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

Mariners 1, RAYS 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: John Jaso. If there is one guy that I feel good for today it is Jaso. Good for him. I haven’t watched the Mariners enough to know if he has improved his defensive mechanics at all (they were awful with the Rays). But dude is raking at the plate and he just caught a perfect game.

THE BAD: Perfected Again. 27 up, 27 down, for the 3rd time in 4 seasons matching the Dodgers MLB record. A record that took the Dodgers 108 seasons to set…Joe Maddon. The Rays have a B-team offense to start with, even with Evan Longoria. And yesterday, Joe Maddon, against one of the best pitchers in baseball put in his C-team lineup. No Desmond Jennings and no Jeff Keppinger…Derek Shelton. I usually am a defender of Shelton. Not because I think he does a good job, but because I think his influence is a bit overrated. But there have now been three no-hitters thrown against the Rays on his watch. And while he didn’t swing a bat during any of those, he had a damn good seat for all three. Would another hitting coach be any better? Maybe not. But sometimes guys just need a different voice…King Efficiency. Who knows if the alternative would have been any better, but the Rays certainly didn’t help matters by being so aggressive at the plate. Felix Hernandez only threw a first pitch strike to 16 of 27 batters. But of the first 8 batters to see a strike on the first pitch, five swung at the pitch. The Rays became more patient (or maybe tighter) later in the game, but by then, King Felix was in a groove and it probably no longer mattered.

THE TELLING: Felix Hernandez was on the mound for 41 minutes. For comparison, Mark Buehrle was only on the mound for 32 minutes during his perfecto against the Rays…Contrary to yesterday’s report, Luke Scott did not catch a flight to Anaheim. It now sounds like Scott will rejoin the club on their next homestand with Scott getting some work with the glove in the meantime…The Rays are now 63-54, 0.5 games ahead of the Tigers for the second Wild Card.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Joe Maddon was ejected in the 7th inning for arguing balls and strikes, and Mariners manager Eric Wedge wasn’t happy, thinking that Maddon was just trying to disrupt Hernandez. [TampaBay.com]
  • Sean Rodriguez considered bunting with 2 outs in the 9th. But when the count got to 2-0 he thought he could hit a double or a home run. HAHAHAHAHA. The guy hitting .206 with just 6 home runs in over 300 at bats thought he could go deep off of Felix Hernandez one out from a perfect game. There’s being confident. And there’s having a false sense of one’s own abilities. [TampaBay.com]
  • The “Knothole Rays”? Is there anybody under 30 that even knows what that means? [TBO.com]
  • I’m taking this perfect game a lot better than I took the first one in 2009. Maybe I am just getting used to them. But then again, that team was 4 back in the Wild Card in late July and would miss the playoffs. [RaysIndex]
  • Stuart Sternberg and the Rays are being sued by a company that says the Rays stole their idea for eGraphs.com. [TampaBay.com]
  • What happened to all the superstars in baseball? [BI Sports]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM 9, Columbus 7. Cesar Ramos had his 3 straight rough start proving that the transition to the rotation either won’t work or is not going to be as easy as some hoped. This time he allowed 6 runs in 6 innings, including 2 home runs…LF Chris Gimenez had 2 home runs, his 8th and 9th and is now hitting .335…2B Will Rhymes added his 4th home run…SS Tim Beckham went 1-5.

MONTGOMERY 9, Huntsville 6. Kyle Lobstein allowed 5 runs in 5 innings…RF Mikie Mahtook was 0-5 with 2 Ks and 2B Derek Dietrich went 2-4 with an RBI…C Mark Thomas hit his 3rd home run.

CHARLOTTE 6, Bradenton 3. Braulio Lara walked 5 in 5 innings, but allowed just 1 unearned run…RF Todd Glaesmann hit his 4th home run, and DH Phil Wunderlich added his 8th.

BOWLING GREEN 4, Great Lakes 1. LF Josh Sale was 2-3 with his 10th home run. He is hitting .260.

HUDSON VALLEY 2, Connecticut 0Eduar Quinonez struck out 5 and walked none in 5 shutout innings. He gave up just 1 hit.

Burlington 2, PRINCETON 0. Kevin Brandt, an 18th round pick this year, made his 4th start and pitched 5 perfect innings with 8 strikeouts. In 4 starts he has a 0.95 ERA with 22 strikeouts and just 2 walks.

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19 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Shelton's influence may be overrated, but he is a cog in a system that I think suppresses natural hitting talent

    John Jaso is having an incredible season, albeit part time, and he's exactly the kind of hitter the Rays are dying for at a premium position

    Why wasn't he that good with the Rays (decent/good in 2010, awful in 2011)

    Is it bad luck or is the work the count take your walks approach simply not meant for everyone?

    I think the Rays may be beginning to understand that, because if you've noticed, they haven't really fucked with Jeff Keppinger's game

    Keppinger nibbles until he's in a 2 strike count, then just taps everything away until he gets what he wants at the risk of causing an out. He doesn't walk much. Very antithetical to the "Rays way". But they've left him alone and he's one of our best players.

