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

Yankees 4, RAYS 3 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Evan Longoria. Longo is dialed in right now. He has been on base every game this season. He has a 10-game hitting streak (albeit, he has just 10 hits in those 10 games). And he has 5 home runs in the last 9 games, including one off the great Mariano Rivera last night.

THE BAD: 2012 Fernando Rodney Is Not Walking In From That Bullpen. Rodney has now allowed 4 earned runs in the month of April. He allowed 5 earned runs in 2012. He also allowed an inherited runner to score last night after allowing just 2 of 18 inherited runners to score in 2012. But maybe more telling, is when he entered the game. In 2012, does Joe Maddon use David Price to start the 9th inning? He had only thrown 92 pitches and a lefty (Robinson Cano) was leading off the inning. But Price has only pitched in the 9th inning four times in his career. And even though there have been other opportunities, Maddon has always been big on getting Price out of the game on a high note and not allowing him to get into trouble late in a game. But if Maddon lacks confidence in Rodney right now, JoeMa may have felt pressured to leave Price in for one more batter. And it backfired…David Price Frustrated. I’m not worried about how Price pitched. If Price can get through 8 innings allowing just 2 runs, the Rays will win most of those games. I am worried about how Price reacted to the loss. As fans, we want players to feel our pain, whether that is realistic or not. But Price seemed especially frustrated with last night’s loss. At one point he mentioned that the Rays were 0-5 in his starts and that he “didn’t feel better.” And later he sounded like he was growing frustrated with questions about his velocity, when he said “I’m not worried about velocity. I get asked every 5 days … I’m not worried about that” (via Roger Mooney).

THE TELLING: Rays are now 9-11, 4 games behind the Red Sox…For the third time, Joe Maddon allowed the Chamber of Commerce help him fill out the lineup. The Rays are now 2-1 in those games…Luke Scott went 1-4 in his first rehab game. He is scheduled to have today off…The Rays have outscored their opponents 16-3 in the first inning over the last 8 games.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • BJ Upton and his brother did something that hasn’t happened in 75 years. [BI Sports]
  • A collection of the best catches by fans in the first month of the season. Rays games make a couple of appearances. [BI Sports]
  • Darrelle Revis talks about joining the Bucs. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM 4, Toledo 3. Wil Myers went 2-4 with a double, a walk and 2 strikeouts. He is hitting .317…Leslie Anderson went 0-5…Chris Gimenez was 3-4 with a walk and is now hitting .298.

MONTGOMERY 4, Tennessee 3. Mikie Mahtook was 1-4 with a double.

CHARLOTTE 3, St. Lucie 2. Luke Scott went 1-4 with an RBI and 2 strikeouts…Drew Vettleson and Richie Shaffer combined to go 0-7 with 2 strikeouts.

BOWLING GREEN 12, Fort Wayne 6. 2B Thomas Coyle had 3 walks and hit his first home run of the year.

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18 Comments

  1. Don says:

    Better on Price ” I gave up a hit to one of the best hitters (cano) in baseball and I’m out of the game……that stinks”…….. thats twice Maddon gives up on the “best pitcher in baseball” Oh No…Coach

    • MJ says:

      Yes, why wouldn’t price be pissed? He’s the reigning Cy Young winner. So he gave up a hit to a top 5 hitter after a solid battle. He is still under 100 pitches. I think JoeMa made a mistake by taking him out there. I know it’s early in the season, but Moore is going 115. Price doesn’t need to be protected anymore.

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      @Don, at what time in the morning do you drink your first Budweiser? It’s a small miracle that anyone can decipher your nearly-incoherent ramblings, and I have to assume it’s because you’re drunk… all the time.

  2. Dave L says:

    Cano is Cano. He beats the best on a regular basis. Ichiro laced a Rodney fastball that was almost 100 mph.

    Given the 3 choices let Price finish, do what he did or give Rodney the whole 9th inning, you could make a case for all 3. The only thing we are certain of is the path chosen was not successful.

    Seeing as both pitchers allowed hits. I see no reason to believe either of the other 2 choices would have been better even in hindsight much less before the fact.

    In baseball a bad outcome isn’t always an indication of a bad decision. Sometimes the other guys make plays.

    Price pitched a hell of a game. I was impressed with his performance.

