The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
Yankees 6, RAYS 5 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Wil Myers. So, here is the question about Myers that will be answered in the next two months: Is he just a streaky hitter that is prone to hot flashes like the one he in right now, or is he coming into his own as a big league hitter? Because right now, he is as hot as they come. Yet another multi-hit game, his 10th in the last 12 games has his batting average up to .328. And with 2 home runs, he also has 4 home runs in the last 7 games. Myers does not have the all-around game of Evan Longoria and I’m not sure he will ever have the same clubhouse presence. But Myers might be a better hitter than Longo. When you consistently hit the ball as hard as Myers, the groundballs will find holes, and the flyballs will either go over the wall or find the gaps more often than the average player. And let’s be honest, he’ll probably stay healthier.
THE BAD: Jake McGee’s Second Inning. McGee faced 4 batters in the 8th inning and came back out in the 9th inning and promptly walked the first batter he faced, threw a wild pitch, and gave up the game-winning single. Facing more than 4 batters is not unusual for McGee as it was the 10th time this season. But this was just the second time this season that McGee pitched an inning, went to the dugout, sat down for 10 minutes and then went back to the mound with a limited number of warm-up pitches. It was as if Maddon was playing for extra innings and they weren’t even there yet…Bad Luck. The Rays had a number of plays defensively that seemed to just miss gloves that led to runs…Bad Shift. And then there was the extreme shift on Alfonso Soriano in the 9th inning with a runner on second base. Normally I would call a groundball that gets through the shift just a case of bad luck and not a bad shift. But this shift was odd. On the one had you’ve got Jake McGee on the mound throwing upper-90s and almost all fastballs. He is not a guy that a batter is going to pull very often. But this was Soriano who still has good bat speed. But if you are going to commit to the shift why just one fielder? Why was Kelly Johnson still in a semi-normal defensive position at second base? Ultimately, Soriano hit a routine grounder about 10 feet left of the second base bag but Yunel Escobar wasn’t even in the same zip code and the game was over…Jose Lobaton. You can make an argument that 90% of Wild Pitches should never happen if a catcher does his job. That doesn’t necessarily mean 90% are their fault, but they are pitches that should be blocked. And then there was the wild pitch in the 9th inning by Jake McGee with a runner on first base. The pitch was way inside, but it was a ball Lobaton should have caught. It even hit his glove, but for some reason it was ruled a wild pitch and the eventual winning run moved into scoring position.
THE TELLING: Alex Cobb’s finger is still not ready for him to resume his rehab assignment. But it sounds like the blister should heal in next day or two…Tim Beckham missed three games for personal reasons but has returned to the Durham Bulls…Joe Maddon had his 4th grandchild born over the weekend…The Rays are now 62-43, a half-game behind the Red Sox and 5.5 half games ahead of the Indians for the second Wild Card spot.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Roberto Hernandez may get bumped to the bullpen even before Alex Cobb returns. The Rays have several off-days coming up and may go to a 4-man rotation for the time being. [TampaBay.com]
- “Are the Tampa Bay Rays the only team that doesn’t need to do anything at the deadline?” [Boston Globe]
- The Rays are the tied with the Brewers and Padres as the 21st most popular team. That is up 5 spots from last year, but still 4 spots down from where they were in 2009 after their World Series run. [SportsBusinessDaily]
- Somebody made a Joe Maddon Gnome out of sand. [TampaBay.com]
- These nuns are big Rays fans. Huge Rays fans. [TampaBay.com]
- Everything you need to know from Day Four of Bucs practice, with a cheerleader bonus. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 4, Columbus 1. Jake Odorizzi pitched 7 shutout innings, not allowing a hit until the 7th inning. He struck out 7 and walked 2…Tim Beckham was 2-4 with a double and is now hitting .278.
Mississippi 12, MONTGOMERY 6. Jake Floethe was pounded for 8 runs (5 earned) in 4.2 innings, giving up 12 hits and 5 walks. He also threw 2 wild pitches…Mikie Mahtook was 1-4 with a strikeout.
CHARLOTTE 8, Tampa 2. Jacob Partridge allowed 2 runs in 4.1 innings with 4 strikeouts…Richie Shaffer hit his 9th home run and Alejandro Segovia added his 13th.
BOWLING GREEN 7, Lansing 1. Jordan Harrison tossed 5 shutout innings, striking out 4 and walking 3…Marty Gantt hit his 7th home run and drove in 4…Thomas Coyle had 2 hits, 2 walks and stole 2 bases, his 32nd and 33rd.