    Now, you can't have 9 guys who all do that.

    But more than 1 on a 25 man roster wouldn't hurt.

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    • Dave L says:

      Initially I felt the same as you about Kepp being one of our better hitters. But if you look at his productivity its pretty weak in fact.

      His RBI and Runs scored numbers are pretty low versus the number of at bats he has and his GIDP percentage is the highest on the team as far as I can tell.

      He doesnt seem to produce with runners in scoring position. To me he is this years Kotchman, good average but as far as contributing to numbers on the scoreboard well it doesnt add up to much.

      I cant say I fully comprehend WAR but I guess thats why his WAR is 0.3.

      if anyone can prove me wrong with stats other than batting average which doesnt count on the scoreboard Im all ears. I like Kepp dont get me wrong but he isnt producing runs or scoring them much.

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      • Drew says:

        Keppinger is 2nd on the team in wOBA and wRC+.
        http://bit.ly/OkZJBB
        the fangraphs glossary explains what they mean.
        http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/offense/wrc/

        You are right about his problems hitting with men on base though... .360 vs. .274 avg and .397 vs. .314 wOBA

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        • Dave L says:

          Yeah thats true and I misread his WAR its 1.6 or 1.9, sorry about that. The RISP was just a gut feeling, he doesnt seem to bring guys home as much as his overall BA would suggest.

          I did see where he ground into 8 DP against RHP in only 160 AB thats pretty high. Only 1 against lefties. Thats one thing about a K its only 1 out at least. We really need him especially against lefties this year.

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  2. Katherine says:

    It's time to cut our ties with Derek Shelton. This has been long overdue. Under his watch, we have actually seen 3 perfect games and a no hitter. If that doesn't raise a red flag then I really dont know what will.

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    • Brandon Rays Fan says:

      Actually, that first perfect game, the one by Mark Buehrle was in 2009. Im pretty sure Shelton wasnt hired until 2010. Steve Henderson was the hitting coach in '09.

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      • Beth says:

        That's right, Shelton was hired Fall 2009, which means he wasn't with them until the 2010 season.

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  3. Beazy says:

    "The Tampa Bay Rays, in their 15th season in the majors, became the first franchise in major-league history to be on the losing end of three regular-season perfect games..."
    "Only one other skipper in MLB history has seen his team go 27-up, 27-down more than once: Tommy Lasorda of the Dodgers (Browning & Martinez)..."

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  4. don says:

    Look the Rays got Maddon for $250,000, unheard of for a ML manager, then they hire a "hitting coach" let go by one of the worst hitting teams in baseball, what do you think they paid HIM? I could guess $50,000 +/- guarantee he hasn't got a raisesince, what would it cost the Rays to get a first class hitting coach,more than they offered a manager, don't hold you breath
    Keppinger: I don't care about all the BS stats you can get to try to demean his importance, but I will tell you.. he is one of the few hitters on the team that can HANDLE a bat,see if you can find a number for that because its the MOST important thing in hitting!

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  5. Beth says:

    Cork, I remember how dismayed you were by the 2009 perfect game and it is interesting that you are much calmer this time. Maybe the Rays have simply desensitized us to the significance of being on the short end of a perfect game? Or maybe getting stymied by King Felix is less humiliating than getting no-hit by Mark Buerhle or Dallas Braden (Dallas Braden!!!).

    In the larger scheme of things, who cares if they got no hits or 2 hits (a more typical Rays game) in losing? The painful loss, to me, was the Tuesday night loss. If they'd held on to win Tuesday, we could walk away from Seattle with a series win and a hat tip to Hernandez and Jaso. Just win the games you should win, and then the losses to Cy Young award winners won't keep you out of the playoffs!

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    • Dave L says:

      Exactly. The last 9 games we are 7-2. Would you trade 2 meaningless hits to make you feel less embarressed yesterday for say 5-4? I wouldn't. The Rays on on a good run despite yesterday. It only counts for 1 of 54 loses so far, no more.

      Perfect games and No hitters are up exponentially in the last few years.

      Its not always about 'we suck' the other teams guys are professionals and paid better than our guys for the most part.

      I expect the Rays to bounce back.

      This series with the halos is important. I expect they will be in the mix at the end of September and I still have good reason to feel the Rays will be too.

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  6. don says:

    So much for sports psychology....I'll bet you ask any Rays hitter leaving the clubhouse last night about their ability as a ML hitter ...I'm sure they would say" It was just another loss doesn't mean anything we're still good hitters......"
    Get real....your sitting on the couch saying who needs a "meaningless hit", it doesn't matter....really?

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    • Dave L says:

      Yesterday must have been like Christmas and your birthday all rolled into 1 for you.

      Congrats.

      Revel in it, lap it up and drink it deeply. Cherish the moment.

      Did you watch the interviews after the game? These guys are professionals of course they dont want to be on the end of that but they were really marvelling at the pitching performance of Felix.

      They dont take losses nearly as hard as some of the fans do after all this is baseball! The best teams lose 55 to 65 games a year. Get over it. They do and I do too.

      They have a game tonite. Their best pitcher is pitching. They are in a pennant race.

