The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
RAYS 3, Tigers 0 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Alex Cobb. Write. Rinse. Repeat. That’s what it feels like when Corn Cobb pitches. It feels like I am a broken record. He’s great. He’s the Rays’ best true pitcher right now. And he just seems to be getting better. He went even more changeup-heavy than usual. Of his 108 pitches, 42 were changeups (39%). Typically, 29% of his pitches are changeups. But it was a strong strategy against the aggressive power-hitting Tigers. Of those 42 changes, 34 were strikes and 9 were swing-and-misses…Sam Fuld. That 9th inning rally doesn’t happen if Fuld doesn’t lead off the 9th with a gorgeous drag bunt and an even more gorgeous slide to avoid the tag…Joel Peralta. After intentionally walking Miguel Cabrera, putting runners on 1st and 2nd, my initial thought was to walk Fielder also. With two outs in a tie game, there is not much difference between 1st and 2nd, and bases loaded. Instead, Joe Maddon called on Joel Peralta to face Fielder, and he struck him out. What an at bat.
THE BAD: Yunel Escobar. I feel like I am starting to pile on Escobar and I don’t mean to. There is clearly a lot of talent there. But some guys are just prone to brainfarts on the field. The latest was when Jose Lobaton got caught in a rundown between third and home. Escobar broke for third (smart) but hesitated halfway there (not smart). There is no way he is making it back to second at that point. So he needs to run hard. Instead he hesitates and ends up being tagged out at third on an awful double play in a tie game. Replays showed that he was probably safe. But it shouldn’t have been close.
THE TELLING: David Price is expected to throw a bullpen session on Friday, a good sign that he is closer to returning…Torii Hunter on Alex Cobb: “You would think Bugs Bunny was pitching”…Amazingly, that was the 6th time the Tigers have been shutout this season. That’s a lot for a team with some of the best hitters in baseball…The Rays are now 32-26, 3 games behind the Red Sox. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays have a 50.7% chance of making the playoffs, better than both the Yankees and the Orioles, who are ahead of the Rays in the division.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Baseball popularity is dropping. Here are 10 things baseball can do to change that. You’ll hate at least half of them. [BI Sports]
- Here’s one from the way-back machine. It’s a Shopp-a-copter! With a great catch by a fan (thanks, Andrea). [Big League Stew]
- Here are some mock draft projections for today’s draft. [TampaBay.com]
- Alex Rodriguez will lose at least $15.4 million if he receives a 100-game suspension. [BI Sports]
- Are you a Josh Freeman hater? [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Indianapolis 1, DURHAM 0. J.D. Martin allowed just 1 unearned run in 7.2 innings with 2 Ks and 1 walk…Wil Myers went 0-4 and Shelley Duncan was 0-3 with a walk.
MONTGOMERY 4, Pensacola 2. Merrill Kelly allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks in 7 innings…Mark Thomas hit his 2nd home run and added a triple.
CHARLOTTE 7, Dunedin 4. Drew Vettleson went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. He’s hitting .257.
Dayton 5, BOWLING GREEN 3. Blake Snell gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in just 3.2 innings to raise his ERA to 4.14…Andrew Toles stole his 34th base.