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

Rangers 6, RAYS 5 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Longo’s Mojo. After being openly concerned about his lack of power coming off the disabled list, Evan Longoria hit a home run last night on a sinker that he actually got fooled on. It was an ugly swing. You could see he was geared up for the fastball and got caught out on his front foot a bit. But the bat speed was there. And even though he had to reach a little for the pitch, and he was a little early, he was strong enough to keep the ball fair and hit a home run off the foul pole. That’s a good sign that Longoria still has good pop in his bat even though he is not 100%…BJ Upton. This is the roller coaster we ride with the Rays. When Upton tripled in the 5th, a hit that essentially tied the game (since Upton was on 3rd with no outs and was pretty close to a guaranteed run), I am sure I wasn’t alone in thinking there was no way the Rays were losing this game.

THE BAD: David Price. King David didn’t do anything to help his Cy Young chances, and maybe we can blame the ballpark. In four career starts in Rangers Ballpark, Price now has allowed 19 runs in 16.2 innings (10.26 ERA). And while he may have been the favorite for the Cy Young yesterday, Price might only be the 3rd pick now, behind Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander. But that also tells us that this race is far from over, and how each pitcher performs in September will ultimately decide the award.

THE TELLING: Alex Cobb will start tomorrow after some thought to bumping him back a day…Don’t look now, but the Rays are not only 4 games behind the Yankees, but they are behind both the O’s and A’s in the Wild Card, trailing both by a half-game (1 in the loss column).

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Jeff Niemann feels fine after being hit in the hand with a linedrive. And Joe Maddon reiterates that Alex Cobb will remain in the rotation even when Niemann returns. Again, it looks like the Rays are going to use six starting pitchers, but not necessarily a 6-man rotation. Some guys (David Price, James Shields) will likely remain on 4-days rest with the rest of the guys shuffled around them. [TampaBay.com]
  • Evan Longoria joins President Barack Obama, Jeremy Lin, David Beckham, and others in a anti-dating commercial. [BI Sports]
  • If you could trade Evan Longoria for anybody in baseball, would you? And who would you pick (see right column). And I can see 2 or 3 guys on that list I would take. [BRaysball Talk]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM. no game scheduled.

Jacksonville 1, MONTGOMERY 0. Matt Buschmann went 1-2-3 in 7 of the 8 innings he pitched. Unfortunately, in the other inning, he walked 2 and then gave up a 2-out single and lost 1-0…LF Omar Luna was 3-4 with a triple and is hitting .305…RF Mikie Mahtook was 0-4 with 2 strikeouts and is hitting .250.

Palm Beach @ CHARLOTTE. postponed

BOWLING GREEN 11, South Bend 5. Jake Floethe was knocked out before the end of the second inning, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. His ERA is now 3.31…C Alejandro Segovia went 3-5 with a double and drove in 3…RF Taylor Motter hit his 5th home run.

Staten Island 8, HUDSON VALLEY 3. DH Richie Shaffer went 0-4 and is now hitting .300 in his first 25 pro games.

PRINCETON 4 Elizabethton 3. SS Brandon Martin went 0-4 with a walk.

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18 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    Curious decision to start Elliot Johnson at 3B v. a lefty last night since the guy cannot hit RH. 0-3 with 2 K's and gambling with his sidearm throws at 3B of all places. His throwing error didn't cost them last night, but it will if they keep rolling him out there.

    Not sure if they guy has a sore shoulder, but his throwing mechanics in 2012 would get him benched in little league.

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  2. petethehat says:

    We've all discussed "it" before and probably will continue too...the Derek Shelton situation...I'm not sure it's Shelton's fault or whose but... there is an overall team malaise (even mind-set) about not swinging at strike and especially "called third strikes".(Twice in the top of the ninth last night) I'd love to see a comparative stat on how many times the Rays have struck out looking versus other teams in the league? I've searched but couldn't find it!

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    • Rob says:

      I have spent hours looking for this stat and can't find it. If anyone does, please post it here. I agree - the Rays have to lead the league in this category.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      I'm not sure that is going to be an easy stat to find. You could probably find for individual players, but then the task becomes tedious.

      What i can tell you is that the Rays are in the bottom half of the AL (10th) in swinging the bat. They swing the bat 44.8% of the time. Tigers swing the most (47.5%) and the Twins swing the least (43.3%). However, the Rays are firmly in the middle of the pack (7th in AL) in swinging at strikes (64.3%).

      I'm not sure why the Rays would suddenly be worse than the other teams with 2 strikes. But I suppose it is possible. But if it was, that would mean the Rays are more aggressive than other teams on counts with less than 2 strikes (in order to be in the middle overall). And it wouldn't seem unlikely that the Rays would go from overly aggressive to the other extreme just because of 2 strikes.

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  3. KT says:

    "even when Niemann retires" feel free to delete this :)

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  4. MJ says:

    how about instead of the ballpark, we blame the unwillingness to change your approach midway through a game. It's clear this lineup can hit the hard stuff, and its also clear they know price likes to throw the 91 mph to the outer half against righties. I think it took way to long for Price/Molina/Hickey/?? to change their approach and move more to the inner half of the plate and increase the changeups and curves.

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    • Sarah says:

      But oddly enough, I thought one of Price's strong points this year has been his ability to make adjustments. His mix of pitches has not been identical each game - there are times when he's all fastballs and times when he mixes in other pitchers; or times he starts with fastballs and then moves to something else. This year he has definitely not be a "one-trick pony."

      That doesn't help explain last night -- but I just don't think it's generally a fair observation about Price.

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      • MJ says:

        It may not be a "generally fair assessment", but its what i observed last night. I'm not exactly fond of using Brian Anderson analysis to prove a point... but he did notice the same thing. I feel it was more of Price et al using what has worked for the last two months, which makes some sense. But once you see that batters are swinging first pitch fastball, and knowing to wait back on the cutter outside, its time to throw a changeup or two.

        Of course Price has improved his repertoire over the years, or he wouldn't be a Cy Young contender. All im saying is it took too long (it didn't even happen) to make the in-game adjustment imo.

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      • petethehat says:

        Price isn't the problem...he had a bad game (that's it) where he left too many pitches over the plate...it happens... the problem is an always will be until someone or something changes it.... "the Hitting" there was a nice philosophy and mind-set change (as well as opposing pitchers being wary) when Longoria came back...but MAN has that worn off... thy're not afraid anymore...somebody better wake the hell up... (and look at my previous posts about strikeouts)!!!

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        • MJ says:

          Id have a lot more faith in Price making an adjustment from great to perfect than i do in our offense from below avg to avg. nothing wrong w striving to be perfect

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    • petethehat says:

      Do you speak English?

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  5. Dave L says:

    Nobody looks Cy Young material after thier worst start of the season.

    The Rangers lineup is full of good hitters and i 'blame' them.

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    • Sarah says:

      Well, that's awfully rational of you!

      At least Price looked awful against a good offensive team. Weaver looked much worse...and against the Rays!

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      • Dave L says:

        Thats my point exactly its not like we are paying the Washington Generals or a lineup of replacements (as in WAR).

        Their hitters are way better than our hitters as is the case with half the AL it seems like.

        I was impressed that we hung in as long as we did. Unlike many I guess I expect to lose 60+ games a year so I cant get too upset over ones where we hang tough against the better teams with a good starter on the mound

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  6. Beazy says:

    Niemann to the bullpen for Hop...

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