      Go back to your misery and wallow in your negativity, thats all you know win or lose, so does it really matter?

      But again I congratulate you, yesterday you must have been in heaven.

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      • Raysfan137 says:

        I've had my issues with Don's pessimism, believe me. And I agree that perfect game wasn't the end of the world. We have a good team in pennant race. All good. Doesn't change the fact that offense is still our weakest point by waaayyyy too far. Shelton's job is to help that. He's not. The fact that we have a team built on pitching and defense means we need a hitting coach who is capable of squeezing more out of people. The numbers show he gets less than they've gotten before exposure to him, and that some do much better after leaving. Our team DNA (to follow the Maddon commercials) dictates the need for a strong hitting coach who can get more out of less. Shelton has gotten less, not more.
        And if someone want to launch the old argument that a hitting coach cannot do much at this level I have two responses 1) Then why have one. 2) Then it won't hurt to switch.

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        • Dave L says:

          Yes the offense is undeniably worse than ever in the history of the franchise.

          In the past few years, work the count was productive, we produced way more runs always than our BA would indicate and we manufactured runs.

          This year our Runs scored= our crappy BA so its not working. I won't deny it. Its obvious. So maybe in the off season yes a new voice would be in order. Just dont expect that voice to sound much different than the present one. I dont expect the Rays to send a guy packing in August who is teaching the AF/JM philosophy, so if people want to come here day after day week after week and call for a guys head and if it makes them feel better I guess vent your spleen, have your say.

          The team concept is part of the Rays way. They are all in it together, everybody has each others back. Positive motivation. They are all pulling the same direction on the same rope. Shelton is part of that team. We will live and die this year with this bunch.

          Like when everybody comes here and trade this pitcher! Get this great bat! Im just chuckling. Aint gonna happen never has, never will, cant afford it etc, with this management team so why waste your time arguing for it. Past is prologue.

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          • Raysfan137 says:

            You're obviously right. Ain't the Rays way. And I guess a counter point could be that if we ask the Rays management to completely change their philosophy we might be asking them to throw out the baby with the bathwater. None of us really have much to complain about. But I will say I've been anti-Shelton since they hired him. We need something stronger their. I don't even think changing him now necessarily does anything this season - other than make Don some of the rest of us find something else about which to vent away internal organs - which would at least be something.

            Also, I'll bet you find lots of similar "brotherhoods of discontent" on lots of other MLB team related sites. Seems like people need a place to vent amd these forums are a good place.

            For the record - my theory on the perfect game: Maddon's philosophy is keep people fresh by giving them breaks from time to time. He knew Felix was going to be tough. Figured it was lower odds of winning game anyway and thus a good chance to give some guys a rest and get others some time. He'll never openly say that, but the trends are there. He didn't figure on a perfect game, but why else sit a couple of guys who seemed to have just gotten "a little toasty" to quote the Mad One himself ? And for people like Sean Rod, who can't hit rghties ? It might feel like ten losses, but it's only one. And the YankMes lost today. So we'll get than win back tonight. And Don and the rest of us venters will find something else to complain about.

            Let's Play Some Baseball. Go Rays!!!

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      • Don says:

        I'll stand by my statement not one "hitter" on this team felt good about himself last night and they have no idea how they are going to react tonight,
        the best part of yesterday was seeing Jaso stick in it Maddons ass...the best manager in baseball that said he wasn't good enough to be a catcher in ML baseball...your right again Joe...but you will always have fans like ole dave who thinks you are wonderful and sleep with their heads in happyland, no reality to face there...

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        • Raysfan137 says:

          Dude seriously ? No hitter felt good about himself ? Brilliant observation. They got a perfect game thrown against them. That's fairly safe to assume. If one guy goes Ofer he doesn't feel good about himself. Of course if all of them go Ofer they won't feel good about themselves. I fail to see how stating a tautology supports and argument.

          I thought we were critcizing Sheltie. So we're after Joe now ? OK, I'll ride this mystery train for a minute. So let's assume I agree, Maddon said Mikey is no good (Which is a big assumption, because for all you know, behind closed doors he was against the Jaso trade. But he would never share that info openly. Not the Rays way and not JoeMa's way). So he was wrong about a guy. What exactly are you suggesting ? Fire Maddon ? Seriously. Who would you hire? Wait... I know..Don!!!!!!

          I will be hitting coach under you for free if you get the job. Best of luck.

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  7. Raysfan137 says:

    It's not Shelton's fault. But he's not doing a damn thing to improve things. Too many players here way below career numbers. Too many players leave here and produce more. Forget perfect games. How many 1-2 hitters since he got here? They are not his fault. But he was hired, I assume, to do better than the last guy. He hasn't. How many games do we win that we've lost if just 3 guys that play more than half time produced equal or closer to their career numbers?

    It's not his fault. He's not helping, as he is paid to do.

    And did someone really suggest Shelton only gets paid $50k ? Or was that hyperbole? He lives in my neck of the woods. I know his house. It's not Jeter's place, but if he only makes $50K he's definitely in the wrong job. I want to hire him to handle my finances.

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