The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
RAYS 5, Orioles 4 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: James Loney. Loney only saw two pitches, but he made the most of the second pitch, ending the game with a walk-off home run…Wil Myers. The Rays got a little lucky when Alexi Casilla’s head hit the knee of the outfielder forcing him to drop the ball, but once again it was Myers driving in two key runs, tying the game in the 7th inning. If Myers is on the bench for any game with the playoffs still on the line in the final week my head might explode…The Bullpen. The Rays have 500 relievers in the bullpen right now, so that allowed Joe Maddon to play matchups over the last 4.2 innings and it worked. After Wesley Wright relieved Chris Archer and walked the only batter he faced, the next five relievers faced 18 batters, gave up just 5 hits and a walk and did not allow a run. And they did it by throwing strikes and getting ahead. Of those 18 batters, the bullpen threw 12 first-pitch strikes.
THE BAD: The Orioles. I get that the Orioles are fighting for a playoff spot late in a tie game and they had already lost Manny Machado earlier in the game. But when Alexi Casilla’s head hit the knee of Nick Markakis he was out cold for a few moments. And yet, he STAYED IN THE GAME. What sport still allows a player to be knocked unconscious and continue to play? Oh, Major League Baseball apparently.
THE TELLING: Alex Cobb was named the AL Player of the Week…James Loney did not start the game because Joe Maddon thought he looked tired…With Tim Beckham making his first big league start at second base Ben Zobrist started his first game in the outfield in 40 games…The Rays are now 87-69 with a 1-game lead over the Indians and a 2-game lead over the Rangers. If the Rays go 3-3 in the final six games, the Rangers would have to go 6-0 to pass the Rays.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- What made the walk-off home run even more amazing is how much James Loney has struggled against inside pitches. [ESPN]
- A visual update on the Wild Card race. [@WatchingDBulls]
- This was before yesterday’s action, but here is a team-by-team breakdown of the AL Wild Card race. [ESPN]
- The Rays called up JD Martin for bullpen depth and then had to DFA him the next day to make room for Jesse Crain. While this seems cruel, and some in Durham are upset, it probably made no difference to Martin’s future. The Bulls’ season was over and Martin was likely to be a free agent. So instead of going straight to free agency, Martin got to wear a big league uni for a day and got paid to do it. [WDBB]
- The 15 best GIFs from week 3 in the NFL. [BI Sports]
- Greg Schiano doesn’t seem to think he has enough talent to win. [JoeBucsFan]