USATSI_7436172_154511044_lowresThe 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.

 

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11 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    "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."

    One of them already is.

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  2. Rob says:

    Wow - with playoff implications, Kazmir and Shields are scheduled to oppose each other in tonight's Cleveland - KC game.

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  3. Matt says:

    And making matters worse, the rays have the roughest schedule left of the three. The indians remaining schedule includes 3 games against KC, 4 games against the astros, 2 against the white sox, and 4 against the twins. The rangers play the royals, astros, and angels. Time to step it up boys!

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  4. Roger says:

    I have trouble buying this "loyalty" defense with Maddon regarding Peralta. If you look at the top of that same inning, with bases loaded and 2 outs Maddon had Sam Fuld and Luke Scott both of whom have been on the team multiple years. And who does he go with? Recently acquired David Dejesus who was a lowly .167 in these situations since joining the team. I wish his loyalty would have come into play then also...

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  5. Gus says:

    Pinto had nuked a coulple of balls earlier in the game, no? I was screaming for a 4-out Rodney there, but I'm not eve sure he was warm. Having a chance to blow a team out and leaving guys on (looking at you Lobaton and DeJesus) has been a hallmark of this team.

    Peralta has been on fumes for months; that was the impetus behind the Crain trade. At this point, they need to improvise, be it with Hernandez or Gomes or McGee (he's not reliable either) taking over the 8th. Perlata getting it done was kind of smoke and mirrors anyway.

    At least Myers is straightened out and the line-up looks better, starting pitching awesome. A bit of a recovery weekend.

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    • Rob says:

      I thought pinch hitting Lobaton for SRod against a lefty was a bit of a strange decision in that situation. SRod is faster and you would think Maddon would be trying to avoid the double play too.

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    • Sarah says:

      McGee seems OK if he starts an inning. Doesn't do well when you bring him in with runners on.

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  6. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    I've been lying in the weeds for the last month or so having made the decision to be just a reader as opposed to a daily poster, but I gotta say this is starting to look more than a little shaky.

    The panic button is packed away somewhere in the garage, but I may have to go dig it up by the end of the week if this team can't find some semblance of consistency... quickly.

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