USATSI_7233729_154511044_lowresThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 5, Yankees 1 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Pitching. Everybody is excited about the suddenly surging offense. But let’s not forget that this team will succeed if the pitchers are on top of their games. And right now they are locked in.  Matt Moore and Kyle Farnsworth held the Yankees to just 2 hits and 1 run. It was the third straight game in which the Rays allowed 3 hits or less. And Moore, who became the first player in franchise history to win his first 4 starts has officially announced his presence with authority. We’ve pointed out in the past that this was a big season for Moore. Like David Price, he was OK in his rookie year. And it was in year two when Price stepped up and became a dominant pitcher. Moore is almost there. Of course, we need to see more 8 inning starts. This was just the third time in his career he pitched in the 8th inning, and just the 2nd time he completed 8 innings. And he needed 117 pitches and just 2 hits to do it last night. But he’s moving in the right direction…Yunel Escobar. Amazing what a difference a bat can make. Escobar switched to a longer/heavier bat and he homered for the 2nd straight game and now has 4 hits (2 HR, 1 2B) in the last 2 games…Owning Sabathia. Man, CC Sabathia must hate pitching at The Trop. The Rays hit 3 home runs off of him for the 3rd time. No other team has done that more than once. And now Sabathia has just 3 wins in his last 19 starts against the Rays.

THE BAD: Ryan Roberts. OK, this is not fair. Roberts hit 2 home runs. That should be good, right? Well, for last night it was. But this is scary moving forward. In some respects, Roberts is a lot like Reid Brignac. He thinks he is a home run hitter. He gets into ruts sometimes where he is trying to hit every pitch out of the park. And hitting 2 home runs last night is not going to help him stop that. You could hear the concerns of Joe Maddon in the post-game media session even if Maddon was trying to sound optimistic. Maddon specifically pointed out that Roberts had an easy swing in his third at bat and wasn’t trying to jack his third home run. And let’s hope that continues. But we saw Reid Brignac have good stretches of not over-swinging. And he always went back to his uppercut.

THE TELLING: The Rays are now 9-10, 4 games behind the Red Sox in 4th place…Luke Scott will begin a rehab assignment today with single-A Charlotte for “at least a week”.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays have accepted undisclosed piles of cash from the A’s and Rangers (instead of Players to be Named Later) for Stephen Vogt and Robinson Chirinos. [Marc Topkin]
  • Darrelle Revis threw out the first pitch for the Rays last night. Here is the video. [JoeBucsFan]
  • Remember when Evan Longoria basically said James Shields had a losing mentality? Well, the Royals are in first place and Richard Justice says Shields’ presence helped transform the attitude of the team. [MLB.com]
  • There is a Joe Maddon gnome Big Head in the Rays’ locker room. [TampaBay.com]
  • Watching Durham Bulls Baseball is starting to crank out their Durham Bulls charts, which are always fun. [WDBB]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM. no game scheduled

Tennessee 8, MONTGOMERY 3. Mikie Mahtook was 2-4.

St. Lucie 2, CHARLOTTE 1. Drew Vettleson went 0-5 with a strikeout. He is hitting just .191 (13-68) in 17 games.

BOWLING GREEN 10, Fort Wayne 5. Taylor Guerrieri gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and 2 walks in 5 innings. He struck out just 1…LF Marty Gantt hit his 3rd home run of the year.

HUDSON VALLEY.

PRINCETON.

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13 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Yes but Roberts has been twice the hitter Brignac was, multiple times

    Brignac had like 3 good months in his life

  2. Dave L says:

    The Rays have a rare dilemma. With the right handed bats smoking, who do you sit tonite with Phils Hughes on the mound?

    Loney and Joyce will most definitely start. Rodriguez will sit. Johnson is only 1 for 9 against the righty so maybe he sits too.

    Fuld got on twice last nite. Would he sit a red hot Roberts? Maddons done it before. Zobrist has been pretty cold lately and Hughes in particular has killed him….

  3. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Roberts has career numbers to back up his ability at the plate whereas Brignac never did. Roberts has a pretty sizable sample from which to draw data;
    his career BA is .247 and career OBP is .324 in 1358 AB’s. And he had 31 HR’s during the 2011-2012 seasons.

    Those numbers aren’t gonna knock anyone off their seats, but they should be telling enough to let us know that he can find a little power without his swing imploding.

  4. MJ says:

    When do we start being concerned w/ the velocity of the SPs?

    • MJ says:

      namely Moore, Price. perhaps mcgee too.

    • Gus says:

      Saw something recently that every one of the Top 10 velocity pitchers is down this year — from Verlander on down. They don’t know why, but may be with respect to recalibration of the radar guns, cold weather maybe even better drug testing. But it is across the board. Whatever it said, the Yankees were way late on Moore all night.

  5. Don says:

    Shields is Shields… a presence in the Clubhouse no matter where he is , Longo meant… he now has more control with Shields is gone…anyway…
    What makes me smile is W. Davis role as top starter on a League leading team, A player the Rays demoted and gave his job to an upcoming minor leaguer…..KC made out just fine from last to first with two Rays pitchers, Myres is yet to be determined..but sure KC is happy…

    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      You’re giving way too much credence to a minuscule sample of Davis’ work. I’d bet dollars to donuts that by the all-star break Davis will be a middle of the pack pitcher from a statistical standpoint and his inability to avoid the big inning will tax the KC bullpen in the long run too. Then again, I’m speaking to someone with the attention span of a fly with A.D.D…. you ALWAYS look at every detail of baseball from a short-sighted standpoint- hopefully with time you will grow to learn that baseball is not like the NFL where every little event makes a huge impact on the overall results. Baseball is about patience and longevity… it’s a marathon not a sprint. The Rays were considered by just about every baseball-minded person to have been the big winners in the Shields,Davis/Myers deal. No one is surprised to see Shields pitching well- he’s a good pitcher (duh), but you’re smoking the good stuff if you think Davis is going to come back and haunt the Rays someday (he is, and always will, be a bottom half of the rotation guy).

  6. Gus says:

    Career 3.89 ERA with a career 30-22 record isn’t back of the rotation for most teams. Big and durable, Davis fell out of favor in Tampa Bay, mostly because he had a fat contract. That trade was part salary dump ($15M a year between Davis and Shields) at the same time as they picked up a much-needed prospect bat.

    • Dave L says:

      Davis was relatively overpaid as a reliever based on the Rays structure. Even now in his ‘great’ start he lasted 4, 5 and 7 innings. As Gus noted he’s not good on the pen. Thats 5 1/3 average

      That was the real reason he stopped starting for us along with his inability to maintain his fastball velocity past 3 or 4 innings at a stretch. As a reliever his FB velocity went up last year. For the Roylas they are ok with that so that makes him a starting pitcher for them.

      His career ERA is skewed it went up the 3 years he started as his workload increased it got up to 4.45 his last year in the rotation which is not bad but not as good as the Rays expect if you consistantly can’t make it past the 6th inning. And there are better guys coming up.

      I’ll take my chances with Fausto now and Odorizzi in the future as a Rays SP.

      And good luck to Wade I really like his attitude.

      • Don says:

        Like I said KC happy (1stplace) Davis happy(front line starter) Shields Happy (still leading and will get paid) Longo happy (Shields gone)…Rays waiting for Myers( Save Money)…EVERYBODY HAPPY….. Mr. Coach (Smith) not sure?

  7. Alex says:

    The Pirates and Royals always have weird starts where they seem to do really well. Guess what? It doesn’t matter. They are still the Royals

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