The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
Rangers 8, RAYS 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Tim Beckham. Unfortunately for Beckham he will always be compared to Buster Posey, which is really not fair to him. But something to keep in mind: Posey was 22 when he got his first big league hit. Beckham is 23. Sure, it feels like it has been a long time coming, and in some respects it has been. But our expectations were always based on where he was drafted, something out of his control…Standings. The Red Sox helped the Rays out by beating the Orioles. If that had not happened, this next 4-game series was going to be very dangerous. As it is now, the Rays just need to split. If the Rays win three or four games, the Orioles are done. And yes, the Indians won so that’s not good. But beating one team is easier than beating two. And the Indians don’t have the luxury of being able to play the Rays (or the Rangers) head-to-head. Their schedule is easy, but head-to-head wins are twice as valuable as a win over a non-playoff team.
THE BAD: James Loney. The game was basically over when the Rangers scored two runs on a 2-out infield single because Loney fell asleep and was worried too much about the call at first base. It was the second straight night with a critical mental mistake and that is the sort of thing that will drive Joe Maddon nuts…Matt Moore. The velocity on Moore’s pitches looked fine. The movement was normal. So what happened? He gave up 3 home runs in the span of 4 batters. That’s it. Just one of those nights. If there is a complaint, it may be the pitch calling. Elvis Andrus took two straight curveballs which seemed to indicate that he was sitting on the fastball. Moore then threw a fastball and it Andrus crushed it. Obviously this is hindsight, but Moore may have been better off throwing a fastball off the plate there to see if Andrus would be to antsy and chase it. The Alex Rios home run also had a questionable pitch sequence. Rios had already fouled-off five of the six pitches he had seen, including a changeup. Moore then threw another changeup that Rios hit for a home run. Throwing the same batter more than one changeup is not the worst thing. But Rios fouling off the first one suggested that at the very least, he was not completely fooled by the pitch. And if a changeup is not fooling a batter, it is probably better to stay away from it. Again, this is hindsight and nitpicking, but just something he will probably keep in mind next time he faces those situations.
THE TELLING: If the Rays and Rangers finish the season tied for the top Wild Card spot, the Wild Card game would be in Texas…The Rays are now tied with the Rangers for the Wild Card lead at 83-69, one-half game ahead of the Indians (1 game in the loss column). According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays have a 48.8% chance of making the playoffs. The Rangers are at 61.9% and the Indians are at 65.4%. The Orioles are just 11.3%.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Things are getting crowded at the top of the Wild Card standings. [@watchingdbulls]
- Here is a closer look at the 2014 schedule. [BRaysball Talk]