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.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jayson Stark calls Jose Reyes one of the most “shift-proof” hitters. [ESPN]
- DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Ben 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.