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, Blue Jays 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Desmond Jennings. The biggest play of the weekend was Jose Reyes’ 9th inning double that made it 4-3 on Sunday. Somehow Jennings was able to chase the ball down before it got to the wall and he held Reyes to a double on a ball that would have been a triple 99% of the time. That was huge, because instead of having the tying run on third base with no outs and having to play the infield in with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion coming up, the Rays were able to play the a deep infield. And after Bautista struck out, Evan Longoria fielded a hard grounder well behind the bag. Reyes didn’t get to third base until there were 2 outs. If Jennings doesn’t cut that ball off, the Jays probably tie the game…Chris Archer. Sunday’s start may have been the best evidence yet that Archer needs to remain in the rotation. He did not have his best stuff and still worked 7 innings and allowed just 1 run. We all know Archer is awesome when everything is clicking. But a good big league pitcher still puts his team in position to win on the other days as well. And it may have just been a case where the Blue Jays are a bad matchup for Archer. After going away from his 2-seem fastball in last 2 starts and not walking any batters, he leaned heavily on the 2-seemer on Sunday and walked 4 with just 1 strikeout…Wil Myers. The biggest reason the Rays are winning now is the starting pitching working deep and the bullpen getting back to their comfort zone (thanks for nothing, World Baseball Classic). But it is worth noting that the Rays are 22-8 since Myers was called up. He does have a sore wrist and did not play Sunday, but he was 14-28 in the 7 games before that and is hitting .310. And it’s clear that Myers completes the lineup with other players shifted down into better slots.
THE BAD: Defense. The Rays made some bone-headed plays this weekend and just laughed it off and still won the games. That’s great and a sign of how much confidence the Rays are playing with right now. But if they don’t refocus on defense, one of these plays is going to cost them a game.
THE TELLING: Wil Myers did not play on Sunday with a sore wrist. He is hoping to play tonight. Yunel Escobar is also hopign to return for the Red Sox series…James Loney
will rejoin the Rays today.rejoined the Rays on Sunday. Ryan Roberts was demoted…The Rays are now 17-2 in their last 19 games and have won 7 straight series. Overall they are 58-41, 1.5 games behind the Red Sox, 2 games ahead of the Orioles for the first Wild Card and 3.5 games ahead of the Rangers for the second Wild Card. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays now have a 81.5% chance of making the playoffs.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon gave Luke Scott a pep talk. Scott then hit a home run. [TampaBay.com]
- Remember when the Rays would use the shift a LOT more than any other team in baseball? The rest of baseball has caught up. There are actually two teams that shift MORE than the Rays, the Orioles and the Pirates. [ESPN Stats]
- Matt Silverman is not a fan of the competitive balance lottery (the Rays were given an extra pick after the second round). [TampaBay.com]
- Will Doug Martin be able to handle the increased workload this season? [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 14, Pawtucket 13. Matt Buschmann gave up 7 runs in 4 innings and the bullpen nearly blew a 7-run lead in the final 4 innings…After hitting a home run on Saturday (see video below), Tim Beckham had 3 more hits on Sunday. He has 14 hits in his last 10 games to raise his average to .278. More importantly, he has 5 walks and just 4 strikeouts in the last 8 games…Vince Belnome had 2 doubles and is hitting .339…Leslie Anderson had 2 hits and drove in 3. He is 11-25 over the last 8 games and is hitting .328.
MONTGOMERY 2, Mobile 1 (11). Victor Mateo allowed 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks in 8 innings…Kyeong Kang hit his 10th and 11th home runs, including the go-ahead home run in the top of the 11th with 2 outs…Mikie Mahtook went 1-5 but does have 12 hits in his last 9 games.
CHARLOTTE 9, Dunedin 6. Richie Shaffer had a double and a home run in 5 at bats. It was his 7th home run and he is now 15-39 in his last 9 games with 5 multi-hit games…Drew Vettleson was also 2-5 and is now 15-45 in the last 9 games with 6 multi-hit games.
Beloit @ BOWLING GREEN. game suspended in 10th inning, tied 1-1
Tim Beckham home run…