hayhurst writes about his release by the Rays. [DirkHayhurst.com]
- John Romano jumps on the Desmond Jennings-for-Rookie of the Year bandwagon. [TampaBay.com]
- Dave Schoenfield of ESPN.com wonders if Desmond Jennings should have been called up earlier. [ESPN]
- Jonah Keri and Bill Simmons debate the same question. We would like to think that the correct answer is somewhere between their two arguments. [Grantland]
- Joe Maddon spoke with Jayson Stark about what he calls the “second renaissance” in baseball (the use of technology). And Stark refers to Maddon as “a visionary kind of guy whose embrace of technology, info and outside-the-box thinking has made him, for all intents and purposes, the Steve Jobs of managers.” [ESPN]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 4, Gwinnett 3: Lance Cormier made the spot-start and gave up 2 runs in 2 innings on 5 hits and 1 walk…SS Tim Beckham had 3 hits including a double to raise his average to .277 at triple-A…CF Brandon Guyer had a double in 3 at bats.
- Carolina 7, MONTGOMERY 3: Frank de los Santos gave up 3 runs in 4 innings…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 1-5.
- CHARLOTTE 8, Jupiter 3 (gm 1): Game was the completion of a previously suspended game. 2B Tyler Bortnick finished the game 2-3 with 2 RBI and a walk.
- Jupiter 4, CHARLOTTE 3 (gm 2): In 5 innings, Jake Thompson gave up 4 runs on 8 hits and 1 walks…C Jose Lobaton went 1-1 with a double and a walk, but was pulled after just 2 plate appearances…2B Tyler Bortnick went 1-3 with a double.
- BOWLING GREEN 3, Great Lakes 2: Braulio Lara struck out 6 and walked 1 in 5.2 innings. He gave up 2 runs…SS Derek Dietrich was 0-3 with a walk.
- Connecticut 5, HUDSON VALLEY 0: Andrew Bellatti gave up 5 runs in 4 innings. He struck out 2 and walked 3. His ERA is now 2.63.
- Elizabethton 10, PRINCETON 6: LF Josh Sale hit his 4th home run and went 2-2 with 2 walks.