The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Matt Moore. It was weird night for Double-Nickel. At no point did I think that Moore had his best stuff, but next think I know, I look up and Moore has struck out 8 and and allowed just 1 hit in 7 shutout innings. His fastball is still too high in the strikezone but he is getting better about keeping his secondary pitches down. One concern is maintaining velocity. In the early innings, he was 96-97 (fastball), 87 (changeup), 83-84 (slider). By the sixth and seventh innings, his fastball was down to 94-95 (not terrible), but his slider was only 79-81 (that’s a big drop). And meanwhile his changeup was unchanged at 86-87…Lobotron! If Joe Loboton can show anythign with the bat it is a bonus considering he is the Rays best defensive catcher. His double in the 2nd inning drove in the first run. He also had a walk and scored twice. Since he has come off the DL, Lobaton has made 8 starts and has been on base 11 times.

THE BAD: Hideki Matsui. It is still very early, but so far, half of every ball Matsui hits is a flyball. Matsui has always been more of a linedrive hitter that happens to hit a lot of home runs. In fact. in 5 of his last 8 seasons, he hit more groundballs than flyballs. And this is especially concerning considering we have seen a number of his balls die at or near the warning track. Again, it is early. And he has hit a few balls very hard. But something is not quite right yet. And at his age, there is the concern that it won’t get right.

THE TELLING: The Rays are still 2.5 games behind the Yankees and 1.5 games behind the Orioles…Hideki Matsui is taking grounders at first base, just in case of emergency.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Here’s some great news. Jeff Keppinger could be back middle of next week! Oh yeah, and some fella named Evan Longoria may also be back in 4-5 days. Also, Kyle Farnsworth hopes to be back with the team at the end of the month. [TampaBay.com]
  • No no-hitter for RA Dickey, but we already knew that. [TampaBay.com]
  • Should anybody be worried that Kellen Winslow is blasting Greg Schiano? [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

Lehigh Valley 4, DURHAM 1.

Huntsville 6, MONTGOMERY 4.

CHARLOTTE. no game scheduled

BOWLING GREEN 1, Fort Wayne 0 (10).

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4 Comments

  1. Sam B says:

    Loving what Jose Lobaton is providing with the team. Now if Jose Molina can teach Loby how to frame pitches like a champ... I think the Rays really have something in Lobaton and need to make sure he stays long term.

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  2. Ken says:

    Pending the return of Longo and Keppinger I think it's time the front office has a "come to Jesus" meeting to evaluate this team. They need to chart a course to elevate this team from "competitive" to "dominate" and what it would take to do so, not just for this season but for the next few years.
    We have way too many duplicate parts. Most of whom are performing at the same abysmal level. It's clear that Andrew/Joe are stubborn kinda of fellas who stick with their player evaluation/decisions too long at times, despite on the field evidence to the contrary.
    Let's break it down by groups:
    Catching: Molina has to go, period. Lobaton may or may not be the answer but he shows the potential of being the first Rays catcher in recent memory to bat above .220 and is far superior on defense.
    Infield: Here we have an interchangeable group of mediocre players, excluding Longo and Kepp. Johnson, SRod, Rhymes and Sutton are all bench players on any contending team. Two of them have to go considering Zorilla has to play somewhere (and not right field).
    1B/DH: Pena, Scott and Matsui, ugh. Carlos glove keeps his .190 bat in the lineup, but only as the 7 or 8 batter. Scott smells like Burrell to me and why Matsui instead of Leslie Anderson? At least Anderson can play 1b. All lefties leaving Maddon no flexibility.
    Outfield: Our strongest set of players. Flash, BJ and Joyce should bat 1,2,3. All the Upton haters need to get another team to root for. We have no one to replace him. If he's traded for a bunch of maybe's it will mark the beginning of the end for the Rays as a competitor.
    Pitching: Great, both starting and relief. Only one problem there: JP. When in the world will he be gone? We can't trade him and he takes up a very valuable roster slot. When Farnsworth comes up he's gotta go. But he won't...and that's the chink in this team's front office armor.

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  3. Cork Gaines says:

    We've been over this before. If you prefer to call it a curveball that's fine. But it acts much more like a slider. Some call it a slurve. I've always called it a 2 that is 3-curious. And PitchF/X recognizes it as a slider.

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  4. Dave L says:

    I was in the press level just pass third base last nite and balls and strikes were hard to call but you could see that curveball/slider movement.

    It was coming in neck high then dropping into the zone as it got to the plate for a strike. It was nice.

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