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

Rangers 5, RAYS 4 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: James Loney. Outside of Ben Zobrist, the one player that was most visibly upset with the call on the final pitch was James Loney. And that is not to knock the other players. But it is saying something that a new guy is already that invested in the team. And it says something about how quickly this team builds clubhouse camaraderie…Dave Wills. I believe this is Wills first time in the GBT and really he should be an honorary member. But he earned his stripes again last night on the final pitch. Wills is not one to overreact. And yet, he didn’t hold back, giving a perfect call. He conveyed the emotion of the moment and still managed to describe the scene perfectly. He also wasn’t afraid to say what every Rays fan was thinking by calling for the umpire to be admonishedFirst Road Theme Of The Year. Check out those Rays lettermen jackets at right (via Todd Kalas). That is the first themed roadtrip attire of the year. And based on how they are arranged in the locker room, it looks like it may have been a surprise for the players after the game. In the meantime, I need to figure out how to get my hands on one.

THE BAD: You Want Bad? You can start with the strikezone plot for the last pitch of the game which showed just how horrible the called strike was. And then you can go to the quotes from Joe Maddon, Joe Nathan, and the umpire, who all agreed that the call was bad. And then go watch the video in which we added the audio from the Rays’ radio broadcast.  In the end, the call was so bad that it was actually a little funny. Or at least that is how I am trying to keep from being so angry…Sam Fuld. Super Sammy has made so many great defensive plays that it feels wrong to rip on him for a defensive lapse in judgment. But his ill-conceived dive missed a dropping flyball and it wasn’t even close. That led to the Rangers’ first run in a game in which the Rays would lose by one. You can see a super painful super slo-mo of the dive below.

THE TELLING: Let’s hope the Rays don’t miss the playoffs by one game…The Rays’ team bus was involved in a “very minor fender bender” on the way to the gameBen Zobrist committed the Rays’ first error of the year…Evan Longoria has 10 hits in the first 7 games (.417), but they are all singles. On the other hand, Kelly Johnson does have a home run, but only 2 hits in 6 games (.125)…Chris Davis of the Orioles was named AL player of the week thanks in large part to the Rays pitching.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • After getting a second opinion, Jeff Niemann will have surgery. His season is “most likely” over. [Marc Topkin]
  • Here’s video of Joe Maddon discussing the call after the game. [TampaBay.com]
  • The Rays are not the only team with attendance problems. [Shadow of the Stadium]
  • If you enjoy boneheaded plays, you’ve got to see this slide from the Reds-Cards game. [BI Sports]
  • Here is more on the Rays (lack of) catching depth. [TampaBay.com]
  • Are the Rays good at framing or are umpires just missing calls? Kinda ironic after last night, no? [Fangraphs]
  • Here’s an adorable image of a World Series ring on the fingers of a 4-month-old. [BI Sports]
  • And the Darrelle Revis saga marches on. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM 2, Gwinnett 1. Jake Odorizzi struck out 8 and walked 2 in 6.2 shutout innings…Wil Myers was 1-4 with a strikeout…DH Leslie Anderson went 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout…LF Brandon Guyer went 0-4 with 2 Ks and SS Hak-Ju Lee was 0-1 with 2 walks.

MONTGOMERY 5, Birmingham 1. Jacob Thompson struck out 7 and walked none in 6 innings. He allowed just 1 unearned run…Mikie Mahtook and Todd Glaesmann had their first home runs of the year.

CHARLOTTE. no game scheduled

BOWLING GREEN 4, Lansing 3. Taylor Guerrieri threw 3 shutout innings with 4 Ks and no walks.

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7 Comments

  1. DRR says:

    Another fangraph, this time about last night:
    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/anatomy-of-a-really-bad-call/

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    • Dave L says:

      The fangraph analysis you cited through the use of stopping the video at the exact moment that it hit AJP's glove, did somewhat back up the assertion from the Ump that the pitch was better than it appeared as the catcher did a horrible job in receiving it and made it look as if he nearly caught it in the dirt. Very un Molina like frame job. Seeing as he had to reach to get it he still missed his spot substantially.

      Still a crappy call i'm not defending it but the video is worth lookng at near the end of the analysis.

      Washington didnt help matters by saying the call 'won the game for them'.

      The fangraph goes on to say we only had a 14% chance of winning as Longo would have had to plate at least 1 run plus the Rangers had another crack at any rate.

      That was my point 10 mins after the game however. Just like the Longo passing Zo fiasco we probably would have lost that one too. But I would rather lose it in real than have activist creative umps steal the 14% thin reed of hope from us.

      One thing Zobrist needs to think about is his quick flip of the bat and run to first on 3 ball counts before the ball slaps the catchers mitt. He is the quickest self umpire on the team as I have noted before and umps take it as a sign of disrespect. He gets called back about 10 times a year as much as the rest of the team seemingly combined and I maintain if he just waited briefly and made quick eye contact with the ump at least half of those would go his way. His current method is not helping his cause any.

      By the way I have no empirical data to cite to back up these observations so dont ask for it, just a gut feeling. .

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  2. Ken says:

    After 7 games here's how I grade the Rays performance: Pitching C-, starters a bit shaky and the bullpen unreliable. Hitting C-, no power, newcomers all well off career norms and Longo basically unprotected. Fielding B+, infield looks much better. Bench C-, who ya gonna call? Duncan? Right now the season looks to be a long one. 19 road games to go this month. Unless we pick up the pace we're going into May in last place.
    Any thoughts?

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      I'll bite.
      To give the fielding a B+ seems a bit unrealistic. No errors going in to last night's game and a litany of beautiful diving catches/stops and throws from knees.
      The rest looks in-line with my thoughts as well.

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  3. Mike says:

    I wasn't even close? Looks like he missed it by 6 inches. Running and diving at full speed. I have to give Super Sam the benefit of the doubt there. I want and expect him to make those diving catches. That is why he is out there. He just took a little bit of a bad angle after not getting a good read off the bat. Next time he makes that catch.

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    • Beth says:

      Yeah, but the problem with diving plays is when you miss you allow even a Lance Berkman to chug home, whereas if you play it cleanly he stops at third. So the issue isn't so much whether he missed by a lot or a little, but whether the risk of the dive was worth it. No one gets a web gem for making the decision to play the hop, but sometimes that's the wiser course.

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  4. petethehat says:

    I was glad Fuld was back in Left, maybe if he'd played there more consistently in the first 7 games rather than being flipped between right n left (there's no reason to put the much slower Joyce in Left and Fuld in Right, regardless of who's picthing, I'm sorry) because he did get a bad read and break on the hot ball!

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