The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
Mariners 5, RAYS 4 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Ben Zobrist. Joe Maddon moved Zobrist up to the leadoff spot for just the 10th time this season and it paid off with a pair of home runs, just his 8th and 9th of the year. With Evan Longoria in a funk, the Rays could really use a red-hot Zorilla. Let’s hope this is the start of something good…Chris Archer is The Tree. Archer had a bad game. He stunk. But you have to love how he handles himself both on the field and off. If you haven’t seen his post-game comments, CLICK HERE. Part of it is the atmosphere that Joe Maddon creates in which it is OK for players to fail as long as they use it as a learning experience. But most of it is just that Archer is a cool character and while he may be in a funk now, he is level-headed enough that this won’t become a mental issue.
THE BAD: Chris Archer. OK, we praised The Tree. But The Pitcher is having issues right now. You can’t give up two home runs to a leadoff hitter that had 2 home runs entering the game. It can’t happen. And it wasn’t like Brad Miller’s home runs just barely got out either. The first one nearly hit the fish tank and the second one nearly hit the back wall. The good news is that Archer walked just one batter. So when he gives up 9 hits, that suggests he was just missing his spots within the zone. One issue is that he might have been overthrowing his fastballs. When things are going well, Archer’s fastballs are 94-95 with good movement. Last night he was 96-97 and there appeared to be a little less movement. As a result, Archer leaned on his slider more than usual, with nearly half of his pitches being breaking balls…Heart of the Order. During the Rays’ 6-game losing streak, Wil Myers and Evan Longoria have combined for just 10 hits (.217) with 13 strikeouts and 4 walks. And in the last 3 games, they are 2-23 with 10 strikeouts and 1 walk.
THE TELLING: Alex Cobb will start Thursday. Desmond Jennings is hoping to be back on Monday. Jesse Crain played catch and it went “really well.” Brandon Gomes is getting closer. Joe Maddon says his velocity is back. Matt Moore is still up in the air, but could be back this weekend (per Marc Topkin)….Both leadoff hitters hit two home runs. That is just the third time that has happened in MLB history. The last came in 1994 (thanks, Patrick)…The last time the Rays lost 6 in a row, Manny Ramirez was still on the team. BTW, Manny was released from the Rangers triple-A club yesterday…The Rays are now 66-51, 4 games behind the Red Sox and 2 games ahead of the Orioles for the 2nd Wild Card spot.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Yunel Escobar wore a sign around his neck before the game. It was true. But it didn’t work. [TampaBay.com]
- A closer look at the new David Price. [ESPN.com]
- If the Royals make the playoffs this season was the Wil Myers trade worth it? [CBS Sports]
- Bill Belichick is a big fan of Doug Martin. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Gwinnett 3, DURHAM 2 (10). Jake Odorizzi struck out 4 in 5 shutout innings. He gave up 3 hits and 2 walks…Brandon Gomes tossed 1 shutout inning with 2 strikeouts…Tim Beckham went 0-5 with 2 strikeouts. He also committed his 22nd error.
Jackson 2, MONTGOMERY 1 (14). Victor Mateo struck out 6 and allowed just 1 run in 7.2 innings. He gave up 4 hits and 1 walk…Mikie Mahtook went 2-7 with a double and 5 (5!) strikeouts.
CHARLOTTE 3, Jupiter 1. Dylan Floro pitched a complete game, giving up just 1 run with 5 strikeouts and no walks…Willie Argo went 2-5 with his 31st stolen base…Drew Vettleson was 2-3 with 2 walks and a pair of RBI.
BOWLING GREEN. no game scheduled
HUDSON VALLEY. no game scheduled