BVoC2CCCcAAnab8The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 4, Cleveland 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Alex Cobb. Cobber had the splitter working and was absolutely masterful. In 6.2 shutout innings he struck out 5, walked 1, and got 9 groundball outs to just 2 flyball outs. Is anybody worried when he takes the mound?…Andrew Friedman. I should probably put Delmon Young here, but let’s face it, it was Friedman that recognized that Young could potentially help the team as a right-handed DH. But even he couldn’t have predicted this would happen. In the latest, most important game of the season, Young was in the game at DH against a right-handed pitcher and Young took the first pitch of the 3rd inning out of the park to get the scoring started…James Loney. It looked like Cleveland was going to break through and get at least one run in the 5th inning when they got runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs. But Cobb struck out Michael Bourn and then Nick Swisher grounded out to James Loney, who instead of trying for the double play, stepped on the bag and quickly threw the ball home, sending the runner back to third. Cobber then got the next batter to ground out back to the mound and the threat was squashed.

THE BAD: Indians Front Office. The Indians had an opportunity to make their 25-man roster be whatever they wanted and they included 11 pitchers. Maybe they were worried the game would go 36 innings. Nobody does matchups better than Joe Maddon and the Indians gave Maddon a huge advantage by limiting the number of pinch-hitter possibilities. At the same time, Maddon had a deep bench and had nearly infinite possibilities on defense and at the plate…Indians Fans. I’m still amazed that this actually happened. When I mentioned that on Twitter last night, the responses from Cleveland fans were less than polite and at times, less than intelligent.

THE TELLING: Tickets for game 3 and 4 of the ALDS will go on sale at RaysBaseball.com on Friday at 1pm…The Rays now play the Red Sox in Boston on Friday night in game one of the ALDS. It will be the fourth different city the Rays will have played in over the course of six days. Friday and Saturday will also be the 9th and 10th straight road games. The Rays will return home on Monday for the first time since Sept. 23.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Andrew Friedman on the unanimous decision to add Kevin Kiermaier to the Wild Card roster: ““I said, ‘Hold on a minute. We got to back up. I know we like crazy. This is who we are, but we can’t gloss over this,’ ” [TBO.com]
  • The Rays paid just $630,000 in payroll for every win this season. The Yankees paid $3.03 million. [BI Sports]
  • David Price did a fun Q&A with Jimmy Traina of SI.com. [SI.com]
  • Yankees attendance was down 7.4% this season, and their TV ratings were down 31.2%. [BI Sports]
  • The DBAP is getting some renovations. [WDBB]
  • MLBTR profiles free agent pitcher Jesse Crain. That was a great investment. [MLBTR]

 

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24 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    I am glad we don't have such a ridiculous mascot. Their fanbase as a whole looked ridiculous.

    The Indians had some pitching, but their defense had been bad all season and was terrible last night. Red Sox are a step up in weight class, but they are also a know quantity and we are due some luck there. As I posted on Monday -- going to Texas was a reversion to the mean game for Price, for the Rays in general. This Red Sox series can be a reversion to the mean for the Rays, who got a little unlucky in their Boston series this year (3 walkoffs?).

    Congratulations to the Rays, but this should be the start. This is the 27-year old season for Longo and Price; this is the year we have a reliable closer and 1B, and SS has been calmed down defensively. It is their best team with a real chance to win the world series; the best they've ever had. Now that we are here,you have to think the extended shutdowns of Price, Cobb and Moore are a blessing in disguise. Ready to ride those horses to the title.

    One note to Joe -- who has managed pretty darn well all year but particularly last month: give me DeJesus over S-Rod in left tomorrow night against Lester.

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  2. Amanda says:

    I think you should have had Molina in the Good, too. If you have a chance and it's still running, check out MLB Tonight on MLB Network. They showed how amazing of a game he had behind the plate and working with Cobb. I was down on Molina earlier this year, but it was more because I was disappointed in him for playing lazy (losing concentration, easy passed balls, etc.), and not because I thought he wasn't good enough. The way he's played in the last few games is Molina at his best. You don't have to be the best athlete to play a smart game.

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    • Dave L says:

      Wasn't mitch Williams breakdown of Cobb and the Indians kid pretty insightful as well? They showed a graph of Cobb's speed changes per pitch and it looked like the seismic graph of Krakatoa or a massive heart attack EKG.

      Today's MLB tonite breakdown was an adrenaline rush for a Rays fan!

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  3. edward williams says:

    ok , i can't believe i am admitting this, molina was probably the best player on the field last night, as much as i slam him, according to cobb he kept him in the game, maybe thats what we need more players to come out and say those things, usually it's joe ,but he always says good things, last night was great, now on to boston, lets kick thier butt, going to be a great series, wow got a terrible tension headache last night, lol , hey go rays

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  4. Chris D says:

    Speaking of Molina...the TBS folks were getting on him for stealing. But, I don't think this was a terrible decision.

    They had shown that Loney in his career was 2 for 5 with 2 HR against the pitcher that was in the game. Presumably this is therefore a favorable matchup. But Loney got down 0-2. So now you're in a situation where he's going to be swinging defensively and Molina is not going to score from first on a double even with 2 outs.

    Therefore, the upside of a Molina steal is that he's in scoring position with a 1-2 count to Loney. This means even a long single might score Molina. The downside of getting caught stealing is starting the inning fresh, but it seemed likely Loney would get to face the same pitcher with a fresh count. This is ultimately what happened. Loney flew out on the first pitch, but in the end the potential here was fine.

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    • Will says:

      I said the EXACT same thing.

