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

RAYS 3, Yankees 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Alex Cobb. I’ve said it before. Cobb doesn’t have the best stuff. In fact, you can probably find 5-6 starting pitchers in the Rays farm system with better “stuff.” But Cobb is the Rays’ best “pitcher” right now. If David Price or Matt Moore pitched as well as Cobb, they’d never lose a game. And Cobb had his A-game last night. At one point he retired 19 of 20 batters he faced. But what might have impressed me the most last night was how cool Cobb was in the dugout after he was pulled from the game and the Yankees were threatening to rally. Many starting pitchers would be a train wreck in that situation. Cobb could be seen chatting away with teammates and seemingly completely at ease. Nothing fazes this guy. And that is great. The Rays are now 12-3 in the last 15 games Cobb started…Sean Rodriguez. A home run and a couple of stellar defensive plays. Not bad for a guy that has started just 12 games at first base in his career.

THE BAD: Yunel Escobar. Escobar had to leave the game with “hamstring tightness.” Keep in mind that Hak-Ju Lee is out for the year and the Rays don’t have any other natural shortstops on the roster, although Ben Zobrist certainly can fill in if needed…Ryan Roberts. The first thought when you see Roberts struck out 3 times is that he is back to overswinging. But he actually only had 2 swing-and-misses during those 3 at bats. Instead, it seemed like he was either not seeing the ball well or he was being too patient at the plate as he took 5 called strikes during those 3 at bats, including 2 called third strikes.

THE TELLING: The Rays are now 5-1 in their last 6 games and 10-11 overall. They are still 4 games behind the Red Sox in the East…Rays starting pitchers have worked at least 8 innings in 3 straight games for just the 2nd time in club history.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • If you want a Joe Maddon gnome, there are a bunch on eBay, but it will cost you about $50. [eBay]
  • The Rays are increasing security at The Trop. [TBO.com]
  • Alex Cobb is starting to earn respect from Rays fans. [TampaBay.com]
  • Joe Maddon stuck by his decision to pull David Price in the 9th inning on Tuesday. [TampaBay.com]
  • What happened to Jeff Keppinger? [Fangraphs]
  • Thankfully, the next great New York baseball superstar doesn’t play for the Yankees. [BI Sports]
  • Do Josh Freeman and Greg Schiano have a bad relationship? [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM 9, Toledo 8. Jake Odorizzi gave up 4 runs in 5 innings including 3 home runs…Wil Myers went 2-4 to raise his average to .328…Leslie Anderson added 3 hits and he is hitting .319.

MONTGOMERY 5, Tennessee 4. Mikie Mahtook went 0-4 with a walk…C Mayo Acosta hit his 3rd home run of the season.

CHARLOTTE. no game scheduled

Fort Wayne 3, BOWLING GREEN 2.

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13 Comments

  1. Dave L says:

    At last Saturdays game they chose me for random screening. That was the first time I ever saw it used at a Rays game. Asked me to pull everything out of my pockets and used a wand.

    I really like the pairing of Molina with Cobb. Molina pretty much calls the game for the young guys they rarely shake him off. That allows Cobb to get in a groove and work fast and he lets Molina do the thinking. The usual Yankees vets would have slowed that game to a crawl constantly stepping out of the box to try to get him off his rhythm.

    I am starting to get comfortable with the thought of a Post-Price pitching staff.

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Hate to be the consummate contrarian, but Cobb was shaking Molina off quite a bit early in the game... although the overall gist of your statement is completely agreeable.

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    • Don says:

      Mr Smith Agrees (surprise) you needed a strip search, I'm sure they wouldn't have found anything (much)

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  2. angrybuddha says:

    * Post-Price... a world we all know is coming and don't want to consider...

    * Natural shortstops? What about the great Tim Beckham?

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  3. Gus says:

    April 2008: New Ray Aybar pulls a muscle, clearing the way for Longoria's promotion from Durham. Rays win the Pennant.

    April 2013: New Ray Escobar has a hamstring muscle pull, Lee is out for the year. Dooes this clear the way for an earlier than expected promotion for Will Myers, as Zobrist moves back into the SS role?

    A fan can dream.

    The reality may be S-Rod picking up his SS glove again, and trading off with Zobrist. But the best baseball move to make if Escobar has to on the DL is to promote Myers. If Myers struggles you send him back down when Escobar returns. Gives the org. some ability to save face.

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  4. Beth says:

    Are hamstrings this vulnerable among all baseball players, or are the Rays just unlucky? Or does playing on fake grass make players more vulnerable to these leg muscle issues?

    Poor Hak-Ju, this really could have been his moment.

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    • Gus says:

      Before anyone blames the artifical surface (and infielders are on natural clay 90% of the time anyway), I'd suggest they check the artifical substances guys are taking -- legal or illegal. Escobar is ripped and tightly wound. I'm surprised he doesn't pull a muscle in the on deck circle.

      Hopefully not a trip to the DL. But given the 10 game trip to cold weather Chicago-KC-Denver, I wouldn't be surprised.

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  5. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    I am not an SRod fan by any means whatsoever, but he's really impressed me at first base this week. He has played the hop and made the scoop like a seasoned 1st baseman. He very well may have saved his spot on the roster by flashing the leather over at 1st.

    What a shame in regard to Escobar. Its a double whammy in that not only was Escobar just starting to heat up, but the injury would have created the perfect opening for Hak-Ju to have gotten a little taste of big league play. Hopefully it won't result in a DL stint for Escobar, but I'm guessing it will.

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    • Dave L says:

      Sean now leads the team in OPS with only a third of the AB's of the regulars.

      Some could take it to mean he deserves much more playing time but for me they are playing him just about right in just the right situations.

      He's here for the whole season. At this point he's a pretty good last guy on the bench who with the Rays get playing time. Fuld is the guy on the hot seat.

      I was starting to love Escobar's defense. Our infield was jelling. I hope its just a precaution.

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  6. Alex says:

    Hey Don. Are you going to admit you were wrong about Keppinger? I mean, he's hitting so well after all

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    • Don says:

      Ok brain child If Rays sign Keppinger instead of Scott, are they winning MORE games right now or less, Hope you watched him last night, he killed the Rays with his .200 avg. Learn this: PLAYERS are PLAYERS,
      they're hard to come by.....Rays screwed up.....stay tuned...

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