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: Meaningful Games. It is sometimes difficult to see the trees from the forest, or something. So it is difficult to appreciate that the Rays are once again playing meaningful games in September, something we would have killed for just five years ago. And there are a lot of fans out there that would love to be in our shoes and have meaningful games at this time of year. That being said…

THE BAD: The End is Near. Can the Rays still make the playoffs? Sure. But losing 5 of 6 to the two teams in front of them not only hurts their chances dramatically, but it also shows that this team is just not in a good position to make a run. The hitting, which had a resurgence when Evan Longoria returned, is once again struggling (29 games with 1 or no hits through 5 innings). And the pitching which was unhittable, now appears to be tired. And the injuries and extra-inning games (8 in the second half, including 3 that went at least 14 innings) won’t allow Joe Maddon to give anybody the rest they need. And now, what was a 61.3% chance of making the playoffs just 7 days ago, is now 16.0%. Sometimes there is magic. And sometimes it just feels like every bounce is going against your team. This feels like the latter.

THE TELLING: Joe Maddon was ejected for the 4th time this season, and Matt Joyce was the third Rays player to be ejected this season… Sam Fuld left the game with a hamstring injury. He is hoping that he won’t be out “too long”…As expected, Sean Rodriguez was activated on Saturday, but is limited in what he can do…With Chris Archer having to pitch in extra innings against the O’s, Alex Cobb will start tonight against the Red Sox. He’ll be followed by  Jeremy Hellickson,  Chris Archer, and David Price.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Here’s video Joe Maddon telling the ump “you’re wrong” about a dozen times before getting ejected. And then after getting tossed, Maddon calmly walked out of the dugout and yelled “What the F*CK is your problem?” [RI Videos]
  • Dave Martinez interviewed for the Astros managerial job. He would seem to be a strong candidate as all signs seem to indicate that the new Astros owner wants to emulate the Rays. [TBO.com]
  • The Rays hosted a pizza party at the MLB Fan Cave in Manhattan. [MLB.com]
  • BRaysBallTalk has some more details about the 2013 schedule. [BRaysballTalk]
  • The Bucs came close, but like the Rays, fell in New York. Joe has all the information you need. [JoeBucsFan]

 

 

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11 Comments

  1. Raysfan137 says:

    The most frustrating thing to me about this recent road trip is that I had to watch Stu sit in the stands in Baltimore gloating over not trading any pitching for offense and "look where we are". It felt as if he was thumbing his nose at us fans who want to see more offense. Of course you can't do retro what ifs in any real sense. But all season we have a proven starter in the pen and at least one (until Sep. call ups) major league capable starter in Durham. To say we are here because of pitching is not untrue. But he implied that if he had traded one of those and some prospects for a bat, we would not be here. I, for one, say he is correct. If he had gotten a real bat, instead of some cheap, non-performing vets, we might actually be a few games ahead in the division instead of desperately clinging to a #162Strong hash tag. What's our record in 1 run games ?

    Here's the thing.... I'm happy to be a Rays fan, and happy we're playing meaningful ball in September again. But when Stu takes advantage of a rare interview during a game like to do what felt like arguing against us fans crying for offense, it makes me not want to spend another dime on his product. Of course I will, but man it stings. And I spend a lot (10 full season tickets in lower box 6-personal and 4- for my employees and customers).

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    • Gus says:

      Amen. They let a once in a generation starting pitching staff rot on the vine so Sternberg could stuff his pockets with extra money. For being penny wise, pound foolish, Sternberg is going to miss out on the playoff gate this pitching staff deserves. What discretionary money they did spend, they spent poorly (Pena, Scott). They refused to help the team in June and July when they had no offense at all. More frustrating (to me at least) is that they made no effort to tap the farm system.

      As we end the season, i will be the first to admit the error of my past calls for a Molina brother at catcher and my declaration that Upton would never improve (he is atually slightly better in his 27 year old walk year). I've come to appreiciate Upton for what he can do. I wish him luck as he cashes in somewhere else.

      Maybe he can wake Matt Joyce from the his slumber on his way out the clubhouse.

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    • Tom says:

      I thought Stu was sticking up for his management team, I do not think he was trying to come off as arrogant.

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  2. Rob says:

    I was thinking the exact same thing while watching that interview. This lineup has far too many holes in it, but I will admit I expected more from Luke Scott and Matt Joyce this year.

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  3. phil says:

    This offseason trade Shields, while is value is high, to replenish the farm system with bats. They have Chris Archer to replace him in the rotation!

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  4. don says:

    The Rays face the two last place teams on their home turf this week...IF there is any slight glimmer of hope ....6 of 7 is a must,see who shows up....

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  5. Dave L says:

    On the other hand we have added bats 4 ways in Stu's regime.
    1) We drafted.
    2) We traded pricy pitchers and picked up minor league guys who eventually developed.
    3) We picked up castoffs and ne'er-do-wells during the season for little or nothing.
    4) We brought in high priced (for the Rays) bats in free agency in the off season.

    Obviously 4 was the most expensive and least productive for the Rays and 3 brought us the same or more production from guys like Kepp and Roberts and now Francisco.

    We suck at bringing in 'proven' veteran bats who always seem to let us down and have career lows here. So I for one am glad we didn't trade Shields and get some guy who for the last 40 games would have given us numbers Roberts is putting up. I bet if you saw the names of what we were offered you wouldnt have taken the deal either.

    I hope last nights game will put to rest the theory of Wade being a viable starter for anybody. He's a excellent relief pitcher who WAS a crappy #5 starter.

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    • Tom says:

      I generally agree with your assessment of Davis (although I think crappy #5 starter is a little harsh) but what does last nights game have to do with anything? Am I missing something?

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      • Dave L says:

        In last nights game for example, Wade faced 5 batters retired all fanning 4.

        His fastball was mid 90's. He couldn't throw that last year over 5 to six innings it was always 91 92 max sometimes less.

        He struggled with endurance as a starter, now he's a stud reliever.

        Last night was Exhibit H I grant you but people here clamoring even last week to put him back in the rotation need to just forget about it.

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      • Dave L says:

        But you are right crappy #5 was too harsh.
        I stand corrected.
        Ok #5 Starter with zero upside?

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  6. Gus says:

    Davis was a fine young starting pitcher (4th in ROY voting in 2010) on his way to becoming a very good pitcher. He had some well-documented velocity issues last year and slipped from 4.07 as a rookie (Price was 4.42 as a rookie) to 4.45, but still a guy who is worth something. One mediocre season does not a career make.

    His usage as long man has been inexplicable to me as Peralta has been the weak link in the pen most of the last month. WD 40 should be the 7th-8th inning man with McGee.

    He is striking out 11 men per 9 innings this year, so maybe the pen agrees with him. But it was and is not a given he couldn't be a very good starter if the Rays need him there.

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