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

Orioles 6, RAYS 3 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Jose Molina. Molina? How many big hits do you think Jose Molina will have this season? Two? Three? Well, if the Rays had won this game, Molina would have had one when he singled in the 5th to tie the game…Roberto Hernandez. Yes, he gave up 4 runs and took the loss. But considering he is technically the fifth starter, it was nice to see Not-Fausto work into the 7th inning and strike out 7 with just 2 walks. He also had 8 groundballs to just 4 flyballs. And he had 12 swing-and-miss pitches, including 6 on his changeup and 4 on his sinker. As long as he stays healthy *knock on wood* Hernandez is here to stay.

THE BAD: Brutal Call. After an Evan Longoria double, the Rays had runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs and down 6-3. But wait. The first base umpire ruled that Longoria had passed Zobrist on the bases and called him out. Let’s ignore for a second that replays showed that the umpire wasn’t even looking. And let’s ignore for a second that replays seemed to show that the call was a crock of poo poo. If you are going to make that call in the 9th inning, Longo better be standing on third base with Zobrist still hanging out by first base before you make that call. And I am usually an umpire apologist. But that was 100% horsesdoodoo…That Being Said. 1) Why was Zobrist tagging up in that situation? Normally on a play like that you want to be aggressive and try to get into scoring position. But in the 9th inning, Zobrist’s run was not that important. That is, the Rays still needed other runs behind him, so the only advantage to tagging up is to take out the possibility of a double-play on the next batter. But I am not sure that is enough on a play that is nowhere near being a sure catch; 2) Longoria has to be paying attention. And when Longoria finally did see where Zobrist was, why did Longo stay so close and give the ump a chance to make that call. Where did Longo think he was going? He wasn’t going to third with Zobrist right in front of him, so there was no need for Longo to be running that hard…And Then There Was Chris Davis. 3 HR and 11 RBI in the series. This dude just owns the Rays and I am not sad to see him go.

THE TELLING: As we mentioned previously, Roberto Hernandez was the first free agent pitcher to start a game for the Rays since Hideo Nomo in 2005…Rays versus the AL East since start of 2011: Tor (26-10), Bos (21-15), NYY (19-17), Orioles (18-21). That’s right. The Rays suck against the Orioles.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • This is supposed to be Matt Moore? This may be the worst bobblehead in the history of bobbleheads. And that’s saying something. [Biscuit Crumbs]
  • Some of the Rays talk about the James Shields trade. [MLBTR]
  • What if you changed the Rays font to something silly. Don’t ask. I don’t know. [BlessYouBoys]
  • How is this for a big league debut? [BISports]

DOWN ON THE FARM Boxscores

DURHAM @ Norfolk. postponed

Birmingham 5, MONTGOMERY 2.

CHARLOTTE @ Palm Beach. postponed

BOWLING GREEN 8, South Bend 2.

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35 Comments

  1. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    What a piece of crap call… but Longo shouldn’t have given them anything to call…

    How long before the “Davis is juicing” comments/controversy begins? I’m not usually that guy, but he’s golfing balls with one hand and they’re screaming over the wall- if he continues at half the pace he’s on now the attention will go from how hot his bat is to who his “doctor” is (a la Bautista).

    • Drew says:

      He has always had outstanding power. His pitch recognition and plate discipline have always been lacking which is why he has had high K% and not as many HR’s as someone with his power should. He’s hot right now and he is not bad at those two things anymore.

    • Bill says:

      I hate to be like this, but I was already one leg on the Davis is juicing bus before your comment. I replayed his homer yesterday several times when I got home. It was a half swing and it went out to one of the deepest parts of the park. He had a double off the hands on Wed that is ground out or pop out to most people. I know it is a cynical, tainted thing jump on that. But every player who doesn’t speak out vocally against other cheaters has chosen the evil of having fans suspect them over the evil of the cheaters calling them rats.

      • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

        It’s the horrible stain of the steroid era.
        We are incapable of simply accepting that a hitter is just an amazing power hitter without that cynical thought running through our minds… and, you know what, at this point, after all the lists, I’d say we’re absolutely justified in thinking that way.

        • Bill says:

          Just saw the reel of his slam yesterday. Perhaps I’m seeing what I want to see, but it looked like another half swing to me. Just sayin’….

  2. Don says:

    Zobrist is Tagging up because IF the ball is caught he doesn’t want to get doubled off 1st, still would be only one out and 2 men on, what difference does it make if Zo is on 2nd or 3rd in a 3 run game your as bad as Longo..
    Think our Leader has mental Lapses, Shields got Him correct, better worry about winning games instead of past players…Wake up….Moron

    • KT says:

      Ha! Yeah, he didn’t want to get doubled off! Why didn’t I think of that?

