7-23-2013 6-41-23 PMThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

Red Sox 6, RAYS 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Wil Myers. We all knew Myers could be great. But I am not sure anybody was expecting this type of hot streak so early in his career. After missing two games, Myers came back with two more hits on Tuesday. It was his 7th multi-hit game in the last 8 games and Myers is now 16 for his last 32 in those 8 games with 3 doubles, 2 home runs, and 2 walks…Evan Longoria. Longo has a modest 6-game hitting streak. During those games he has just 6 hits, but 3 of them are home runs.

THE BAD: Roberto Hernandez. The more I see the more I think Chris Archer will remain in the rotation when Alex Cobb returns. Roberto Hernandez pitches just well enough to not make the Rays worse. But unlike Archer, he does not elevate the Rays as a team. That is, Hernandez is not going to win games by himself. He is what he is. He will pitch 5-7 innings and he will give up 3-4 runs. At that point, it is up to the offense to win the game. And this offense is not that good to win a lot of games all by themselves. It’s a good offense and Joe Maddon maximizes their production. But if the Rays are serious about competing and winning this year, Archer is the guy. Maybe if the Rays were 5 games back you send Archer back down to work on some stuff. Will the Rays trade Hernandez? I’m sure the Rays will listen to offers. But unless they’re blown away with an offer, I think they’d prefer to keep him. Maddon will still want a backup starting pitcher around and at some point in September, Maddon will probably go to a 6-man rotation for a week or two…Jose Molina. With runners on first and third and Longoria shifted over by second base, Molina tried to throw out the base stealer at second base. This allowed the runner on third base to walk home.

THE TELLING: Alex Cobb had to end his rehab start after just 2 pitches because of a blister on his finger…Minor league catcher Mark Thomas has been suspended for 50 games for violating the drug policy for a 2nd time. He was hitting .151 with 4 home runs…The Rays are now 59-42, 1.5 games behind the Red Sox and 3.5 games ahead of the Rangers for the 2nd Wild Card spot.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Stuart Sternberg doesn’t expect the Rays to sell any key pieces before the trade deadline but he sounds open to adding a piece with the key phrase being “can we do things that will strengthen us this year and even as importantly, if not more so, strengthen us in the future.” [TampaBay.com]
  • Monday night’s game against the Red Sox was the most-watched game on Sun Sports (8.8 rating) since Game 162 of the 2011 season.
  • Rays players support the suspension of Ryan Braun. [TBO.com]
  • Rays are offering $2 tickets for kids on July 31. Here are the details. [TBO.com]
  • Joe will join Steve Duemig on 620 AM this afternoon at 5pm. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

Gwinnett 4, DURHAM 1. Jake Odorizzi allowed 4 runs (3 earned) in 4 innings. He struck out 3 and walked 1…Cole Figueroa had 2 of the Bulls’ 6 hits…Vince Belnome went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. His average is down to .330.

Jacksonville @ MONTGOMERY. postponed

CHARLOTTE 6, Dunedin 5. Drew Vettleson had 2 hits including a double and an RBI…Richie Shaffer hit his 8th home run.

BOWLING GREEN. no game scheduled

HUDSON VALLEY.

PRINCETON.

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14 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    I had a feeling this game was lost when the Red Sox lead off the 4th with a double and manufactured a run out of it and then in the following inning Myers led off with a double and the Rays stranded him on third.

  2. Adam W says:

    How Kyle Farnsworth (with 3 ER in 2/3 innings) didn’t make the bad, I don’t know.

  3. Lane Meyer says:

    For a guy hailed as an “Innings Eater”, Fauberto has sure had a lot of short starts. I wouldn’t mind 3 runs over 7 or 8 innings, but 3 runs in 5 innings and being in trouble in every inning is not acceptable. The Rays should DFA Fauberto and bring up Colome or Odirizzi until Cobb is ready. They certainly can’t do worse

  4. Gus says:

    Sometimes I find it helpful to go big picture. The Rays are 7-12 in Hernandez’s starts and north of .600% in everybody else’s starts. They can do better.

    Molina’s catching mistakes don’t always show up in the box scores as errors or passes balls, but they are catching mistakes nonetheless and he is KILLLING this team behind the plate if you watch the games closely. He had 3 of them last night. Looks like the Rays are approx. 27-29 in Molina’s starts; they are 22-13 when Lobaton starts (in a few games there are mid-game substitutions, but still Lobaton has earned more starts).

