Ben ZobristThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS (off-day)

THE GOOD: Still On Top. The Rays are still above water, barely. The division is no longer even a thought at this point. But the Rays still hold a 1.5 game lead over the Indians and Orioles in the Wild Card and 2 games in the loss column. Iif the Rays go just 11-9 in their final 20 games, one of those other teams would have to go 13-6 to move ahead of the Rays in the standings. The Yankees would have to go 14-4 and the Royals would have to go 15-3. The point is, a 2-game lead in the loss column with just 20 games left is a very big lead. Of course, if the Rays go 6-14 down the stretch, it won’t matter. But, the Rays don’t even have to play great at this point to at least force a play-in game. They just need to play around .500 or a little better.

THE BAD: Slide Continues. On August 24, the Rays beat the Yankees 4-2, for their 8th win in 10 games. With the win, the Rays were tied for first but were actually 2 games ahead of the Red Sox in the all-important loss column. Even with the win on Sunday, the Rays are just 4-11 since that game on August 24th. And now the Rays trail the Red Sox by 7.5 games (6 in the loss column). As a result, the Rays (48.2%) now have less than a 50% chance of making the playoffs for the first time since July 1st. On August 24th, the chances were 87.3%. Why is it less than 50% even if the Rays still lead the Wild Card? One reason is that the simulations take into account a team’s remaining schedule. And of the Rays’ final 20 games, 14 are against playoff teams or teams still in playoff contention. On top of that, the Rays are not just fighting off one team. There are four teams within 4 games of the Rays in the Wild Card. If just one of them gets red hot down the stretch, the Rays are not making the playoffs.

THE TELLING: The Rays will not have another off-day unless they make the playoffs…David Price will start the first game against the Red Sox, followed by Alex Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson. Chris Archer and Matt Moore will pitch the first two games of the Twins series…Jake Odorizzi, JD Martin, and Matt Buschmann will pitch the first three games of the International League Championship series for the Durham Bulls…

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Jesse Crain may be getting closer to finally joining the Rays as he will have his second bullpen session today. [TampaBay.com]
  • Evan Longoria says the “Team Wil” t-shirts were just an effort to get Wil Myers to wear something with a Rays logo on the front. [MLB.com]
  • This headline didn’t need the first three words. [MLB.com]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM. The Bulls won their first round series against Indianapolis, 3-0. They being the best-of-5 International League’ Governor’s Cup Finals against the Pawtucket Paw Sox tonight. The Paw Sax are the triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.

MONTGOMERY. The Biscuits finished the season 71-69.

Daytona 4, CHARLOTTE 0. The Stone Crabs lost their playoff series 3-0. Dylan Floro worked six innings, but gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in the first two innings when six of the first nine batters singled.

BOWLING GREEN. The Stone Crabs 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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4 Comments

  1. s says:

    Where’s the outrage?

    A team in the playoff hunt, that is up and coming with success last year, facing the New York Yankees in a fight for a wildcard spot. Yet only 17K showed up.

    “O” that’s right it wasn’t the Rays, so it’s not worth bringing up.

  2. Gus says:

    Hopefully the Rays have that run of bad luck and bad mental play and bad managerial decisions out of their system. That was some kind of road trip — the pitching wasn’t that bad (except for Price), but the fielding was terrible, the baserunning idiotic and the approach at the plate with baserunners unfathomable.

    Hint to AL RH Pitchers: throw Longo a slider out of the zone and he will chase it EVERY time, like a cat lured in by a toy mouse on a string. Never seen a great hitter look that hopeless.

    2nd hint to AL pitchers: Throw S-Rod any kind of breaking ball and he is biologically incapable of hitting it. In the zone or our, sharp or flat, it doesn’t matter. Even if he gets on, he’ll get himself out, as his pinch running snafu Friday night ranks up there with Pena’s game losing flip and JP Howell’s 2009 blown save as Seattle moments where the Rays just collapse inexplicably and give away games to a bad Seattle team.

    3rd hint to AL pitchers: just load up the bases and let the bottom of the order ground into double plays.

    Free Chris Giminez. Beat Boston. Play like it matters to you. Go Rays.

    • Beth says:

      Honestly, I don’t think a single Rays player can hit a slider. Maybe if it hangs up there for a good long time but a decent slider? Forget it.

      I think the defensive meltdown has me most distressed. I can understand that hitting is a difficult skill, and even the best look foolish more often than they look great. But catching and throwing? I can only imagine that the poor offense puts everyone on edge — pitchers feel they need to be perfect, fielders that they need to be more aggressive or less aggressive or something — and then even the things the Rays usually do well are done poorly.

      Here’s hoping the baseball gods are on our shoulders tonight. Let Bucholtz be rusty; let Ortiz do his best hitting against the dugout phone; let Jonny be the guy I remember striking out nearly every damned time he batted as a Ray in 2008. Let Price summon up the guy who made this Sox lineup look pathetic not once but twice in July.

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