      Ok, let’s play ball. Lets say the OF miraculously makes the catch, and Zo is on second. He then runs back to first and the outfielder has to make a throw from an off balanced position all the way from the wall to first base before Zo gets there. Not gonna happen.

      Scenario 2: OF miraculously catches the ball, Zo tags up from first. The OF has to throw the ball, again from an off balanced position, but this time only to second base, much closer. Still unlikely that they get him, but a hell of a lot more of a chance that they do.

      Tagging up so he doesn’t get doubled off!!!!!!! Goooooood theory!!!!!! ;)
      Keep on posting the magic Donny Doom.

    • JD123 says:

      Wake up….Moron!!! I bet Don hears that every morning from him wife.

  3. Don says:

    If your Advocating Zo leaving 1st to past 2nd so he can what get an extra base, 3rd…. being 3 runs behind….instead of protecting base runners(himself) incase of one out, 1/2 way to 2nd and the fielders miss the ball off the wall he still makes it to 3rd, Longo on 2nd, where was going? 3rd was occupied and maybe 2nd Zo. maybe you should be base running on the Rays instead of Longo..

  4. Dave L says:

    Maybe Im the only one who is bothered by this but is that band at the bottom of Sun Sports giving us every irrelevant sporting news of the day over and over again thicker than usual?

    I hate it and would love to turn it off. I could care less who some hockey or football team released in the off season. I am trying to watch a basball game, Its distracting and irritating. If they want to pop it up occasionally to give baseball scores and stats, when there is a no live ball being played im down with that.

    Let me watch my baseball game in peace!

    • Cork Gaines says:

      You are not the only one. It is awful. And even if it needs to be there for some reason, I have no idea why it is so big. Unfortunately, I think it is standard for Fox Sports networks, so I dont think Sun Sports has any say in the matter.

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Oh my gosh- THANK YOU!!! I like the concept, but I can’t seem to keep myself from reading that Team A signed player B to a minor league contract 816 times a game…. makes me nuts!!!

  5. Alex says:

    Color me shocked about Hernandez. He looked phenomenal yesterday besides Davis’s hits. Not even going to talk about the ninth. Other than Chris Davis and Adam Jones the Orioles showed nothing that scared me. We just caught the two of them at the wrong time. Defense has been superb. Bullpen has been good other than McGee which was Molina’s fault. Hitting starts out slow but seems to emerge. If the pitchers get back on track I think we will be a very good team the rest of the year. Jamie Wright needs to go though. Dude is a ground ball pitcher that can’t get ground balls.

    • Alex says:

      He’s given up 8 fly balls to 2 ground balls. 5 baserunners in 2.1 innings and no strike outs. Can anyone tell me what they see in him over Brandon Gomes?

      • Drew says:

        No. I guarantee you, however, they looked up best GB/FB ratio and GB% of all relief pitchers last year and saw him at 2nd place. Then thought a 1yr/$1mil contract for a 39yr old is a good value. They think they are playing into their strengths with their defensive shifts and GB pitchers but it doesn’t exactly work when they aren’g getting the ground balls. Maybe it’s because his career ratio is 2.25 and last year was an anomaly. Waste of $1mil.

    • Gus says:

      Based on the positives from here and everywhere else, Hernandez must be graded on a different curve than the best pitching staff from 2012 was being graded on. He wasn’t terrible, but he wasn’t good either. A plus 5 ERA, 4 earned runs and 9 baserunners in 7.1 innings isn’t very good, especially when it is a getaway game (pitcher’s delight typically) and when you know Chris Davis is on fire and you can’t avoid catostrophic damage from him.

      Glad everyone else is in love with him. I’d rather see Archer or Neiman.

      Neiman-lover note: In his last 25 starts for the Rays (excluding his 2 injury-shortened 2012 starts, in which he gave up no runs but couldn’t continue), Neiman gave up 3 runs or less 19 times (76%), 4 runs 2 times (8%), and more than 4 runs 4 times (16%). He averaged about 6.1 innings in those starts. That is the standard upon which Hernandez should be measured.

      • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

        You can’t see the forest through the trees…

        FauBerto’s pitches were “lively”, had great movement, and primarily went right to where he intended. (It happens to every pitcher every game but more than a few strikes inside to lefties were called balls which didn’t help his cause.) Cy Young would be giving up HR’s to Davis right now- the guy’s on fire… the performance in and of itself (the tree) wasn’t great, but the way he pitched (the forest) should leave you feeling encouraged…

        • Rob says:

          The problem with him is who’s to say that wasn’t his A game yesterday? If it was, I am not encouraged. We’ll know more in May.

