BoxRxMMCAAA9YHjThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

Blue Jays 3, RAYS 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Jake McGee. Is McGee the Rays’ best reliever right now? Would you rather have anybody else in a big spot out of the bullpen? This is how I would rank the relievers based on how much I trust them right now: McGee, Oviedo, Balfour, Boxberger, Ramos, Peralta, Sean Rodriguez, Escobar, Lueke…Chris Archer. Big Tree was hitting 98 on the gun last night and man does he make it look easy. Just goes to show you how random the draft is. He wasn’t taken until the 5th round. The Rays drafted 3 pitchers before Archer (who was taken by the Indians). One was Alex Cobb. The other two are not even in baseball now.

THE BAD: Walk-Off Error. Besides being one of the relievers I actually trust right now, the Rays lost on Juan Carlos Oviedo’s walk-off throwing error. But that was just when the bad things started. Then there was Matt Joyce who was way too slow backing up the play. Then there was the throw home, which was actually in time (see above). But a great slide evaded the tag and the game was over…Unlucky. The Blue Jays are just not that good defensively and yet they made a handful of great plays many of the “Hey, look what I found!” variety. When the third baseman dives falls down to his left and a hard hit ball just happens to find the webbing of his glove, you know it is just not meant to be…Rogers Centre is Juiced. I am going to take a look at this a little more later, but the big dome formerly known as SkyDome is juiced this year. All of the extra home runs the Blue Jays are hitting are not because they suddenly got good or hot. Consider that last year the Blue Jays hit 90 home runs on the road. This year they are on pace to hit 96 on the road. That’s a little better. Last year they hit 95 home runs at home. This year they are on pace to hit 137 at home. And it is not just Jays hitters. Most of the Jays starters have much better numbers on the road. And Rogers has a park factor of 111, which means that ALL hitters (not just Blue Jays hitters) are hitting 11% better in Toronto than they are at other ballparks. Last year, Rogers Centre had a Ballpark Factor of 101, which is about average. 111 is Coors Field-like. Stadiums can fluctuate from year-to-year, but that is usually weather-related (unusually cold spring, drier summer, etc.). So what is going on in the dome? Well, Tropicana Field suddenly became much more pitcher friendly a few years ago and we had our theories. If your team has a strength, there are things that can be done to create an environment better suited for your team.

THE TELLING: Ryan Hanigan went on the DL and Kevin Kiermaier was called up…Jose Molina was taken out of the game after being hit in the mask with a foul tip. He did not look like he was all there. Let’s hope this doesn’t end up being a 7-day concussion DL trip…Catcher Ali Solis played in his first big league game after since 2012 with the Padres. He did not get to bat as he was in the on-deck circle when the ninth inning ended which leaves him without a career hit still…The Rays have a 14.8% chance of making the playoffs according to BPro.


  • Jayson Stark calls Jose Reyes one of the most “shift-proof” hitters. [ESPN]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscoresBen Zobrist went 1-4 with a walk and played second base for Charlotte. He is still expected to rejoin the Rays tomorrow in Boston…Matt Andriese tossed 7 shutout innings for Durham with 6 Ks and 1 walk. His ERA is now 3.92. Mikie Mahtook continues to impress at triple-A with 3 more hits, including 2 doubles, and a walk. He is hitting .331, third in the IL. Curt Casali went 3-4 with a pair of doubles and a home run…Center fielder Willie Argo stole his 16th base for Montgomery. That is 3rd in the Southern League…Right fielder Yoel Araujo hit his 8th home run for Bowling Green.




  1. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    Prof is reading my mind… all night I thought to myself, “Man, Arch is throwing easy heat!”

    Interesting point about the park being manipulated.

    I laughed out loud when I read Lueke behind SRod and Escobar on the RIRPTS (Rays Index Relief Pitcher Trust Scale)… speaking of which, Cork, when do you expect the next bullpen call-up, and whom shall it be??

    • ken says:

      Speaking of Durham pitchers, Montgomery, Andriese, and Yates have been pitching well lately. The success of the former two make the Myers and Torres trades even more palatable. Yates, simply put, just gets saves. He’s not the proto-typical MLB pitcher, but the dude’s save numbers in AAA the last two years are worth a look.

  2. Gus says:

    On a more general note, what is wrong with Longoria? He looks like he is aging in dog years. He is consistenly beat on the slider down. Chases it every time.