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    • Ken says:

      Funny thing is, after watching the replay several times, I thought he could have been called safe. He was tagged high on the chest as his foot hit the bag. Funny also, and immensely annoying, is that the "HOMER" broadcasters just flossed over the play. TBS coverage is horrid thus far.

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      • Dave L says:

        Harold Reynolds of MLB Network made the same point today agreeing with you guys. Frankly I missed it in real time.

        Molina looked positively sprightly in these last two starts.

        Despite playing more innings this year than at any point in this career, he seems rested and energized.

        HR of MLB also broke down the Cobb/molina dynamic of guys on second stealing signs and their adaptation to neutralize it. It was analysis at its finest.

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  5. mp645 says:

    Jose Molina isn't the hitter or runner that his brother is but, Jose has the attention and respect of the umpires...that says a lot. He got his point across that the ball had no dirt on it and the 6 umps reversed their decision for TB! He was not loud or flamboyant or disrespectful towards the umps.

    He is able to settle down the pitchersand call the plays great!. Lobaton has learned much from him. I only hope when Jose puts his gear away for the last time (in a few years) that he continues in a new career as a coach.

    Did you catch the horrible Indians fan that threw a beer at De Jesus? That was not a classy move. They didn't show whether he fan was ejected. Does anyone know the outcome?

    Go Rays...

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  6. Rob says:

    Anyone else notice that the announcers were trying to position Loney's decsion to go home was a mistake? They were completely ignoring the fact that if the run scores during an ensuing rundown at second, it would have counted.

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  7. KMAC says:

    Good point Rob, but I feel it wouldnt have been a rundown, it would have been a catch and tag play, and most likely an out before the runner crossed the plate....I dont think the play was a mistake at all, I do feel that Loney might have forgotten that there was no one at third and he probably didnt feel too comfortable with the throw to second with a runner in the throwing lane...whatever it was it worked out and it was a safe play, which in my opinion is the smart play when ya have a 3-0 lead.

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  8. KMAC says:

    BTW that TBS crew that we had, minus John Smoltz, was horrible! All they did was talk up the Indians the whole time about how great they were! We saw the same thing in Texas and will def see it in Boston! I wish we could have Dwayne and BA!

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    • Burn H. says:

      I listen to the guys on WDAE, I bought MLB Audio for the blacked out games. It doesn't quite sync up but the audio was a little behind the video so it is better than their talking heads. I like the pitch track being on all the time, except when they show the Umps butt view about every 5 plays. Is the producer enamored by the Umps butts or what?

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  9. Gus says:

    On TBS, the sound was terrible all night. The mike on homeplate was out of sequence, so the sound of the ball hitting the bat or glove was off for the first few innings. Second, the announcers seemed undermiked, or the mix was bad with the crowd noise. I could barely get anything Smoltz was saying. Third, we should have had a follow up with security on the idiot throwing tobacco spit at DeJesus. Did he get ejected? Finally, showing white people in ridoculous outfits, red face and t-shirts where the Indian has a gigantic nose and eyes is just uncalled for. Treat those people like streakers and don't show them; celebrating that is wrong. Celebrating Nelson Cruz and David Ortiz and the steroid culture is too.

    Maybe the baseball karma is on the Rays side this year. I sure felt that way the last two games.

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    • Burn H. says:

      I hope you are correct about the Karma. If so we won't have much trouble with the Tigers or A's. Who on the Sox enhanced their skills? Big Poopy?

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      The "double" sound/echo/reverb was making me absolutely nuts! I was starting to wonder if I was the only person hearing it. TBS needs to get their stuff together if they are going to be broadcasting important games.

      Molina, upon whom I've been very hard all year (In fact, before the Texas game I commented that despite his experience I would have preferred Lobaton), has had a ridiculously positive impact on the outcome of the last 2 games and I'll eat plenty of crow in admitting that I was wrong and he's been completely integral to both wins.

      Myers needs to step up his game and show that the moment isn't bigger than him.

      Oh, and don't forget to hate Boston because their sox are red and that's offensive sox from the past. Hundreds of years form now people are gonna look back and wonder why it was okay to label sox with colors, how insensitive.

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  10. Lane Meyer says:

    Cork, Has anyone checked to see if any MLB team has ever won 3 consecitive road games in 3 different cities before? It seems like a real oddity and I can only see it happening in the regular season if a team were to have a road makeup game in the middle of a road trip when they are between cities. The Rays have a chance to make it 4 wins in a row on the road in 4 different cities on Friday night.

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  11. Dave L says:

    what about that wizard like break on the ball over his head that DeJesus ran down? How did he get to that?

    Right now he's our best defensive outfielder in terms of range glove arm and especially instincts.

    This is a man acutely aware of the opportunity of baseball life he has been given and is exploiting it to the fullest.

    He laughed off the spittoon indignity as if it were a flea.

    That man is locked in.

    I think we actually have a defensable set lineup for almost any pitcher for the first time in the Friedman era.

    Hey there is an Eliot Johnson starting at 2nd for the Braves tonite. Is that him?

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    • OriginalTom says:

      Yes. The Royals released EJ and the Braves picked him up and he won the 2B from Dan Uggla.

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      • Gus says:

        That is "our" Eliot Johnson, who keeps failing upward. 0-4 with 3 strikeouts in Game 1. He'll be batting lead-off in the world series at this rate.

        EJ and BJ should remit 50% of their 2013 and beyond salaries to Maddon, who somehow squeezed enough life out of both of those stiffs to allow them to persue their baseball careers elsewhere.

        I can say the Rays are 200% more enjoyable to me not having to watch BJ's refusal to make any adjustments at the plate or EJ sidearming a throw off line or failing to be able to bunt or otherwise be a terrible player when it came to basic fundamentals.

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  12. Provolone says:

    Guess it doesn't matter now.

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