The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
RAYS 4, Twins 1 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Keeping the foot on the gas. If you recall, before the start of this 14-game stretch against some of the worst teams in baseball, I predicted the Rays would go a very disappointing 8-6. And yet, in the first 9 games they are 8-1 and I couldn’t be happier to be wrong. In the past, the Rays have had a reputation for playing down to their competition, seemingly taking games off against lesser opponents. But this Rays squad is not letting up heading into the All-Star break. Overall, they have won 10 of their last 11…Chris Archer. Archer looks more and more like a big league pitcher every time he takes the mound. We could always see the talent, and occasionally that was enough. But he seems to have calmed his emotions. He is less bouncy and antsy and more in control. And last night he got better as the night went along, retiring 13 of the final 14 batters he faced. Even better was the no walks. The only question about Archer’s “stuff” has been his control and it was a big concern. The hardest thing to teach a young pitcher is aim. But it seems Archer is one that is able to figure it out…Two Out Hits. With two runners on and 2 outs in the 4th inning, James Loney fell behind 0-2 in the count. But he battled back and picked up a walk. Then Matt Joyce and Kelly Johnson each drove in a pair of runs with 2-out hits and it was game over.
THE BAD: Evan Longoria. Lost in all the hoopla of the Rays winning streak and Longo’s foot injury is that he is not hitting well at all. He has just 5 hits in the last 13 games and all of those hits are singles, matching the longest stretch of games in his career without an extra-base hit. The last time he went 13 games without a double, triple, or home run was 2010.
THE TELLING: Chris Archer’s throwing error on a pickoff attempt was the first error for the Rays in 10 games…The Rays are now 51-40, 3.5 games behind the Red Sox and 2 games ahead of the Orioles for the second Wild Card.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Evan Longoria is not an all-star. Considering his foot injury, that might not be a bad thing. But the reason he is not an all-star just proves how much of a joke the all-star game has become. Homefield advantage in the World Series should not be more important than putting baseball’s STARS on display. [BI Sports]
- Wil Myers is working on his swing. [TampaBay.com]
- The Rays are now up to 5th in one computerized power ranking. I can’t remember how low they were, but it was not that long ago that they weren’t even in the top half. [ThePowerRank]
- Great story on Scott Cursi, the Rays’ bullpen catcher that has been with the club since 1999. As a former catcher I am very envious of his career. [TBO.com]
- What does Matt Stafford’s new contract mean for Josh Freeman? [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 4, Charlotte 3 (12). JD Martin gave up 3 runs in 7 innings with 6 strikeouts and no walks…Brandon Guyer was 2-3 with 2 walks…Ryan Roberts went 3-6 with a double and Vince Belnome had 3 more hits including his 7th home run. He’s hitting .343.
CHARLOTTE 5, St. Lucie 1. Jacob Partridge pitched 4 shutout innings allowing just 1 hits and 2 walks…Drew Vettleson and Richie Shaffer went a combined 0-8.
BOWLING GREEN. no game scheduled