USATSI_7909380_154511044_lowresThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

Indians 6, RAYS 5 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Erik Bedard. You can make an argument that Bedard is the Rays’ most consistent and dependable pitcher right now. He has now pitched 3 straight starts with 5+ innings and 1 or fewer runs allowed. But let’s not get too excited. While he is now doing as much as we could have hoped for, it won’t last. He is still walking too many batters (7 walks in 17 ip during those 3 starts) and he has yet to give up a home run this season even though both his line drive rate and flyball rate are up and historically, he gives up an MLB average number of home runs. Eventually his flyballs are going to start leaving the ballpark and considering how many batters he walks, there will likely be runners on base when it happens. That’s a recipe for disaster.

THE BAD: Maybe the Rays just aren’t very good. The Rays are a team built around their homegrown starting pitchers, good defense, offensive matchups, and their ability to maximize relief pitchers. Right now, they are without 3 of their starting pitchers which has made it impossible to maximize their bullpen guys. The fact may be that this team is just not very good without that many starting pitchers and Evan Longoria seems to agree: ““I think I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t a little bit stressed out. We win and we’ve won for quite a while here and I don’t think we’re playing bad games. I think we’re playing the game the right way. We’re just getting beat.” It’s not like the team is making a ton of errors or mental mistakes. They are just losing games and it won’t change until the starters start getting 6+ innings on a regular basis to minimize the bullpen which maximizes their matchups…Mentality. According to Joe Maddon, the Rays don’t yet have that “walk-off mentality.” But hey, this is Joe Maddon, so he only sees the positive when things aren’t going well: “It’s going to happen but I’m really pleased with the guys. I mean, the way it started out, they got on top. They continued to build their lead, we came back, we had the opportunity there in the 8th inning and the right guys up in the 9th.”

THE TELLING: Reminder. Tonight’s game is not on TV locally…Heath Bell has officially been released…Matt Joyce’s home run in the first inning ended a stretch of 30 straight innings with no home runs for the Rays…The Rays went 1-5 on the homestand and had the winning run at the plate in the 8th inning or later in all 5 losses…Jeremy Hellickson had a bullpen session and threw breaking balls for the first time. He called it a “huge step.“…Alex Cobb is expected to make a rehab start on Saturday.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays took a big slide in this week’s Power Rankings. [BI Sports]
  • The Rays latest themed roadtrip was “Woodstock.” [TampaBay.com]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Nate Karns had a strong outing for the Bulls, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and a walk in 7.2 innings. He struck out 6. However, the Bulls lost in 11. Cole Figueroa hit his 3rd home run…In double-A, Ryan Brett went 2-4 with a walk.

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11 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    Rays have to play .596 to get to 90 wins. I think that’s still attainable, but not with the way they are playing.

    • Ken says:

      The Rays are at 16-22, same record as 2007, matching their worst start of the “competitive” era of Rays baseball. Cue Mr. Newman…”What me worry?”.

  2. Jason says:

    Just not that good about sums it up. When Bedard is your best pitcher that says it all. Archer and Price aren’t doing anything great. Price will be gone by the trade deadline. Hopefully we will get enough to restock the farm and build another run for th next few years. this is just not a good team at all. Sad to say it.

  3. Jim says:

    HUH? Just a couple of weeks ago, you told me to calm down and that Helly and Cobb would be hereto save the day. Most of you bashed me for suggesting that it could be time to think about moving Price. Funny how little time it took(3 weeks) before more eyes were opened.

    Suddenly, we’re not that good of a team? When do we seriously start “shopping” and listening on Price? WE ARE NOT A PLAYOFF QUALITY TEAM! It will be unthinkable for the FO to hold onto Price and gamble that we are somehow going to make a wildcard. That’s a $5 million gamble and a half year of service for a potential trade partner.

    Considering we just donated $5 million to the Heath Bell cheesecake fund, I am starting to have my doubts about some of the FO moves.

