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

RAYS 7, Cardinals 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Jake Odorizzi. It was the rookie versus the All-Star starter in the first game of a long stretch against playoff contenders and the game was on the road. No big deal. Odorizzi came through with 8 strikeouts in 5.2 innings, giving up 2 runs and even driving in a run with a nicely placed bunt…No-name bullpen. First it was a rookie to start. Then it was 3 pitchers that were in the minors when the season started. Jeff Beliveau, Brad Boxberger, and Kirby Yates combined to throw 3.1 scoreless innings with 5 Ks and just 1 walk…Hot Loney. James Loney now has 4 straight multi-hit games and is 11-22 in the last 6 games with 5 walks.

THE BAD: The Outfield shift. With the eventual return of Wil Myers, one idea that is gaining popularity is moving Kevin Kiermaier to center field and shifting Desmond Jennings back to left field. But there is a problem with that scenario. The Rays’ best offensive position this season has been left field with a .805 OPS. Designated hitter (.755) is the only other position with an OPS over .750. That means Joe Maddon’s insert-best-bat-for-tonight’s-opposing-pitcher platoon in left field is working and Maddon is not going to want to change that.

THE TELLING: Joe Maddon was ejected for the 4th time this season. Only Cubs manager Rick Renteria has more (5). Maddon also had 4 ejections in 2012 and 2013. Over the last 3 years, Maddon’s 12 ejections are second only to Clint Hurdle (14). The Rays are 3-1 this season when Maddon is ejected…Joel Peralta went on the DL and has been sent back to St.Pete to take some blood tests to determine if he contracted a virus over the break in the Dominican Republic…Jake Odorizzi batted 8th in the NL park…David Price will start Friday’s game against the Red Sox and Jeremy Hellickson is expected to start on of the weekend games…The Rays have now won 6 in a row for the first time this season.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Joe Maddon was ejected when he was yelling at Adam Wainwright and the umpire thought Maddon was yelling at him. [TampaBay.com]
  • Is Evan Longoria’s bat speed affecting his play? [CalltothePen]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] The Durham Bulls were shutout 4-0, generating just 5 hits, striking out 13 times and walking just once…Richie Shaffer went 2-4 with a pair of doubles and 4 RBI in Montgomery’s 7-6 win…First baseman Patrick Leonard hit his 13th home run for Charlotte…Casey Gillaspie had a triple and 2 walks for Hudson Valley.

A James Loney-Jose Molina double-steal. It actually happened. We did not make it up…

Ben Zobrist’s wife was in the stands with a couple of hundred other Zobrists.

7-22-2014 9-14-06 PM

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12 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    Molina flirting with the Mendoza Line, now that's impressive.

    Loney's approach is back to what got him started in 2013 --- staying back, going the other way. Nobody talks about him, but he is a key cog to the offense.

    Red Sox series becomes a loser go-home and fire sale series.

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  2. Geoff Peterson says:

    I know Zobrist's wife is an aspiring Country/Gospel diva, but her hair color/style is just ridiculous.

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  3. Rob says:

    Now if Baltimore and NY would just cooperate.

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  4. edward williams says:

    maybe its my computer, but the video is real slow, or maybe its in real time , lol ok i have been bashing molina, but i have to give him credit he had a good game last night. GO RAYS

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  5. Dave L says:

    That game had so much GOOD. It was one to put in a time capsule. It was a highlight of this otherwise horrific year.

    The setting in baseball's heartland home where the sport is king with 43,000 plus on a Tuesday night against a last place team.

    Odorizzi had the best game of his life. He and Molina carved that lineup to pieces. Solo homers is all they could muster.

    His first AB since high school being a safety squeeze with noted speedsters Loney and Molina on the corners? And it was textbook. Zim's favorite play.

    The wacky improbable double steal of Loney/Molina setting up Jakes epic puchout?

    Then Jake works a walk out of Wainright to chase him earlier than anyone could have dreamed?

    That will likely be the high point of 2014 so savor it rays fans.

    That crowd was like out of a sappy sports movie. Those are the classiest fans in possibly all of sports. They even gave Odorizzi an ovation of sorts upon his departure.

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  6. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    I'm typically an eternal optimist, but I think right now all the Rays are doing is playing themselves out of an amazing opportunity to profit off of Zobrist and Price out on the trade market... it's cute that they're playing hard to keep their buddies around, but as much as I don't want either player to leave it just make sense at this juncture...

    Like I said previously; the Rays are currently acting like the hot blonde at the bar, giving you the bedroom eyes, but after you walk-up and buy her a drink she turns her back and starts talking to her friends again... (never happened to me of course *cough-cough*)

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    • Rob says:

      For me, baseball is as much about the chase as it is about the goal. As long as there is a reasonable expectation the Rays will be competitive the rest of the year and give me a reason to watch and attend games, I would be willing to roll the dice and trade these guys in the off season. I never thought they had a chance for there to even be a discussion about it, but they are proving me wrong - I just hope it continues so I can watch games like last night's from the first pitch to the last without changing channels.

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      • Dave L says:

        Yes for most all fans its about the chase I am 100% with you there. And based on the hole the team dug in April to June, if we trade those two, the 2014 chase is effectively dead.

        I guess the question then becomes, when does continuing the very slim chance of the 2014 chase become outweighed by starting the 2015-2021 chases by moving the two guys who regardless of what happens, won't be Rays in 2015.

        It would help if we knew the unknowable answer to the question, if we trade them at the deadline July 31 we get players A, B, C, and D etc and if we wait till November we get players A, B, X, Y etc....

        Since we have no actual clue and it seems Maddon seriously believes they can make the playoffs, its up to AF who would be the only person with a remote idea of the answer to the knowable above question, to make the call.

        I for one trust his judgement based on his track record.

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        • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

          Please don't misunderstand my point... I love the chase, the modicum of hope is what keeps it interesting. (I'm that masochist that watches my Steelers head in to the 4th quarter down by 17 and still believe there's a chance.)

          I'm just looking beyond this season and trying to peer through the glasses of a baseball fan as opposed to those of a Rays fan.

          And for the record, any of us who followed the Devil Rays know how to enjoy watching a team who has no chance after about 3 weeks... it's not as fun, but baseball can still be a sweet science even when you're watching a loser.

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        • OriginalTom says:

          I would not be surptised if Zo is still a Ray in 2015. He is only going to make 7.5 million next season which is not much when you look at his production.

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          • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

            I agree, but if the M's are willing to overpay then we have enough versatility in the system to let him go.

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  7. Jason says:

    I'd hit it

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