    His .377 slugging (only 7 doubles!) sets off alarm bells for me. When he finally seems to have healthy legs, he’s lost almost all of his power. How can this be? A season that projects to 14-15 HRs and 20-21 doubles is just not good enough, especially in his 28-year old season. He should be at career peak here. Instead, he is .130 points off of his career slugging %.

    • Skateman says:

      Derek Shelton.

      • Rob says:

        I am in no way a Derek Shelton apologist, but I have to be fair when it’s called for. In a TBO article this morning, Rodriguez credits Shelton for his improved performance at the plate this year.

        • Skateman says:

          Well, that’s one of the position players, though cause and effect are hard to pinpoint. Perhaps Rodriguez is doing well despite Shelton’s help, but think’s Shelton’s help is the reason. The fact that practically everyone else is performing terribly would suggest Rodriguez is mistaken.

    • Nieko says:

      In the words of Mickey “the worst thing happened that can happen to any fighter. You got civilized” aka he has a kid now

      • Gus says:

        Are you suggesting that playing around with an AK-47 might have been good for his offensive numbers? I’d think it would be the other way, but who knows. If Longo were Dominician, I’d swear he faked his age and he was 32 or 33 and he had just gone off the dreaded “power-cliff” that lots of 31 year olds go off of.

        But generally, the Rays may all be suffering from a bit of affluenza. All the everyday players are locked up for a few years; everyone of them is off career norms except S-Rod (who is playing for his baseball future).

    • ken says:

      Here’s my take:
      A. He takes too many first pitch strikes.
      B. He has no power protection behind him so pitchers don’t care if they walk him.
      C. He’s had too few opportunities to hit with men on base.
      D. He’s pressing way too much, he can’t carry the team so he needs to stop trying.

      • Gus says:

        I agree with A and D for sure. If you face Will Myers and Longoria, go ahead and throw a first pitch cookie because they are NEVER swinging at it. Myers may set the record for being down 0-2, it is amazing. Strike 1, take. Strike 2, breaker out of the zone, swing wildlly.

        Longo is feeling the weight of the world. He and Tulo have had such similar careers and it is interesting to see Tulo having his career year, on the cover of SI as a gluten free health nut and Longo scuffling so bad. Maybe Tulo can send him the hyperbaric chamber and some kale smoothie reciepies.

      • Gus says:

        I agree with A and D for sure. If you face Will Myers and Longoria, go ahead and throw a first pitch cookie because they are NEVER swinging at it. Myers may set the record for being down 0-2, it is amazing. Strike 1, take. Strike 2, breaker out of the zone, swing wildlly.

        Longo is feeling the weight of the world. He and Tulo have had such similar careers and it is interesting to see Tulo having his career year, on the cover of SI as a gluten free health nut and Longo scuffling so bad. Maybe Tulo can send him the hyperbaric chamber and some kale smoothie recepies.

  3. Rob says:

    The Rays keep finding ways to lose games. Not a good sign.

  4. Dean says:

    Big thing Archer was doing last night was coming inside to those Jays hitters who are diving out over the plate. I wish more of our pitchers would come inside more regularly.

  5. Jim says:

    so when we hit the ball hard and the other team catches it then it’s “awkward breaks” and “luck” yet when we do the same to the opposing team it’s “great defense” and “great scouting”.

    it’s pathetic that we are now claiming that “we’re going to change it all”, as though somehow we can control the amount of “luck” and “breaks” that we are going to get during the rest of the season. that’s coachspeak at the little league level, surely not what a MLB manager should be predicting to the press.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      The Blue Jays are a below-average defensive team. They rank 12th out of 15 teams in the AL in defensive Wins Above Replacement. So when they make 5-6 outstanding plays on defense that is luck since they all happened in one game instead of spread out over a week, which is what you would expect from a team without a plus-defense.

  6. Jim says:

    I laugh at all of this. A team on a roll that’s playing lights out, is considered lucky because they’re playing better than their DWAR ranking. if it was maddon and the roles were reversed, then he would say that the good defense was a result of effort and a good scouting report on the A’s. cmon cork, luck is the weakest copout ever. what’s their DWAR for the A’s for the last 20 games?

    so if longo goes 5-5 with 4 HRs tomorrow, then in your eyes, it’s luck, because it was only in a single game? what a joke

    • Cork Gaines says:

      *sigh* I am not sure you quite understand what I mean by “luck.” Nobody is saying the Blue Jays aren’t capable of making a good defensive play, just like nobody is saying Longoria isn’t capable of hitting 4 home runs in one game. But as talented as Longo is, he still has never hit 4 home runs in one game. Just like Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds never hit 4 home runs in a single game and yet Shawn Green and Mark Whiten did. That doesn’t make Green and Whiten better home run hitters than Bonds or Ruth. There was luck on their side also in the sense that they got the right pitchers and the right pitches on a night when they were swinging the bat perfectly. Those combinations never presented themselves to Bonds or Ruth or a lot of other great hitters. Luck is a HUGE factor in baseball because the players don’t control everything. You can be the greatest defensive center fielder in baseball, but you are not robbing a home run if a ball is not hit to the right spot. And that doesn’t make Jonny Gomes a good outfielder just because he dove for a ball one day and the ball stuck to his glove. And the Blue Jays are not a good defensive team just because they happened to make several good plays in one game. That it is rare for them to do so shows they got lucky. On the other hand, the Rays have been a good defensive team for several years. Making a bunch of good defensive plays in one game would not come as a surprise to anybody.

    • Dave L says:

      nobody cares what anybody’s dWar is over 20 games.

      cork is making the opposite argument. DWAR is only good over long samples and thats his arguement. then we witness a defensive gem and its an outlier.

      if you want to make the argument. that we just witnessed them turning the page and from now on will be much better than make it but you can’t argue the history.

      try posting on a jays fan site and say ‘hey as a rays fan congrats on the glove work the other nite, but heck you guys have been a good defensive team for a while now…..

      sure will give them a good chuckle

      • Jim says:

        “nobody cares what their DWAR is over 20 games”, yet Cork throws up some DWAR stat for 50 games and it it somehow a godlike stat. How funny is that? my 20 game point was “are they putting up better defensive numbers in the last 20 games, and what are the statistical factors that are contributing to this streak.

        Team DWAR is a somewhat of a farce though, you have rotating members, bad defenders, and good defenders. to throw out that it was “luck” vs a good defensive effort bases on a TEAM DWAR is laughable, and an insult to the Jays. Historical TEAM DWAR is even more of a farce, you can’t use last years as any sort of measuring stick because a couple roster moves could make a world of difference.

        Call it what it was, a great defensive effort. You don’t slight the team that you just swept you by having 3 team members bring up luck. Like i said before, that’s little league coachspeak.

        • Dave L says:

          you have never even attempted to refute his basic argument the the Jays are and have been a mediocre defensive team and had a great glove note which happened to be against us.

          because you can’t.

          try to defend your arguments better

          • Jim says:

            yet you can’t explain me asking for a 20 game sample and cork throwing out a 50 game sample and you jumping down my shit.

            a mediocre team can play their asses off for a game, “be in the zone”, see the ball well, and put in a great performance. any of the above can be used to describe it. yet you guys want to call it “luck”.

            how in the hell can i make that more clear? and by calling it luck we are dissing the effort made by the Jays.

        • Dave L says:

          finally you got Corks point. this site views things on how they impact the Rays. the luck is that their good nite relatively speaking, happened to be when they played us in a tight game. most here Dont care much about the Jays frankly

          if you go back historically the Jays are a mediocre fielding team. Cork could have cited fan graphs metrics, metrics from 2013. most baseball observers agree based on the eyeball test.

          you never refuted his basic arguement

          glad its all finally sinking in to you somewhat

          • Jim says:

            holy f.

            i could care less about a team stat from 2013. what the f does that have to do with a 2014 performance?.


            once again, if jose molina goes 4 for 6 with 2 seeing eye singles and a ball just over the wall, would luck be mentioned? hell no!! “he’s in the zone tonight”.”he’s feeling it”, “he’s seeing the ball well”. nope, i’m sure it would be “he actually was hitting for his avg (1 for 6) he was truly lucky that those balls squeaked through.


  7. Jim says:

    No I understand exactly what you’re saying. But in this situation luck is used as a derogatory term toward the A’s. To discredit a nice defensive effort by even suggesting luck is 2nd rate. Maddon praises them and then throws in Luck as does a couple of players.

    Luck isn’t preventable, measurable, or a statistic; to use it in a game that you made mistakes is piss poor. We got beat we got swept in one of the most crucial series of the season. Luck??

  8. Jim says:

    Jay’s not A’s.

  9. ken says:

    Let us now all bow in honor of Jim’s superior grasp of the game.

  10. Dean says:

    Don’t look now, but the Astros have won six in a row. We’re only a half game from dropping into the AL cellar. I guess we haven’t quite hit rock bottom.


  11. STARMAND says:

    Hire Miguel Olivo!!!!

    And let him loose in the opponent’s clubhouse.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures.


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