The 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.
PRINCETON. no game scheduled