    • Sarah says:

      Well put, Dave. It was a good pitcher’s dual. Someone had to lose. Not always someone at fault – although if we need to assign blame I’d look at Loney’s lousy slide into 3rd base that got him thrown out. There’s no guarantee, of course, that he would have scored from there had he been safe, but getting thrown out meant he couldn’t possibly score.

  3. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Price pitched well but unfortunately didn’t get run support- it happens.

    If you watched the game you should be able to understand Maddon’s decision. Price looked done. He marched him out there to give him a chance at the CG, it became obvious that he was done and he went to the closer… that’s kinda how it works. Rodney gave up a hit to one of the greatest hitters ever, and the Rays lost- it’s called baseball.

    Last week, I predicted that Lee would be the first call-up from Durham, since I apparently jinxed him into a season-ending injury I will tread lightly in predicting that Giminez will now be the first call-up (perhaps the same day that Scott gets added back to the roster from his rehab assignment).

    • MJ says:

      I did watch the game and i don’t think Price looked “done” at all. He was throwing some of his best fastballs to Cano in that AB.

      Maybe Maddon didn’t make a “mistake”, but I’m leaning towards leaving Price in there.

      One of those tough losses you are bound to see throughout a season. Bats were pretty lively for most of the game even though we only scored 2.

    • MJ says:

      And its not the hit that Rodney gave up that hurts, but its the walk to Overbay who was down in the count and clearly over-matched.

  4. Rob says:

    Not that Price is the greatest at holding runners on, but I think being a lefty he would have done a better job than Rodney. That stolen base by Cano was the difference in the game because it led to the decision to intentionally walk Hafner with first base open. Hindsight is 20/20, but I think it was a mistake to walk Hafner for two reasons – it put a 4th run on the base paths and I think it may have messed with Rodney’s head. Did he intentionally walk anyone all year last year? Ichiro should have never been at the plate in the 9th. If you are going to bring in your closer, let him dominate the hitters like he should be. Don’t try setting up the double play and hope a strikeout/flyball pitcher somehow induces a grounder to short.

    • Sarah says:

      Price is awful at holding runners. And I don’t know of evidence that lefties are in general better at this than righties. Lefties have the advantage of seeing what the runner is doing, but then runners can also see what they are doing.

  5. Gus says:

    Close games can be frustrating, but the self-inflicted passed ball on Strike 3 by Molina on a lead-off man with the heart of the order coming up was bound to cost them, and it did.

    I also did not like intentionally walking the great Travis Haffner. I’d take my chances with Haffner-Overbay-Stewart rather than Overbay-Stewart-Ichiro, particularly with a guy who loses his control like Rodney (making him throw 4 straigh balls after being dialed in on the previous batter was also ill-concieved). No margin for error, and he needed it with the Overbay at bat when he got squeezed. Haffner’s run was the deciding run, and Ichiro’s at bat maybe never even happens.

    Close losses happen. But at home, with your ace on the mound and your stud in the pen, the 8-9th innings were a bit of a disaster from the dugout. I blame the bird.

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Good point. That past ball was bad news. Molina was caught off guard and it cost the Rays dearly in the end. I actually like the decision to walk Haffner, any chance to turn two with a potentially winning run in scoring position is fine by me- that’s good baseball… it just didn’t work.

      • Don says:

        You didn’t say if you liked Maddon’s Bird….but I’m guessing you did

      • Gus says:

        With most pitchers, walking haffner is the right play; with Rodney, and his history of control issues, I think it is the wrong play. First, it breaks his rythym. Second, it eliminates his ability to be wild to the next hitter — now a walk puts the winning run on 3rd with one out. Third, Rodney isn’t really a ground ball pitcher. Fourth, and perhaps most importantly, it puts another runner on base that can double the lead, and a 2-run lead is almost impossible to erase vs. a top closer like Rivera.

  6. Dave L says:

    Anybody else mind blown to see ole Ben Francisco starting 2 nights in a row at DH for the mighty Yankees? The recent X-ray with the sub .100 average? Before this luxury tax thing it would have been unthinkable. Everytime he came to bat I had to chuckle.

    • OriginalTom says:

      Hafner is the regular DH, Francisco only starts against lefties. They also have some key players on the DL so I guess even the mighty Yanks have to pull a player off the scrap heap now and again.

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