    • Dave L says:

      Because over the last 4 years. Every April, May, June July after every 3 or 4 game losing streak some commentor comes here and declares the season as definitvely over, and trade such and such and every one of them every time turned out to be dead wrong.

      Most of us are rooting for them to turn it around so every year the ‘fans’ who just say quit get a little tiresome. Why are you in such a hurry to give up on the season? The Rays continually sacrifice today for tomorrow like no team around. If and when we get to the point of no return they will recognize it. There’s no need to harp on it in early April. Its pointless.

      • Jim says:

        Dave,
        When is exactly the “give up” time? When do you suggest that we move Price? My biggest fear is holding on to Price while hoping on another miracle.

        My comments were the last week of April. We were 4.5 games out, now we are 5.5, yet all of a sudden everyone is now realizing that we may truly not make the playoffs. .

        I’m not in a hurry to give up on the season, but I’m also not in denial that a team built on pitching is in a world of hurt when the pitching is on the DL or completely sh1tting the bed.

        We kept Price and paid a lot of money in the offseason to FA to make this year count. Let’s hope that the FO doesn’t hold onto Price trying to somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat.

  4. Ken says:

    “Just not that good” is not a good enough appraisal of the Rays team right now. Sure, losing 3/5ths of the rotation hurts but the Yanks can claim the same. Every team in our division has suffered significant injuries. The O’s have been without Machado or Davis or Weiters, the Jays are missing a closer and missed Reyes for a chunk of time. Even the Sox have had nagging injuries.
    We are, I think, just as bad as we have performed. Our starters are terrible. Bedard and Ramos are the best we can offer. Price is pitching without passion, Archer hasn’t had a decent outing since the big extension and Odorizzi has a very limited upside.
    Our relievers are way overworked and will crash and burn by the All-Star break. Peralta is starting to show the decline one would expect from a pitcher his age. Gomes is on pace to double innings pitched, Balfor remains a mystery as the team rarely has a late lead. We have no lefty specialist. Ugh.
    Our offense is at best boring. Cork’s stat about the “winning run” during this home stand says it all. When was the last time anyone can remember that happening. We have little power, we struggle to advance runners, and rarely hit with RISP. We’re not playing small ball or smash ball.
    Now we travel to the coast to play two up and coming teams. It could be a very ugly trip. Nothing less than a 4 game sweep and 2/3 will do.
    Nearly 25% of the season is in the books. It’s no longer early. The next 13 games against the M’s, Angel’s, A’s and Sox will pretty much define the season.

  5. Gus says:

    They Rays have lost because the bullpen — perhaps overtaxed by the starters and Maddon’s quickest hook in the majors — has been awful and they don’t score enough runs. They just look flat. I hope they find it soon; only the Astros are worse in the AL.

    And also, David Price feel free to use your brain out there. Challenging teams like the Orioles with your fastball always in the zone is going to get you beat every time. A chase pitch out of the zone is not a sign of weakness; it is smart pitching. I have seen enough of Price being stubborn. Very frustrating to watch. If they keep losing, I suspect he’ll have pitched his way out of town soon enough, and I’ll be lamenting Emmy Romero not finding enough of the strike zone. Sadness from a year where I thought the World Series was a possibility.

    • Rob says:

      I was worried this season would be much like 2009 – they spent a lot of money, expectations were very high and they struggled to play just over .500.

      • Gus says:

        2009 v. 2014:

        1. Pecival = Bell? Check
        2. Kazmir sore arm=Matt Moore sore arm? Check
        3. Horrible Aprils with bullpen held together by duct tape? Check
        4. Offense struggling to drive in “clutch” runs? Check
        5. Big Money Contracts underperforming and then buckling under pressure: Burrell v. Price. Check.
        6. Ownership throwing the towel in on the season to escape contarct weight? Yes in 2009; lets see in 2014.

  6. ed williams says:

    but hey , we always have woodstock

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