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 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Matt Moore. If you recall, when Moore struggled for a few starts, the velocity on his fastball was down to 91-92. And then when things started to get better his last few starts his velocity averaged just a notch over 92. Yesterday his average velocity was 93.3. It is not much, but Moore consistently shown that he is much more successful when his fastball is in the 93-94 range. It seems like Moore has taken a little off his fastball this season to gain some command (his fastball has a ton of natural movement). But when he takes too much off he struggles. It seems as though he has now found that happy medium and yesterday was the best start of his season…Jake McGee. McGee has come a long ways in a couple of months and credit Joe Maddon for having more faith than most of us. On Thursday he picked up the first save of his career with a 1-2-3 9th inning that included 2 strikeouts. And he did it with 12 pitches, all fastballs. If there was one complaint it was that he might need to warm up a little longer. His first four pitches were 95 or 96. His next 7 pitches were all 97. And his last pitch was 98…Wil Myers. In 2 games since taking a day off to clear his head and tweak his swing, Myers is 5-9 and on Thursday he drove in a pair of runs with a pair of 2-out singles.
THE BAD: Schedule. As easy as the schedule has been for the Rays heading into the break, the schedule on the other side of the break is just as hard. The Rays will start the second half with a 10-game roadtrip against AL East foes Toronto, Boston, and New York. That is followed by a quick 5-game homestand against Arizona and San Francisco before a 6-game trip to the west coast to play Arizona and the Dodgers. That’s a brutal 20 game stretch.
THE TELLING: Matt Moore has been added to the AL All-Star roster, replacing Yu Darvish…Evan Longoria’s stolen base on Wednesday was his first since the one that tore his hamstring a year ago…Former Rays bench coach Bill Evers will serve as interim manager of the Durham Bulls when Charlie Montoyo is at the All-Star weekend Futures Game. Evers was 2-0 as manager of the Devil Rays when Joe Maddon was away from the team in 2006…The Rays are 53-40, 3.5 games behind the Red Sox.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Alex Cobb threw his first bullpen session and said he felt good. [TampaBay.com]
- Jon Heyman says the Rays are one team that has called the Mariners about trading for one of their hitters. Heyman specifically mentions Kendrys Morales and Raul Ibanez. [MLBTR]
- Disco Joe Maddon? This is photoshopped, right? [Rays Baseball Tumblr]
- This story on Tim Beckham is encouraging. It sounds like Beckham is starting to mature and understand what it will take to get to the big leagues. [NewsObserver.com]
- Rafael Soriano has made a lot of money in his career. [BI Sports]
- ESPN executives were probably fuming when their network kept inadvertently promoting a rival network. [BI Sports]
- Cal Ripken always said one reason he never took a game off was because some fan might be there for the first time. So it is ironic that Rays prospect Richie Shaffer, who grew a huge Ripken fan, went to see Ripken play for the first time on the day Ripken’s streak ended. [TampaBay.com]
- Bucco Bruce is coming back for one game in 2013. [JoeBucsFan]
Tim Beckham hit a long home run two nights ago…
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 6, Charlotte 5. Mike Montgomery gave up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks in 5.2 innings…Ryan Roberts hit his first home run since being demoted…Vince Benome had 2 more hits to raise his average to .341.
Pensacola 7, MONTGOMERY 2. Cameron Seitzer and Todd Glaesmann were both 2-4.
St. Lucie 7, CHARLOTTE 6. Richie Shaffer had a double and 2 walks…Drew Vettleson was 1-5 with a strikeout.
BOWLING GREEN 4, Quad Cities 3. Luke Maile was 3-6 with a double and a home run…Andrew Toles had 2 hits and his 44th stolen base.