The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
Twins 6, RAYS 4 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: And Then There Were Three. The Rays and the Rangers are tied for the two Wild Card sports. The Indians are just a half-game back (1 game in the loss column). There are three more teams that appear to be close but really are not. If the Rays go just 7-7 in their final 14 games, the O’s and Yankees would have to go 10-3 in their final 13 games to pass the Rays. The Royals would have to go 10-2. Complicating matters for those teams is not only do they need to pass the Rays (or the Rangers), but they also have to outplay the Indians. In other words, in order for one of those three teams to make the playoffs, they need to get red-hot AND they need not one, but TWO, of the very good, playoff-caliber teams ahead of them to play like crap for the next two weeks. Those other teams haven’t been eliminated. But at this point, it would take a miracle for one of those three to make the playoffs.
THE BAD: Joel Peralta. With two weeks remaining, Joel Peralta has pitched in an MLB-leading 73 games. His career-high is 76 games and that was last year. His fastball, which was 90-92 in the first half of the season, is now 87-89. His splitter, which was 81-83 earlier in the year, is now 78-80. The result is his splitter is getting pounded with both home runs hit off him yesterday coming off splitters. One was 78 mph, the other was 80 mph…Joe Maddon. Maddon is loyal, often to a fault. But I am not sure how much I want to pound him for leaving Peralta in the game. On the one hand Peralta had already given up one home run and I have long argued that once one of your late-inning guys gets pounded you need to pull them. Those guys work on so much adrenaline that they either get deflated or they try to start overthrowing. Neither is good. But at the same time it was Josmil Pinto. There was no Twins fan in the universe that thought Josmil Pinto was going deep in that situation. So if Twins fans didn’t think it was possible then I can forgive Maddon for not seeing that as a possibility either. If there is a bright side it is that Jesse Crain should be activated this week and he will be able to take some of the late-inning load off of Peralta…Navy-vs-Navy. You can’t have a game where both teams are wearing navy jerseys (see image above). This isn’t high school.
THE TELLING: As usual, expect a second wave of September call-ups this week now that the Durham Bulls have just one game remaining. And as I mentioned before that means Tim Beckham will likely make his big league debut this week…Jesse Crain is expected to face live batters today…The Rays are now 81-67, tied with the Rangers for the Wild Card lead. According to CoolStandings.com the Rays have a 53.0% chance of making the playoffs. The Rangers have a 56.6% chance and the Indians are at 69.9%. None of the other Wild Card contenders have more than a 8.1% chance and that belongs to the Royals.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- In addition to Tim Beckham, the Rays may also add Jake Odorizzi and Jeff Beliveau to the bullpen after Durham’s triple-A championship game on Tuesday. [TampaBay.com]
- Wil Myers called his home run on Sunday the longest of his young big league career, but it was not as long as the home run he hit in Durham earlier this year. [TBO.com]
- If you missed it yesterday, here is the home run by Wil Myers which was measured at 444 feet by the ESPN home run tracker which measures ball speed and angle. [RaysIndex] And here is the home run he hit in Durham earlier this year. [RaysIndex]
- The Yankees would be the most expensive team ever to miss the playoffs. [Chart of the Day]
- The Bucs should be 2-0. That loss yesterday was in many ways even worse than the one to the Jets, which was mostly painful because it was the Jets. As usual, Joe is all over the game. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM. Durham won the International League championship, 3-games-to-1 over the Pawtucket Red Sox. Next up is the Omaha Storm Chasers, the champions of the Pacific Coast League. Those two teams will meet in a one-game triple-A championship tomorrow night.
MONTGOMERY. The Biscuits finished the season 71-69.
CHARLOTTE. The Stone Crabs finished the regular season 67-65. They lost their playoff series 3-0.
BOWLING GREEN. The Hot Rods finished the regular season 82-56. Bowling Green lost their first round playoff series 2-0.
HUDSON VALLEY. The Renegades finished the season 38-37.
PRINCETON. The Rays finished the season 25-43.