The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
Dodgers 8, RAYS 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Playoffs. The Rays’ playoff hopes are shrinking, but the Rays are still in control of their own destiny. The best part of the Rays’ recent hot streak is that they can now afford to have a couple of stinker series. But the Rays need to stop the bleeding soon.
THE BAD: The Bullpen. Joe Maddon wanted newly called-up Josh Lueke to get the final 4 outs on Friday night. He faced 2 batters and couldn’t get either out. And that was just the beginning of what was one of the most painful losses of the season. Fernando Rodney would then come in for the 9th inning and he looked like a pitcher that just assumed he would have the night off. He didn’t look right from the beginning as the Dodgers completed their comeback with 7 runs in the final 3 innings… Pitching Matchups. The Rays had the pitching advantage on Friday with David Price on the mound and the bullpen blew that one. But on Saturday and Sunday, the Dodgers clearly had the pitching advantages with Zack Greinke going against Roberto Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw versus Jeremy Hellickson. It should not have come as a surprise that the Rays lost those two games. That’s why Friday’s loss was so painful…Jeremy Hellickson’s Changeup. In his last start, the Diamondbacks got to Helly by laying off his change. Against the Dodgers, Hellickson left his changeup up and the Dodgers attacked it. Of the first 13 changeups he threw, the Dodgers fouled off 6, had 3 hits, and just 2 outs. And one of the outs was a sac bunt. There was just 1 swing-and-miss and 1 ball…Offense. On Saturday they didn’t score a run. On Sunday they did not get their first hit until the 5th inning. And at one point, they went 17 straight innings without scoring a run…Hidden Ball Trick. So the Rays’ lone bright spot on Saturday came when they used the hidden ball trick to get Juan Uribe napping at third base. But they were down 5-0 at the time and after the game, told the entire world they work on it all the time. So, not only did it not help them on Saturday, now they have alerted other teams to be careful. Bold strategy, Cotton.
THE TELLING: Kyle Farnsworth has officially been released…Alex Cobb will rejoin the rotation on Thursday. Matt Moore could return by the weekend. The Rays are playing with an extra bat on the bench right now, so the first player out the door will likely be Ryan Roberts. After that, Josh Lueke could be sent back to Durham with Roberto Hernandez going to the bullpen. The other option is to just demote Chris Archer...Jeremy Hellickson batted 8th on Sunday, because of course Joe Maddon would. it didn’t matter much. But the time Hellickson batted, the Rays were already down 3-0 and Hellickson wouldn’t be around for a second at bat…All of a sudden the Rays are 66-50, 3.0 games behind the Red Sox, tied with the A’s for the Wild Card lead and just 1.5 games ahead of the Orioles for the second Wild Card.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon explained his decision to bat Jeremy Hellickson eighth. [TBO.com]
- Who you got, Yasiel Puig or Wil Myers? [ESPN.com]
- Shadow of the Stadium has a roundup of the issues surrounding the financing for a new Rays stadium. [Shadow of the Stadium]
- Can Tampa really come up with $100 million for a new stadium? [Field of Schemes]
- Josh Freeman promises to be more accurate. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Chris Gimenez hit a walk-off home run on Sunday…
DURHAM 5, Charlotte 2. The Bulls trailed 2-1 entering the bottom of the 9th. After tying the game, Chris Gimenez hit a walk-off 3-run home run…How much must it suck to be JD Martin? In 24 starts for the Bulls, he is 14-4 with a 2.77 ERA and a very respectable 106 strikeouts to just 24 walks. And yet, he isn’t even on the radar because of guys like Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi and Alex Colome and Mike Montgomery. On Sunday he pitched 6.2 innings and allowed just 2 runs (1 earned) and struck out 5…Tim Beckham went 0-4…Vince Belnome was 0-4 and is now hitting just .312.
MONTGOMERY @Tennessee. suspended in the second inning with the Biscuits leading 1-0
Bradenton 5, CHARLOTTE 3. Jacob Partridge struck out 7 in 5 innings but allowed 2 runs and took the loss…Richie Shaffer went 1-4 with 2 runs batted in. He’s hitting .257…Drew Vettleson went 0-4 with a pair of strikeouts.
Lake County 6, BOWLING GREEN 3. Blake Snell gave up 6 runs in 4.1 innings, striking out 5 and walking 5…Andrew Toles went 2-5 with a double. He also stole his 52nd base…Thomas Coyle went 2-4 and stole his 37th base.