8-21-2013 9-26-02 PMThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

Orioles 4, RAYS 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Bullpen. It was a minor miracle that Jeremy Hellickson did not give up 10 runs in the first 5 innings. So when Cesar Ramos entered the game in the 5th inning, the Rays were surprisingly down just 2 runs and still in the game. Ramos and Alex Torres combined to pitch 3.2 shutout innings and allowed just 1 hit and 1 walk.

THE BAD: Kelly Johnson. With the tying runs on base, Kelly Johnson was thrown out trying to steal second base, ending the game. A couple of things worked against Johnson on this play: 1) Matt Weiters made a perfect throw. Absolutely perfect; 2) Weiters knew Johnson was going. If you watch the replay, Weiters was in a throwing position (body turned, well outside the strikezone) before the pitch was ever thrown. That being said, Johnson has to be safe on that play. If there is any doubt, he can’t be running. It is just an awful way to lose a game…Jeremy Hellickson. Over the long-term, I would always prefer Jeremy Hellickson over Roberto Hernandez. But if I needed to fill out a rotation for next week, I’d rather have Hernandez make a start. Hellickson’s problem is I dont know what to expect and I have no faith in his changeup right now. Hellickson needs his changeup to be effective. And it has now been 7 starts since we have seen his dominant changeup. Last night, the change wasn’t terrible. He actually had 16 called strikes and 5 swing-and-misses. But that fits with what other teams have done recently. That is, lay off of Hellickson’s change and wait for him to throw his fastball, because his fastball is hittable. Of course, all of this probably means little come October. If the Rays make the playoffs and Joe Maddon uses a 4-man rotation, both Hellickson and Hernandez could be on the outside, looking in.

THE TELLING: The Durham Bulls clinched their sixth division title in seven years…The rotation moving forward is a bit up in the air, but we know this: Roberto Hernandez was available in the bullpen last night and Chris Archer will start on Friday. Yay, logic!…The Rays are 72-53, 1 game behind the Red Sox and 4 games ahead of the Indians for the second Wild Card spot.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • So, what is going on with the rotation? [TBO.com]
  • Matt Moore threw a bullpen session but is still more than a week away from returning. [TampaBay.com]
  • A-Rod will not serve his suspension this season. [BI Sports]
  • Another proposed stadium location for the Rays in Tampa. [Shadow of the Stadium]
  • What it looks like to be hit in the face with a 90 mph fastball. [BI Sports]
  • MLB teams are gaining on NFL teams when it comes to franchise values. [BI Sports]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM 9, Charlotte 2. Merrill Kelly allowed 2 runs in 7 innings. He struck out 6 and walked 2…Shelley Duncan hit his 11th home run for the Bulls…Tim Beckham was 1-5 with an RBI and a strikeout.

MONTGOMERY 5, Mississippi 0. Enny Romero struck out 7 and walked 1 in 7 shutout innings…Mikie Mahtook went 3-4 with a double, a walk, and an RBI.

CHARLOTTE 2, Fort Myers 1 (gm 1). Grayson Garvin allowed just 1 run on 1 hit in 4 innings…Taylor Motter was 1-4 with his 20th stolen base.

CHARLOTTE 6, Fort Myers 0 (gm 2). In his first start in the Rays organization, Jared Mortensen struck out 4 in 7 shutout innings, allowing 2 hits and 2 walks…Richie Shaffer was 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI.

BOWLING GREEN 9, West Michigan 1. Jeff Ames gave up 1 run in 6 innings. He struck out 2 and walked 2…Andrew Toles went 1-5 with 3 strikeouts, but did steal his 57th base…Tyler Goeddel was 4-4 with a double and 3 RBI.

Aberdeen 6, HUDSON VALLEY 5 (10).

PRINCETON. no game scheduled

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9 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    I wonder if the decision to steal came from the dugout. It may have also been a hit and run.

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  2. Rob says:

    I don't understand why Moore feels elbow pain when throwing the changeup but not when throwing a fastball. Isn't the changeup supposed to have the exact same arm motion as a fastball, only with a different grip? Does this indicate Moore has a different motion, thus, decreasing the effectiveness of that pitch?

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  3. sledge says:

    Cork:

    When does Hellickson become arbitration eligible? Is he killing himself this year or is it one more year?

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    • Ken says:

      Hell Boy is arbitration eligible for the first time this winter. I agree he is killing himself. However, there seems to be a minimum increase no matter how bad a year a player has in his last year of receiving minimum wage.

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  4. Lane Meyer says:

    I have no issue with Johnson's attempt to steal in that spot. It was an agressive play for a team in a playoff race. If safe, a single would have tied the game. Since Lobaton is not typically a power hitter, a single or double was a more likely outcome and would have only required one hit to extend the game. I'd rather lose trying to win, than trying not to lose.

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    • AJNO says:

      agree 100%. Lobaton already had swung thru one pitch. the next one (and the one KJ got thrown out on) was another straight whiff. If KJ is running, and Loba gets a hit, then its a BRILLIANT Hit & Run. But Loba swung and missed badly twice, so its a caught stealing on an 0-2 count to end the game.

      Bottom line, I wouldnt include that in the Bad, but I would give KJ alot of credit for even moving on that pitch, jsut didnt execute, or else that play woudl be in the Good!

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    • Sarah says:

      I also heard him in a post game interview, and his comments led me to respect his process in trying to steal even if the results were poor -- he explained that Hunter is slow to the plate; he had timed his delivery; he had a good jump. And since this was one situation in which a runner on second would have been significantly better than a runner on first, I thought his approach made sense.

      The bad: Zobrist got on base three times, and neither Longoria nor Myers could get him home.

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  5. Lane Meyer says:

    Also, it looks like Mahtook may be ready for the next level by next season.

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