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

RAYS 1, Tigers 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Alex Cobb’s changeup in the 7th inning. Cobb was sensational, striking out 6 and allowing just 2 hits in 7 shutout innings. But he saved his best for last. After Torii Hunter led off the 7th with a double and went to third on a ground out, Cobb then intentionally walked Victor Martinez trying to set up the double-play. But a pitch in the dirt moved Martinez into scoring position and the Rays are in huge trouble. But with the count full to JD Martinez, Cobb unleashed the nastiest changeup you’ll ever see. Martinez knew it was coming and still missed it by 6 inches.

01

Kevin Kiermaier’s catch in the 8th inning. In the top of the 8th inning, Joe Maddon subbed K2 into the game for defense and what a move it was. With a runner on second and just 1 out, Rajai Davis hit what appeared to be a game-tying single to right-center. But Kiermaier came out of nowhere to make the grab and preserve the lead.

THE BAD: The Offense, again. The Rays only got 1 hit off of David Price and he retired the last 23 batters he faced in the complete game.

Evan Longoria

THE TELLING: The win was the first in franchise history in which the Rays had less than 2 hits…After the Rays didn’t record a hit in the final 7.2 innings, the Durham Bulls went 8.2 innings before getting their first hit last night…Random note: With the trade of David Price, Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria now appear to be the last 2 Rays players who have worn a green Tampa Bay Devil Rays uniform. Longo played 7 games in the 2007 Spring Training and wore a regular season uniform on picture day. Price wore a Devil Rays jersey and cap when he was introduced at the Trop in 2007 after being drafted. Zobrist played for the D-Rays in ’07.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Here is a must-read on the breakdown of baseball fans in the state of Florida and where they come from. [TampaBayBaseballMarket]
  • Chris Rock was nearly maimed by a foul ball but then gave it to a kid. [BI Sports]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscoresMike Wright of the Norfolk Tides had a no-hitter for 8.2 innings, giving up 2 unearned runs in the 9th inning. Mikie Mahtook’s double in the 9th ended the no-hit bid. Nate Karns allowed 5 runs (4 earned) in 5 innings for Durham…Richie Shaffer hit his 15th home run for Montgomery, but he is still hitting just .212 with a .298 OBP. In 264 games since he was a first-round pick in 2012 Shaffer has a .243 average with a .316 OBP and .730 OPS. That’s not going to cut it for a 23-year old in double-A.
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15 Comments

  1. starmand says:

    I think I found the solution for the Rays' hitting woes.

    A Wonderbat bobblehead giveaway. Everyday, at home or on the road.

    Sure, it could be a tad technologically tricky to make it bobble but nothing's impossible, wobblewise, for the team.

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  2. Ken H says:

    KK vs Balfour: KK, despite his rookie flaws continues to play full out, even after making a game changing mistake the night before. Balfour, the vet with flaws of his own, gives up any time sh*t doesn't go his way. KK belongs on the roster in some capacity next year, Balfour should be dumped on any team willing to part with a kangaroo and a no name rookie. Raymond could use a buddy.

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  3. Skateman says:

    The need to hire the guy who taught those Nevada Little Leaguers to hit. Those kids rake.

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  4. Dave L says:

    That game was a gem. I love old school pitchers duels.

    But somethings definitely missing, when was the last time the Rays played meaningless games? For us anyway if not the opposition.

    I was watching MLB network after the game and they were making the case for Pablo Sandoval being an impact hitter showing he was fifth in OPS+ amongst 3rd baseman since 2009. OPS+ is probably the best overall metric for offensive production.

    Well guess who was #1 still despite his struggles this year? And his 2008 wasn't too shabby as well. Man is he struggling this year.

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    • Ken H says:

      I suppose if there's a silver lining here his 101 OPS+ this year coincides with the rest of the hitters' complete failure to produce runs. How a team can be ranked 5th in the league in OBA but 12th in the league in runs scored baffles me. An aside for what it's worth, Derek Shelton's tenure with the Indians was pretty successful. The Indians improved in most offensive categories. I was very surprised. Check it out in Baseball Reference Guide.

