The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
Angels 11, RAYS 2 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Was there anything? Let me try to put a positive spin on this weekend’s games. As bad as the Rays are playing right now, they would still be in the playoffs if the season ended today. More importantly, no matter what happens tonight, that will still be true tomorrow. That’s the nice thing about having a cushion in the standings. When these skids happen — and they always happen to the Rays — the Rays are still in contention when the skip is finally righted…Wil Myers and Evan Longoria. In the last 8 games, Longoria and Myers are a combined 4-57 (.070) with 22 strikeouts and just 1 RBI. So why are they in the Good? Because they are good and they are too talented to keep this up. Once these two guys start hitting again — and they will — the Rays will start scoring runs again and any offense is all this pitching staff needs.
THE BAD: Offense. The Rays have lost 5 straight games. During that streak, they have gone 31-159 at the plate (.195) and scored a whopping 7 runs. Amazingly, the Rays have drawn 23 walks in those 5 games including 9 on Monday. Unfortunately, only 2 of those runners would eventually score a run with both of those coming during the first game of the A’s series when the Rays lost 4-3…Josh Lueke. I’m not going to lie. If Lueke is a great pitcher and the Rays need him to win games, then I have less of a problem with the Rays using Lueke. But if the only reason he is on the team is to serve as the slop-reliever when they Rays are down 11-2, then I am not a fan of having him on the team. There are other relievers that can come in and eat innings to give the real relievers a break. I don’t want to get into the same argument about what he did or did not do and what he was or wasn’t convicted of doing. I do believe in second chances and I do think he should be allowed to play baseball. But if there are others that can do what he can do, I’d prefer he did it elsewhere.
THE TELLING: Three of the top four minor league affiliates (Durham, Charlotte, Bowling Green) are in the playoffs…The Rays’ first wave of call-ups for September included Delmon Young, Chris Gimenez, and Josh Lueke. Also, Luke Scott was activated from the DL…Sam Fuld became the third position player in franchise history to pitch in a game. Of course, this isn’t the first time Fuld has warmed up. He actually took the mound during a 2011 game in order to give a reliever more time to warm-up in the bullpen…Matt Moore will start tonight and Jeremy Hellickson will start tomorrow…The Rays are now 75-61, 5.5 games behind the Red Sox and 2.0 games ahead of the Orioles in the Wild Card.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- It is amazing that the Rays have so many big league or big league-caliber starting pitchers and yet Joe Maddon started Jamey Wright this weekend. Here is why that happened. [TampaBay.com]
- Jeremy Hellickson talks about his time away from the team. [TampaBay.com]
- Here is video of Sam Fuld talking about his pitching performance. [TampaBay.com]
- Will the Bucs be able to get to the quarterback this season? [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
DURHAM 1, Norfolk 0 (10). The Bulls begin their best-of-5 first-round playoff series tomorrow.
MONTGOMERY 9, Birmingham 2. The Biscuits finished the season 71-69.
CHARLOTTE. The Stone Crabs begin their best-of-3 first-round playoff series tonight.
BOWLING GREEN 10, Lake County 2. The Hot Rods begin their best-of-3 first-round playoff series tomorrow.
PRINCETON. The Rays finished the season 25-43