    I hope there is some stat nerd at One Tropicana Place today who can explain that one away and why they are giving more starts to Molina. If you listen closely to the pitchers, they all go out if their way to praise Lobaton, which is there way of saying he should be the everyday catcher. Sometimes Ron Diaz can actually be correct. His diatribes on Molina are supported by the data. Time to make a change there.

    • Rob says:

      The numbers support your argument. Pitchers have a 4.10 ERA and the Rays give up 4.40 RPG when Molina is catching. When Lobaton is catching those numbers are 3.47 and 3.63, respectively, so the Rays allow .77 RPG more when Molina is behind the plate.

      • Rob says:

        Also, Molina’s WAR is -.2 while Lobaton’s is +1.0.

        • Beth says:

          Do you think pitchers have a role in choosing whom they throw to? Moore has clearly stated a preference to have Lobaton as his catcher. Maybe other pitchers prefer Molina?

          • Gus says:

            Hellickson had kind words for Lobaton and Molina cannot catch the 100 mph nastiness of Rodney. Not quick enough. Molina is a good guy, but his days as anything but a remote backup are over. Yet he starts tonight — 4 of 6 out of the break!

  5. OriginalTom says:

    I think SRod deserves to be in the good for he play in the 2nd where he nailed Ortiz at 3rd. That inning could have gotten real ugly, real fast.

  6. Dave L says:

    We have won 59 games this year. We have won 2 of them when we scored 2 runs or less.

    There are games where we have to use the B team starter and if we dont score we follow him with the back of the bench relievers. The results of that are not good unless we score alot

    If we dont score we wont win. Especially against the highest scoring team in MLB.

    Cobb lasting 2 pitches isn’t a good sign. Blister? Really? Seriously?

    Molinas time with the Rays was well spent. He changed the catching culture and taught the Rays, even Maddon a former (minor league) catcher some of the finer arts of catching and enforced the concept that to have a great pitching staff, a catchers most important job must be what he does behind the plate not with his bat. Handling the staff, recieving, framing

    Lobaton has been an excellent disciple and has turned himself into a first rate catcher. When asked yesterday if he would rather go 4-4 or catch MM CG shutout he didnt hesitate in his answer. And his hitting has been timely.

    Molina knows catching but his body is no longer up to the task physically he’s 38 and thats ancient for a catcher who doesnt maintain himself in good physical shape.

    He is what he is and we are stuck with him, apparently Giminez isnt ready from what I heard Neal Solanz say the other day in a post game.

    • Gus says:

      My point is that Molina should be relegated to deep back-up status. Out of the ASB, he caught 3 of 5 games. Unacceptable.

  7. Beth says:

    On Hernandez: I tend to want to play devil’s advocate on him. When I read that he’s been a disaster, I want to point out how little run support he’s gotten. My rule of thumb is that if my team can’t score three runs, then I won’t blame the pitcher for the loss. But when I read that he’s not at fault for his poor record, I want to take note of how often he’s gone before the 6th inning; how often his sinker ends up waist high. Clearly when/if Cobb returns healthy we can do better. At the moment, however, we are stuck with him.

    On a possible six-man rotation during the stretch – maybe, but I think there are something like 6 off days between August 1 and September 9. So a six man rotation would mean pretty long stretches between starts for our regulars. And if the pennant is tight in those last weeks of September, would you really want that to be the moment you pull a seldom-used Roberto out for a spot start? My sense is that if he’s out of the rotation, he’s out of the rotation — unless the Rays are either comfortably in, or uncomfortably far from first place.

    • Dave L says:

      Gone before the 6th? 6 out of 19 starts.

      When you are looking at rotation the Rays are always moving things around trying to get this pitcher to match up with such and such team and guys are always getting these phantom injuries.

      Cobb getting only 2 pitches because of a ‘blister’ should give pause to anyone thinking we are close to a healthy Price-Helli-MM-Archer-Cobb locked in for the duration. They are going to be super cautious with him the rest of the year.

      Days off or not the Rays are making sure those 5 are healthy for the playoff run at the end and the 3 best of those at the time will carry us to the WS.

  8. Beth says:

    Sorry, one last Fausto thought: if he can’t get that “starter’s leap” timed up better, then they clearly need to move him out of the rotation.

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