USATSI_7457263_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 4, Yankees 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Mo Rivera. This isn’t the first time I have said this, nor am I the first person to say this. But as much as I hate the Yankees, there is no player I have respected more in baseball over the last 19 years than Mariano Rivera. Watching that moment last night was amazing. Mo will be missed (until the Yankees have a 3-2 lead in the 9th against the Rays next year)…Alex Cobb. How good is this kid? I (and others) have said that Cobb is basically a younger, cheaper James Shields. But at this point it is easy to imagine that Cobb will be better than Shields. And you can make an argument that Cobb is actually already better than Shields ever was. Shields was always capable of that 4-hit shutout. But outside of his 2011 season, Shields was inconsistent. Cobber is great and consistent. And even then, in 2011, when Shields had 11 complete games and 4 shutouts, his ERA was 2.82 and his FIP was 3.42. Alex Cobb’s ERA this season is 2.76 and his FIP is 3.36. Alex Cobb is a better pitcher than James Shields…Evan Longoria. Evan Longoria is dialed in right now. Two more hits and drove in 3 runs. If the Rays get into the postseason and past the Wild Card, this could be a fun October.

THE BAD: Injuries. Still no sign of Desmond Jennings and Yunel Escobar was a late scratch from the lineup. However, he did enter the game late. Why he wasn’t OK at 7:00 and he was OK at 8:30 is beyond me, but whatever. Jose Lobaton did start, so there is that…Jesse Crain. Crain has been activated, but he is still not 100% and now it looks like he will never pitch for the Rays. He is unlikely to pitch this weekend and he almost certainly won’t be added to the postseason roster.

THE TELLING: JD Martin has cleared waivers and accepted his demotion to triple-A Durham…Tonight is almost certainly Jeremy Hellickson’s last start of the season as he will likely be the odd-man out of the rotation if the Rays are in the postseason…If the Rays play in the Wild Card, David Price will be the starting pitcher. If they play the Indians, the Rays won’t face Scott Kazmir or Ubaldo Jimenez. That means it will probably be Justin Masterson (or not, see comments)…If there is a tie for the second Wild Card spot, it would most likely be played on Monday as all teams play Sunday afternoon. If the Rays and another team tie for the two Wild Card spots, the Wild Card would be at The Trop if the other team is the Indians. The Wild Card would be in Arlington if the Rangers are the other team…The Rays are now 90-69 and remain 1 game ahead of the Indians and 2 games ahead of the Rangers, both of whom won close games last night. But with 3 games remaining, the Rays now have a 94.8% chance of making the playoffs. The Rays need just one win or one Rangers loss in the last 3 days to clinch at least a play-in game on Monday (presumably).

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • I posted some of the screengrabs in this morning’s Images and GIFs post. But if you want a full rundown of pics and images, you can click here. [BI Sports]
  • And you can see the full video at this link. [BI Sports]
  • The Rays were thrilled to be a part of Mariano Rivera’s final moment at Yankee Stadium. [MLB.com]
  • This is cool. All 3 Wild Card teams finishing strong makes for a fun race. It’s the anti-2011 Red Sox. Well, that one was fun for us. [WDBB]
  • Danny Knobler is the latest to speculate that the Rays will trade David Price this winter. [CBSSports.com]
  • Montreal wants another baseball team. Good luck with that. [Montreal Gazette]
  • Will Wil Myers haunt the dreams of Royals fans? It sure seems like it. [Grantland]
  • Is Robinson Cano worth $30 million per year? Probably. But is he worth a 10-year commitment? HAHAHAHA. [BISports]

 

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15 Comments

  1. Phil says:

    Go Rays! 2 out of 3 in toronto clinches a home wild card play -off game! Tampa has the tie breaker over Cleveland!

  2. Alex says:

    Cleveland just activated Masterson. They said he isn’t going to start again this season.

    From ESPN:

    News: Masterson (oblique) returned to action Wednesday, striking out two batters in one inning of relief work. (Thu Sep 26)

    Spin: Masterson will remain in the bullpen the rest of the way since he has yet to build up enough innings to re-assume a rotation spot. Should the Indians earn a Wild Card berth, Masterson figures to assume a high-leverage relief role, assuming everything continues to go well on the health front.

  3. Amanda says:

    Think Suzyn Waldman is regretting her over-the-top commentary when Clemens came back to the Yankees?

    The best thing to come out of the game for the Rays was their ability to deal with all of the emotion — their own, the other team’s, the crowd’s, etc. — and completely take care of business. That has to bode well for keeping their stuff together for the next few games and the one-game playoff. At least I hope it does, anyway.

  4. Sarah says:

    I think the deal with Escobar is that his injury is minor and they want to rest him. So playing 2 innings allows them to have the benefit of his defense when they are holding a lead, without having him putting weight on the ankle for a full game.

  5. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    What a great game to watch; Cobber having another great showing, playoff-ish atmosphere, watching the final act of the Sandman… awesome.

    Regardless of how it all plays out, it has been another phenomenal year to be a Rays’ fan… ups and downs all season, from the basement to the top, to back near the bottom, then back toward the top… frustrating at times, but in the end a fun, fun season to watch… again. What a pleasure.

  6. formattedfire3 says:

    Cobb is our best pitcher (7-0 at home), yet he won’t start the play-in game Wednesday if the Rays clinch a spot? Price has dominated the Red Sox. Start Alex Wednesday if that’s the case, he gives us our best shot right now period to move forward, and have Price potentially throw 2x vs. the Red Sox.

    • Rob says:

      I actually think that is a great strategy and makes a lot of sense. I hope the Rays are thinking about that.

    • Gus says:

      If they could sell that to Price, I’d be all for it. Cobb deserves to pitch the wild card game because he has been the Rays best pitcher (a) all season and (b) of late, but Price has seniority, is the team leader, makes the big money and I think will get the start.

      First need to get there, of course.

  7. Amanda says:

    Cork … does Cobb qualify for Comeback Player of the Year, or does it have to be in relation to last year?

  8. Dave L says:

    As far as Sheilds vs Cobb. Cobb has potential and grit for sure. He is more mature on the mound than Shields was at his age.

    But Sheilds has averaged 222 inning a year for 8 years. Cobb although still only 25 has yet to crack 150. Yes I know the circumstances of course.

    I place a premium in logging innings for a truly effective starter. And Shields has done it in the pitch count era which is even harder.

    Talk to me in after another 1000 or so frames and lets compare then.

    • Dave L says:

      correction 6 years not 8, my editor was asleep at the wheel again

    • Sarah says:

      I agree that comparing results is premature, but comparing potential is not. Cobb’s innings have been limited by freak injuries (a blood clot, a hit to the head) that are not indicative of his ability to be an innings eater down the road.

  9. Andy Cordero says:

    During Cobb’s latest pitching gem, one of our announcers referred to him being on a roll, hot streak, or something like that. My immediate response was, ‘Not! That’s just him! He’s that good!!’ I completely concur he should start the Wild Card game; have said so since his last start!!

    Comparisons are rarely useful, if ever, for the younger player. Cobb is Cobb and is pretty damn awesome right now!! What he will become, we’ll see in due time. Until then, James Shields’ excellent Rays history aside, let’s give Cobb a higher ceiling than that!! :-)

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