The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
THE GOOD: Evan Longoria.Wil Myers’ opposite field double was a nice sight. But even better was Evan Longoria coming through with the 2-out, 2-run single to give the Rays a 3-1 lead. The hit came on a 98-mph fastball in the other batter’s box and Longo hit it hard back up the middle.
Grant Balfour. We’ll see if it lasts, but Balfour has looked better recently. The Mad Australian faced 12 batters in this series, striking out 4 and giving up just 1 hit and 1 walk. And the 1 hit he gave up (on Sunday) was picked off.
THE BAD: The Red Sox. On the game-winning “single” by Matt Joyce, Yoenis Cespedes just gave up. Yes, outfielders do this sometimes. But it typically happens on balls that are hit to a spot where the outfielder would probably have to catch the ball while running away from the infield. The “single” was a high, lazy flyball. It was deep and Cespedes probably wouldn’t throw out the runner anyway, but he just gave up and that says a lot about the Red Sox. Sean Rodriguez is not the fastest runner. Cespedes has a cannon for an arm. Rodriguez could trip. He could accidentally leave early. A lot of things could happen if you force the other team to make the play. And then there is the “single.” Burke Badenhop gets charged with giving up a hit instead of a sac fly. Pitchers care about that.
Where were all the Red Sox fans? 10,543 on Monday. 16,107 on Friday. About 17,000 on both Saturday and Sunday. Red Sox “Nation” always wants to take credit when there are big crowds at The Trop so I guess that means we can also blame them when there are small crowds, right? Red Sox Nation, the biggest bandwagon of them all.
THE TELLING: The walk-off win was just the 4th for the Rays this season. They had 13 last year…Steve Geltz made his first appearance with the Rays and first in the big leagues since he pitched in 2 games with the Angels in 2012. Geltz served a 50-game suspension earlier this year for using a drug of abuse. Catcher Ali Solis was removed from the 40-man roster to make room for Geltz…The Rays are now 67-71, 8.5 games behind the Tigers in the Wild Card race and 3 games behind the Blue Jays for 5th place.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Durham Bulls have extended their player-development with the Rays meaning they will remain the Rays’ triple-A club through the 2018 season. [MiLB.com]
- Marc Topkin on nearly trading Yunel Escobar: “Trading SS Yunel Escobar or even letting him go to the A’s via last week’s waiver claim might have been a popular move, including in some corners of the clubhouse.” [TampaBay.com]
- Mark Simon of ESPN takes a closer look at Alex Cobb, the “Rays’ next ace.” The most telling stat is that Cobb leads all starting pitchers with the lowest hard-hit rate in baseball. He rarely gives up a well-hit ball. [ESPN]
- DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] The Durham Bulls won their final game of the regular season and will begin a best-of-5 series against Columbus on Wednesday…The Hudson Valley Renegades won their division and will start a best-of-3 series Tomorrow against State College…The Princeton Rays lost the first game of their best-of-3 playoff series…The Montgomery Biscuits finished their season 66-74, 4th overall in their division…The Charlotte Stone Crabs finished their season 63-70, 5th in their 6-team division…The Bowling Green Hot Rods finished their season at 61-77, last in their division overall.
Raymond was sleepy.