        • Gus says:

          I saw the forest light itself on fire (9 earned runs in 6 innings) in person against a major league line-up of Phillies hitters in his final dress rehersal of the spring (when the rotation slot was supposedly on the line). I don’t argue that he has decent command, he just doesn’t have great stuff. But somebody up there (in management) loves the whole idea. At some point, you’d think actual results would matter.

          • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

            Did you see the game? His pitches were jumping across the plate with great action; sans Davis he pitched an average game for a top of the rotation starter or what would be classified as a pretty good start for a #4 or #5 guy (which he is)… Don’t get me wrong, I have no intention of becoming a FauBerto apologist, but you’re approaching your critique from a different (microscopic) angle than I am.

      • Bill says:

        Take away Davis’ and what were his numbers? The way Davis was raking it is highly likely Archer or Niemann’s best game would have shown similar results.

      • Dave L says:

        Seems to me Gus like you have invested too much in Fausto’s failure to see that it was a decent outing (for a fifth starter) . he made it at least as far as DP and Jeremy did against these guys and we were in the game when he left, thats all you could ask for.

        Davis damage came on balls out of the strike zone, he abused every pitcher we had before FC/RH had a go at him.

        Take away Davis and he did pretty well certainly better than we expected based on his Spring.

        I am a Niemann apologist as well and prefered him but I am a Rays fan first and want whoever we trot out there to succeed, (unlike many here).

        I am witholding judgement but like what I see so far. Jeff is still available and its not like anyone thought Niemann would make 32 starts under the best of circumstances anyway.

        • Gus says:

          I’m the lone counterbalance to amen chorus from Maddon, Topkin, 620 etc. that apparently thinks today that giving up 4 runs in 7.1 innings is acceptable. As I stated above — his competition for 5th starter (Neiman) has a much better track record than Hernandez, is younger and is very effective and reliable when healthy. He also pitched much better in the spring (and Archer was better than either of them). Instead, I get lots of non-objective jive on how his ball moves and how “but for” those bombs off of Chris Davis, he was Sandy Koufax. If he improves, I’ll be the first on the bandwaggon. But like Elliot Johnson’s wasted at bats last season, just because the Rays do it, doesn’t make it a smart baseball decision.

          The object is to win the game. Giving up 4 runs in 7.1 just isn’t good enough for me, and shouldn’t be for Rays fans. I’m hoping he improves, and he’s thrown okay in spots during his Rays starts, but not nearly good enough for whole games to justify a rotation spot in this organization (much less pitching 3rd game of the season against a division rival).

          • Dave L says:

            Well I have news for you. RH is not actually the fifth starter he is the 3rd starter most likely not just now but in the minds of AF/JM/JH going forward. They just wont say it publicly. Maybe they dont want to piss off Cobb or Moore or whatever but until he obviously falters (and more than he did his first start in your estimation), he is the #3 Guy.

      • Alex says:

        And Niemann is injured again…Just like Brian Roberts

  6. Ricky C says:

    Instant fricking replay Selig. Get it or get out. The year is 2013 and there are cameras all over the place in every MLB stadium. Beyond that, the umps made a judgement call and the fact they didn’t even refer to the homeplate umpire who actually had an angle to see if Longo passed Zobrist is just ridiculous. You don’t make that call unless you know for sure…plain and simple

    • Bill says:

      That’s the thing that vexes me. I they go to the home plate ump, he’s not likely to over rule his crew mate. By why wouldn’t they at least go through the charade? From where the call was made, it’s easy to see why the ump thought Longo passed Zo. From that angle, the deeper player could appear to be ahead.

  7. Ricky C says:

    Also, when Davis or anyone else is swinging that hot of a bat…WALK HIM!!! Games 1 and 2 I understand pitching to him, but after being shamed twice he should have been walked yesterday

  8. Rob says:

    Davis could go 0 for the weekend, and he will still win player of the week for his performance in this series.

  9. Dave Read says:

    I agree that even with davis not at his best he is still on heck of a player
    Cheers
    Dave

  10. Ken says:

    Wow, based on all the comments I had to double check where we were in terms of games played. I was heartened to realize we have 159 left not 3.
    So, the series with the O’s left me with these thoughts: I think that all three starters were OK and will get better, the Orioles are a good team with a great 0-2 approach, we have 3 second basemen besides Zorilla and we only need one, Loney will produce more than expected once he realizes he’s in St. Pete, not Boston or LA, Chris Davis will have a major slump in a week or two, Adam Jones is the real deal, Longo will have a great year and it’s really nice to have a major league shortstop again. GO RAYS.

    • Bill says:

      Major thumbs up. My vote for post of the series ( there ought to be one of those).

    • Don says:

      “EXPERTS” are right, the Orioles are not “as good as last year”….they are BETTER, with the best managerand a pose a major threat to the Rays making the playoffs….15 more gmes with them to decide

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