USATSI_7392803_154511044_lowresThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Corn Cobb Curveball. 23 curveballs. 6 were called strikes. 6 were swinging strikes. That’s the Alex Cobb we saw early in the year and a great sign for final 38 games. The only concern is that it appeared he doesn’t quite have the stamina back yet. Things quickly came apart in the start of the 7th inning when he walked 2 batters and gave up a single before being pulled…Alex Torres. Fernando Rodney got the save, but Alex Torres saved the game. He was called in with the bases loaded and no outs in the 7th inning. He did allow one runner to score, but that was on a double-play. He then struck out Nate McClouth to keep the lead at 3-2…Matt Joyce. Joyce is a streaky hitter and he seems to be in a good groove right now. In his last 5 starts, Joyce is 7-18 with 2 home runs, 2 doubles and 2 walks.

THE BAD: Wesley Wright. After the Rays scored 4 runs in the top of the 9th inning, Fernando Rodney should not have been needed. But Wright walked a batter, gave up a 2-run home run, and then walked another batter. Making matters worse, Rodney was probably warming up earlier and then told to stop. He then needed to get up and quickly warm up again before coming in to get the final 3 outs.

THE TELLING: Jake McGee and Joel Peralta were both unavailable…The Rays are now 72-52, tied with the Red Sox in the AL East, but 2 games up in the loss column. The Rays are also 5 games ahead of the Indians for the final Wild Card spot.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Matt Moore threw his changeup without pain, calling that “huge.” [TBO.com]
  • Joe Maddon offers some comments on the Ryan Dempster-Alex Rodriguez situation. [TampaBay.com]
  • The Durham Bulls retired Chipper Jones’ number. Some of you may be too young to remember that the Bulls were originally a Braves single-A club. [MiLB]
  • Watching Durham Bulls Baseball has a great picture of Chipper Jones from his days with the Bulls. [WDBB]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM 5, Charlotte 4. Mike Montgomery gave up 4 runs in 4.2 innings…Vince Belnome went 3-5 with a double…Tim Beckham went 2-5 with a triple.

MONTGOMERY 3, Mississippi 2. After giving up a go-ahead run in the top of the 9th, the Biscuits came back in the bottom of the 9th inning, winning the game on a 2-out, 2-run walk-off home run by Keyong KangJacob Thompson allowed 1 run in 5 innings with 5 strikeouts and 4 walks.

CHARLOTTE 1, Fort Myers 0. Ryan Carpenter pitched 4 shutout innings, striking out 3 and walking none…The Stone Crabs’ lone run came on a solo home run by Richie Shaffer, his 11th, in the 7th inning.

BOWLING GREEN 3, South Bend 2. Thomas Coyle scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 9th inning on 2-out single after singling to lead off the inning and then stealing second base…Reinaldo Lopez struck out 6 and walked 1 in 7 innings. He allowed just 1 run.

HUDSON VALLEY 1, Aberdeen 0.

PRINCETON 3, Danville 2.

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10 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Glad to see Moore throwing the changeup without any pain. He originally said that it was pretty much only the changeup that was thrown with pain, and the development of tha tpitch was one of the amain reasons he saw success this year. Hopefully he can join the rotation soon so that we dont see Roberto start anymore.

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  2. Gus says:

    Loved to see Joyce splitting Longoria and Myers in the order and Maddon not doing something silly like pinch-hitting Joyce with Bourgeious last night (as he did Monday). Joyce's cold streaks are compounded with Maddon's lack of confidence in him. A swing that good should hit lefty pitching. They've never believed in him enough.

    And I am no relation to Matt Joyce. Just feel like if they are going to win the Wolrd Series, he is the type of player who can be a key guy to get the offense over the hump. He needs to keep playing,

    Those Molina double plays are completely forseeable and are killing the Rays way more than the 7 strikes a game he is getting them behind the plate by his "framing". Moreover, he's dropped 4 foul tip third strikes in the last two games alone. Not going to get all of those, but come on. Catchers need to catch. He is a big liability.

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      I think Joyce needs to play more. His AB/HR are pretty good at 20.9 (to compare, Longo is at 18.5). And he plays a better outfield than the other options.

      There is no reason why Lobaton isn't getting 2/3 of the starts.

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    • Michael says:

      Here's what I'm hoping is Maddon's thinking regarding the current 50/50 time share at catcher between Molina and Lobaton: Maddon realizes Lobaton is the far superior all around player at this time. However, he also remembers how Navi wore down in the second half of 2008 (remember, Navi made the All Star team in '08) and was kind of shot by the playoffs and was never that good again. Maybe he's 'saving' Lobaton for the playoffs and at that point we'll see him 80+% of the time with Molina relegated to more of a coach than player role, as he should be. We'll see.

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    • bbmern says:

      I totally agree. It drives me nuts when Joyce isn't put in the lineup every day and for the entire game. Last night was great and he made his point against a lefty!

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      • Beth says:

        I'm very pleased to see Joyce getting hot. But he has had many chances over the years to assert his position as an every day starting outfielder who can hit lefties at least respectably. I don't think he's made that case, which is why he gets platooned, and then sees his playing time go down when Myers is called up. I don't buy the narrative that he has not been given the opportunity.

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        • Gus says:

          They coddled an inferior player (Upton) for years and wouldn't give Joyce the everyday at bats, platooning Zobrist, Kapler and a host of others out there. Even this year, pre-Myers, he doesn't get the at bats, doesn't play everyday. At some point, they made the decision Joyce can't hit lefties and you are correct, he hasn't hit lefties much. If we had a sweet-swinging RH platoon partner, I'd be down with that. But we never have had one of those -- and Joyce has never developed into the all-around ballplayer that he maybe could have. To give S-Rod or Bourgeious or Kelly Johnson at bats over Matt Joyce is short-sighted. He needs to be the everyday LF, more or less.

          Sometimes, guys just start hitting for mysterious reasons -- see Sam Fuld v. LHP this year.

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          • OriginalTom says:

            Joyce has 286 ABs lifetime vs. lefties and has a line of .196/.271/325.
            Sean Rod 532 AB's .253/.354/.387
            K Johnson 1010 AB's .27/.339/.439

            That is a pretty big difference. I am sure Joyce would hit lefties better if he had more opportunities but the team is trying to make the playoffs and they need to put the best player on the field. If a lefty is on the mound Rodriguez and Johnson are both better options than Joyce.

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          • Dave L says:

            Thanks for bringing some sanity to the discussion O Tom.

            This year he's batting .189 with a pathetic . 516 OPS vs lefties

            This year Joyce is putrid against lefties again and his defense isnt a plus versus the two you mentioned.

            This is his age 29 season he is at his peak and he is a platoon player just accept it and move on people, dont always jump on the hot player. Joyce is being used to maximize his effectiveness.

            Case closed.

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    • Rob says:

      Molina has grounded into 9 double plays, certainly the most per PA on the team, but not completely horrible either. I would think it would be higher given his lack of speed.

      I also liked having Joyce batting cleanup. Not only does it add some more power in the middle of the lineup, it provides a nice R/L/R combo to keep opposing teams from bringing in a specialist for two or three batters.

      Jennings - R
      Zobrist - S
      Longo - R
      Joyce - L
      Myers - R
      Loney - L
      Molina/Lobaton - R/S
      Johnson (DH) - L
      Escobar - R

      This lineup gives the pitcher a different look every batter.

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