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

RAYS 6, Orioles 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Matt Moore. He finally gave up some runs. And he never felt overly dominant. But he kept the Orioles in check and worked into the 7th inning. Moore is a 6-inning pitcher. And anytime he works into the 7th inning or beyond should be considered a bonus. His didn’t have his good fastball last night, as it sat about 91-92 most of the evening. This led him to rely a little more on his curve/slider (whatever you want to call it) than usual. He threw 30 curve/sliders, getting a solid 6 swing-and-misses…The Bullpen. When the Rays have the lead and the pitcher works into the 7th inning, it works right into the strength of the Rays. That is, the two-headed combo of Jake McGee and Joel Peralta are responsible for the 7th and 8th innings. If there is less than 6 outs to get, Joe Maddon can be more selective of which batters those pitchers will face. And let’s face it. McGee is a great talent. But when you are a fastball/fastball pitcher, you are more effective against one or two batters than three or four…Bottom of the Order. There won’t be a lot of nights when the bottom of the order carries the team offensively, so let’s enjoy this one. Shelley Duncan homered and added another hit and a walk. And James Loney was 3-3 with a walk. Even Yunel Escobar was 1-3 with a walk and hit a couple of balls hard.

THE BAD: Shelley Duncan. In the 6th inning, the Rays were clutching to a 2-run lead and Matt Moore’s pitch count was rising. So bonus runs seemed important at the time. So when James Loney doubled, Shelley Duncan seemed like a lock to score the Rays’ fifth run. But then Duncan missed second base, had to go back and ended up at third. There was still just one out. However, when Jose Molina hit a groundball, Duncan wasn’t going home on contact, but then he decided to go, and then he decided not to go. But by that point it was too late and he was out.

THE TELLING: Joe Maddon was ejected after a close call at second base. It was his first ejection of the year and the 28th of his career. He had 4 ejections in 2012…Yunel Escobar was dropped to 9th in the order…It doesn’t sound like Luke Scott is close to returning…The Rays are now 5-9, one-half game behind the Jays and 5 games behind the Red Sox.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Carl Crawford got a stern lecture from Major League Baseball. [BI Sports]
  • Kyle Farnsworth did a Q&A with Fangraphs.com. [Fangraphs]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM 6, Charlotte 2. Wil Myers went 1-5 with 2 strikeouts….SS Hak-Ju Lee was 1-3 with 2 walks. He has now been on base 27 times in 13 games.

MONTGOMERY 3, Mobile 2. Mikie Mahtook went 0-4 and is now just 9-50 to start the season (.180).

CHARLOTTE 5, St. Lucie 2. Jesse Hahn struck out 6 in 3 shutout innings. He walked none and allowed just 1 hit…CF Drew Vettleson was 2-3 with a double and a walk…3B Richie Shaffer hit his 1st home run of the year.

BOWLING GREEN @ Great Lakes. postponed

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9 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    Until Durham help arrives, the offense needs Duncan and Loney to produce. So far, Duncan has been a pleasant surprise at the dish, if not on the bases. Loney is one of baseball's great mysteries.

    Escobar's opposite field poke single was maybe a sign of progress. Of course, he grounded out right back to SS the next at bat. He must have a commanding lead in the production of 6-3 ground outs in MLB. Uncanny. At least Joe batted him 9th.

    Moore goes 6.2 and he is a "6 inning pitcher". Hernandez goes 5.1 and he is an "innings eater" in the comments. Perceptions are funny.

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Dear Gus,

      I fear for your mental acuity. Given the opportunity to focus on something unrelated you always find a way to include your scathing dislike for Fauberto at every turn.

      I fear you may be spiraling too quickly for modern medicine to save you from the free fall. If this trend continues you may find yourself surrounded by other mentally unstable denizens of RI like Donny Doom- I do not want you to suffer such atrocities, and as such have decide to pen you this post as the first stage of a Roberto Hernandez intervention program.

      Please know that I express my deep concerns because I care, and I want you to come back to a normal, more conventional way of thinking.

      Yours Truly,

      James R. Smith
      aka Mr. Smith 1980
      aka Dirtbag Fan

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  2. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Hak-Ju Lee may very well be the first Durham player to find the Bigs this year...

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  3. Geoff Peterson says:

    Duncan is pathetic. A few homers here and there don't cover his inadequacies at the plate, in the field, and on the basepaths. I'd much rather see him replaced with a contact hitter that can field a position. There must be a righty hitting 1B/3B player somewhere that could fill his shoes.

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    • Geoff Peterson says:

      Aubrey Huff was still out there last I heard and he has to be better than Duncan, although he is another lefty

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    • Gus says:

      The scary thing about Duncan is that despite only get 60% of a starter's plate apperances, he is tied with Longo for 3rd on the team in RBI with 6 and tied for 2nd (with Longo) for HR with 2. He is DH only. But he is one of the few off-season moves on the current roster you can really put in the "good" category so far (and only made possible by Luke Scott's funny water). Every other move -- signings and re-signings of team FAs -- looks shaky to downright horrible so far.

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      • Dave L says:

        Kelly Johnson leads the 2013 Rays in OPS so far.... I know its early of course.

        I know he isnt hitting but I really like the play of Escobar in the field. He and a healthy Longo have made ground balls to the left side routine again and I like that.

        He's got way more range than anybody on the roster at SS and he makes all the throws. Put Zobrist there and you are taking a plus defender at his other positions and getting an average fielding SS (anyone else on the roster is a minus SS obviously). Also until one of our AAA "saviors" gets here, moving Zo to short means more SRod or Roberts--- no thanks.

        I'll take my chances that Escobar moves closer to his lifetime .737 OPS or even last years' .644 I will be happy with that.

        Plus right now with his offensive woes you would think it would be a time he would display his supposed 'issues' but although he's obviously frustrated he's been a good sport from all I can tell.

        He cant bat .100 forever. I say tonight he gets on base 3 times.

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  4. Don says:

    Dear Gus your going over these guys head, Duncan is helping the Rays, Like I said he would when I seen him in spring training, he wouldn't be here if Scott doesn't get hurt, but don't worry when Scott comes back he will be gone ala Friedman, not Roberts, Rodriquez, Fuld or any bums he signed to deals.....
    and your correct Noname Stinks, but these guys on this site try to justify their predictions how he will help the Rays and it was ok to give him Niemann's job
    but hang in there your a little smarter than the Average RI poster...

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