The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
RAYS 8, Yankees 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Evan Longoria. The two home runs from Longoria were only the second and third home runs he has hit in the last 30 games. In the 29 games prior to last night, Longo was hitting .209 with a .296 OBP and just 7 runs batted in. When Dirtbag returned to the dugout after his second home run you could just see the sense of relief on his face. Maybe it helped that Jaime Edmondson was at the games. Maybe it helped that he hit himself in the head in his second at bat and had a good laugh. Whatever it was, hopefully the weight has been lifted and Longo makes a big run into and through the postseason…Flash Jennings. Jennings pinch-hit and had a single before being pulled for a pinch-runner. The single was nice, but more importantly it was a sign that Jennings is probably not going to be out for an extended period of time and is close to returning…David Price. Not his best performance, but it was workmanlike and it got the job done. And once again, it was his amazing control, striking out 8 and walking none. Since he came back from the DL in July, Price has 98 strikeouts and just 12 walks. That is a ratio of 8.2 strikeouts for every walk when anything above 3.0 is considered good…And Then There Were Three (Officially). We’ve known for a while that the Yankees, Royals, and Orioles were out of it. But last night made it official as the Royals and Yankees were officially eliminated, joining the O’s who bowed out the night before.
THE BAD: Jose Molina. Any team that has given up a stolen base to Jose Molina should be embarrassed and should just shut it down and go home. After last night’s double-play, in which Molina was thrown out by 10 feet on a play in which the shortstop had to pause and re-tag the second base bag, it is time we come up with a nickname. I proposed So-Mo-Lina. Cyndi (@Nossyn) proposed Funky Slo Molina, which I also like. Do you guys have a preference or other suggestions?… The Schedule. The hot topic this week is the unbalanced schedule and how it is hurting the Rays in the race for the Wild Card. As we mentioned yesterday, it is never going to change without radical realignment, and MLB had to blackmail the Astros’ new owner to get them to move to the AL, so radical realignment will never happen. But that doesn’t mean the schedule is fair. The two worst teams in the AL this season have been the Astros and the White Sox. The Rangers went 17-2 against the Astros this season and 70-69 against everybody else. Those 17 wins represent 19.5% of the Rangers’ wins this season. In other words, the Rangers played like a 145-win team against the Astros and an 82-win team against everybody else. Oh yeah, and the Indians went 17-2 against the White Sox this season. The Rays have 10 wins against those two teams combined.
THE TELLING: The Rays are now 89-69 and still have a 1-game lead over the Indians and a 2-game lead over the Rangers. They’re magic number is now 3 with 4 games to go. If the Rays go just 2-2 in their final 4 games, the worst they can do is tie the Rangers for the second Wild Card spot.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Which schools produce the most NFL players. Some of the answers may surprise you. [BI Sports]
- Here are some of Stuart Sternberg’s comments on the unbalanced schedule. He says he is willing to sell less tickets. But is he willing to accept less money on his next TV contract because more west coast games will mean a drop in ratings. [TBO.com]
- Get caught up on the Josh Freeman mess over at JoeBucsFan.com. [JoeBucsFan]