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      • Dave L says:

        Frankly I am just writing off this entire annus horribilis and there are so many bad components. The team is on pace to set franchise lows in OPS, steals and double plays turned and its runs per game and RBIs worse only in the expansion year.

        Take away 3/5ths of that teams starting rotation to open the season and actually ending above .500 would be a near miracle.

        Thats the only reasonable achievable goal and maybe passing the Yanks would be nice for 3rd in the AL.

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  5. Gus says:

    Alex Cobb should get a freaking extension, BTW. Instead of handing out $ like drunken sailors to washed up players like Bell, Escobar, Balfour, Molina, etc., reward the young guys and let them lead. I know it didn't work out for Matt Moore (so far), but like Hellickson, I expect to see Moore back to his rookie-self when his arm is right. And he is locked down.

    Given the track record of Freidman in free agency and extending veterans (Hannigan, Loney) you could make a very convining case in the post-steroid era, the Rays should NEVER sign a player over 31 for any "real" money and should use the $70M budget to keep guys through their arb years and then let them walk (like Crawford and BJ).

    If you have to sign a veteran, it can only be a rental. Guys stop using PEDs once they get their money guaranteed and they fall off a cliff (because of PED-related problems and the puffed up #s that you signed them for). (A cynic might look at Longo that way; I don't yet, but you might make the case). And don't blame me; blame the union and MLBs lax PED polcies. It pays to cheat still - ask Cruz, Melky and Ortiz.

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    • Mr. Smith 1980 says:

      Escobar wasn't a big $ signing and has paid dividends. He doesn't belong on your list.

      There is no reason to even consider Longo as a PED guy or a contract guy (especially considering how under-paid he technically is)- his stature hasn't changed and neither has his effort... look at my avatar, that was Longo circa 2009 -- same size.

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      • Rob says:

        I would agree. I think his issue this year is his approach. It seems like he consciously trying to go the other way with the ball and it's not working. I would rather he just see the ball, hit the ball and quit thinking too much.

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      • Gus says:

        Escobar trade okay; Escobar extension is where they went wrong. He lost his glove this year and he can't hit; Zobrist still the best option they have at SS.

        Longo suspicion is only based on his drop off and his slow as mollasses bat speed. He looks like a 31 year old guy (the usual power dropoff year, pre-steroid) out there. But he's only 28 (29?). I doubt it was PEDs, but you have to ask what has happened to the guy? He went from awesome to something far less than that. Could be any number of things, but PEDs has to be one of the possibilitiies when you see somebody just lose it at an age where he should be in his prime. (And blame that bastard Donald Fehr and Bud Selig for the fact that we are having this conversation).

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    • Rob says:

      I would like to see the Rays lock up Cobb and Archer to go along with Moore and you have you 1-3 rotation set for a few years (barring any more injuries). I agree the Rays have put too much money into aging relievers and could have used it elsewhere more wisely.

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      • Andrew says:

        I'd like to see more minor leaguers brought up to relief roles. They've done a pretty good job this year over the free agent acquisitions...

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      • OriginalTom says:

        I believe Archer signed a multiyear deal in spring training

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      • Dave L says:

        The 30+ reliever on the hook for real money in 2015 is Balfour and none are owed anything 2016 and beyond.

        Free agency is a crapshoot and since we always get the C to D level guys to choose from because of our financial limitations even more so for the Rays.

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  6. Mr. Smith 1980 says:

    What a 2014 Raysian win. Phenomenal pitching and ridiculously bad hitting (albeit against the best lefty in the game).

    I think it was spring of 2012 when on a whim I left work, grabbed the wife and headed to the Trop because, as I told Mrs. Smith, that evening's pitching match-up, Price vs Sabathia, may be the best match-up ever at the Trop. It was a great duel, and the Rays won. As a 'bonus' I got on TV with the world's worst/laziest/unsuccessful effort at grabbing a slow roller right down the 3rd base foul wall... well, last night became the new best pitching match-up I've seen at the Trop. Hands down, lights-out, pure art.

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