The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
RAYS 11, Indians 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Jeremy Hellickson. Hellboy wasn’t great, but he was good enough to win, striking out 4 and walking none in 5 innings. His fastball had a little more giddy-up than it has in recent starts, hitting 91-93. Hellickson is never going to blow people away. But he needs to be throwing harder than 89-90. His changeup will be more effective when the fastball has a little more zip…The Offense. When the Rays got off to such a horrendous start at the plate, even the most negative fan knew it would get better. But even the most positive fan would have to admit that they never saw this coming. Even with the craptastic start, the Rays are still averaging 5.0 runs per game. That is second in the A.L. behind only the Tigers, who have two of the best hitters in baseball in the middle of their order.
THE BAD: Matt Joyce. Joyce has never been as good a defender as many of us had hoped. But he has gotten a lot worse. The most painful one (literally and figuratively) came on Friday night when the Indians recorded their only hit. Joyce thought the ball was going to be over the wall, so when he jumped, the ball bounced off his back (see GIF below). On top of that, there have been numerous plays in which he has taken bad angles. Maybe he has the yips. Or maybe he needs to have his eyes or ears checked. I’m serious. Joyce is not reacting well to the ball off the bat. Either he is not seeing it well, or he is not hearing it well. The latter can be just as important to an outfielder judging how deep a ball is hit…Yunel Escobar. Escobar had a reputation before he came to the Rays. And so far, he hasn’t done much to challenge the labels. Escobar had 2 long hits on Sunday and he dogged it down the first base line on both. Luckily the first one was a home run. But even that one hit the top of the wall and was not a sure thing. And on the second, he ended up with a single when his ball off the wall didn’t go out. Escobar only has 58 career home runs. That is not enough to be taking home runs for granted. And if this doesn’t change, Maddon won’t be afraid to bench Escobar. But what is really unfortunate is that Escobar had a great day at the plate. And that is not what people will be talking about today.
THE TELLING: The Rays don’t play today. But when the series in Detroit starts tomorrow, Matt Moore will be the starting pitcher after only throwing 1 inning on Friday. He’ll be followed by Alex Cobb and Roberto Hernandez…The Rays are now 31-25, tied with the Yankees for 3rd in the East and 3 games behind the Red Sox. They are also a half-game behind the Orioles. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays have a 56.0% chance of making the playoffs.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- A lot of people questioning why Josh Sale was suspended. Yet nobody mentions that Sale wasn’t playing at the time because he was supposedly too sick. And yet, he was well enough to go to strip clubs. That may not have been why he was suspended, but it could have been a factor. And it is important enough that it is silly to ignore it. [TampaBay.com]
- Alex Torres had quite the Saturday before throwing 4 shutout innings. [TampaBay.com]
- The Rays try hard to know a player’s character before drafting him, but there are unknowns. [TampaBay.com]
- BJ Upton had a decent weekend at the plate. But that only came after he was benched again and his manager was thinking about sending him to the minors. [ESPN]
- Marc Topkin takes a look back at all of the Rays first round draft picks. [TampaBay.com]
- Keyshawn Johnson is not a fan of Justin Bieber. [JoeBucsFan]
DURHAM 7, SWB 4. Mike Montgomery allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk. He struck out 4…Wil Myers hit his 10th home run and was a double shy of hitting for the cycle. He drove in 3 and is now 16-35 (.457) in his last 8 games with 5 home runs.
Pensacola 11, MONTGOMERY 4. Mikie Mahtook went 1-4 with a walk. He’s still just hitting .236 with a .315 OBP.
St. Lucie 5, CHARLOTTE 3 (gm 1). Hector Guevara (6) and Willie Argo (1) homered for the Stone Crabs.
CHARLOTTE 7, St. Lucie 4 (gm 2). Jeff Malm hit his 5th home run.
South Bend 8, BOWLING GREEN 6. Taylor Guerrieri. gave up 6 runs in 4 innings. He struck out just 1 batter and his ERA is now 3.14…Marty Gantt hit his 6th home run and Tyler Goeddel added his 3rd.