The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
RAYS 3, White Sox 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Evan Longoria. He doesn’t get into the good very often. And that is probably because we take it for granted and notice more when others do something well. But last night’s game had an ugly feel to it. The Rays have lost a lot of games this year just like last night’s game. But this time Longo took matters off of his own bat and hit the go-ahead home run in the 9th inning (see his fist-pump below). And it was actually a decent pitch. A slider away. It was a little up, and it didn’t have a real-good snap on it. But it wasn’t terrible. And great hitters do great things with pitches that aren’t perfect…Hot When It Matters. The Rays have now won 8 straight games for the first time since 2004. 2004! Let that sink in a for a moment. They won 7 in a row in 2008, 2009, 2010, and earlier this year. But it has been 8 years since their last 8-game win streak…Destiny Controlled. If the Rays can somehow win their last 6 games and stretch their winning streak to 14, the worst the Rays can do is tie for the second Wild Card. But I still think 5-1 will be good enough.
THE BAD: Matchups. I’m worried about the pitching matchups the next two days. Jeremy Hellickson has never faced the White Sox, which can be good, can be bad. The Rays haven’t faced Gavin Floyd this year, but last year, in 2 starts he allowed just 3 earned runs in 14 innings with 15 strikeouts and just 3 walks. And tomorrow it is Matt Moore, who has struggled recently, against Chris Sale, one of the best pitchers in the AL this season. I know we want 2-0, but we might have to be happy if the Rays split these 2 and just move on with David Price on Sunday.
THE TELLING: If there is a 2-way tie for the 2nd Wild Card, those 2 teams will play a 1-game playoff. If there is a 3-way tie, teams A and B will play each other. The winner will then play team C and the winner of that game would be the second Wild Card. Which teams are A, B, and C would be determined by a tie-breaker system including head-to-head records and division records…The Rays are now just 2 losses behind the A’s and are tied with the Angels. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays’ chances of making the playoffs went from 10.4% to 19.2% after yesterday’s games.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- David Schoenfield of ESPN.com takes a closer look at Fernando Rodney’s amazing season. [ESPN]
- Here are the positions that make the most money in Major League Baseball. [BI Chart]
- The new stadium proposal we mentioned last week will be presented today. [TampaBay.com]
- Uh oh. Raheem Morris’ new players are performing an awful lot like his old players. [JoeBucsFan]