9-15-2014 9-40-12 PM

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, Yankees 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: David Who? Since the Rays traded David Price, they have added three starting pitchers to the rotation who have made a combined 9 starts (Drew Smyly, Nate Karns, Alex Colome). Those three pitchers have combined to throw 61.1 innings with 14 walks, 56 Ks and a 1.32 ERA…Alex Colome. He may be a knucklehead, but he has a live arm, averaging 95.1 mph with his fastball and topping out at 96.5. If there is a concern, longterm, it is that he is basically just a 2-pitch pitcher at this point. Of his 116 pitches, 73 were fastballs and 27 were sliders. His fastball is so good right now that it doesn’t matter. But big league hitters can hit good fastballs, especially if they know it is coming. Colome has a changeup but he doesn’t appear to have a lot of confidence in it yet…Ben Zobrist. The walk-off hit was the fifth of his career.

THE BAD: The Yankees. That team is a mess right now and it is fun to watch.

9-15-2014 7-34-23 PM

THE TELLING: This was the Rays’ 6th walk-off win of the year and 3rd in their last 8 home games…This was also the Rays’ 21st shutout of the season, the most in the big leagues. The last time a team shuout their opponents at least 21 times and missed the playoffs was the 1974 Atlanta Braves. The last time a team threw 21 shutouts and had a losing record was the 1971 Milwaukee Brewers. The Rays are in danger of becoming just the 6th team in the last 100 years to throw 21 shutouts and have a losing record…The Rays clinched their season series against the Yankees and have not lost a season series to New York since 2009…The Rays need to go 8-3 in the final 11 games to reach .500.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Here is a breakdown of what Derek Jeter has done against the Rays in his career. [ESPN]
  • While Chris Archer will be working on his changeup in his final starts, Jake Odorizzi explains that he is in a different mindset. [TampaBay.com]
  • Bloomberg Sports looks at the Drew Smyly and David Price trade. So far, Smyly has been very lucky and Price has not been. [BSports]
  • A new stadium for USF could make things more difficult for the Rays to move to Tampa. [Shadow of the Stadium]
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11 Comments

  1. edward says:

    Great that the rays won, but I am tired of all the Jeter love in this area, I know he lives in tampa, but come on he has never played for the rays. Yes he is a great player and probably a nice guy, but this area seems to have a love affair with other teams players, especially the yankees. I can't wait until he retires, and what is it with players these days that have to have a retirement tour, not just the yankees, I can see the home town he played in or the other teams (maybe) they played for , but this is getting old. Oh well, can't wait for next season, GO RAYS

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    • Matt says:

      Totally agree. Went to the game last night and was thrilled that he didn't play. Wouldn't be able to handle all the cheering. He may be a good guy that has played the "right way," but will never cheer or root for him. At the end of the day, he's still a yankee.

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  2. Gus says:

    Put another way, unless the Rays SHUT OUT the other team, they win something like 38% of their games.

    The indifference to offense is malpractice by the front office, who fell so in love with their own run prevention metrics (i.e Molina) that they lost sight of the game and the object is to outscore the other team.

    (The loss on Saturday, BTW, featured a cruising Hellickson in a tight game have a dropped 3rd strike by Mr. Defense Molina on the leadoff man in the 4th inning or so, which got him out of the wind-up, that runner and two more came around and ended up in the only inning the Jays scored in). May not show up in the advanced metrics, but you do that to a pitcher and it really can hurt them.

    But man they can pitch. The starters have been just incredible. To have traded Shields and Price in the last two seasons and lose Moore and the starting pitching gets better -- it is just an amazing, historic feat.

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  3. Jim says:

    “Although the Rays improved statistically in a number of offensive categories, situational hitting woes have been a concern for both Friedman and manager Joe Maddon.”
    This was from the ESPN article after we fired Henderson.
    Henderson’s last 3 years runs scored.
    803
    774
    782

    Yet we still have a problem situational hitting and here are the last 3 years under Shelton
    700
    697
    707

    We’re on pace to have 616 runs for this year. We fired Henderson for supposed being to blame for bad situational hitting yet his teams 06-09 avg 762 runs. With this year’s projected added in, Shelton’s teams have averaged 704.

    So either the “take pitches” philosophy simply doesn’t work, or Derek Shelton sucks at his job. I truly believe we have better hitters under Shelton, so it may be a combination of the two. Either way something has to change. A prime indicator is the amount of no hitter’s, and 1 and 2 hitters that get thrown against this team. That fall directly on the “work the pitcher” BS.

    CHANGE THE HITTING COACH AND LET THEM SWING, AND WE WILL SEE A DRASTIC INCREASE IN RUNS.

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    • Drew says:

      I think we can agree that league-wide offense since 2006 has drastically decreased. Saying the Rays have scored less runs per season since then is obvious, as it's been the same with every other team.

      This would probably be more useful:
      Rays rank in runs scored:
      2006 30th
      2007 15th
      2008 13th
      2009 7th
      2010 3rd
      2011 15th
      2012 19th
      2013 11th
      2014 currently 22nd

      By wRC+ we were in the top 10 in the league from 2007-2013, and this year we are 11th.
      http://www.fangraphs.com/library/offense/wrc/

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      • Dave L says:

        This is good stuff Drew.

        Thats always view I try to make, how does it actually compare with everybody else, in the context of this season, this League and this Division. Rankings are so much more instructional than raw numbers and puts those raw numbers into context.

        The WRC+ is probably the best overall metric for effectiveness of the production of the offensive component of a team/player.

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  4. Jim says:

    Henderson was 06-09, not before 06, I'm stating that we scored significantly more runs under Henderson than Shelton. Except for his first year, Shelton's ceiling is around 700 runs scored.

    Don't you agree that we were batting with a lot more AAAA type players under Henderson than we were under Shelton. Also, we've completely abandoned small ball and running. We played excellent defense and small ball under Henderson, and somehow we don't do that anymore. No small ball in addition to "taking pitches" makes for a hell of a lot of no hitters, shutouts and 1 run games.

    Also other than 06, Henderson's team OPS was much higher than Shelton's. Henderson did more with less.

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    • Jim says:

      My major point was we fired a coach for situational hitting issues, our new coach has the same issues and produces less runs. Yet he is bulletproof. That's sad.

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    • Drew says:

      What I'm saying is this: of course the team OPS the last 4-5 years is going to be less than the previous 3 because offense is down for everyone regardless of who their hitting coach is. I dislike Shelton as much as anyone and would love to see them change their "teamwide plate approach" to be more aggressive, but even if they hired a different hitting coach tomorrow I don't think it would change that much (unfortunately). And yes we are terrible at situational hitting.

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  5. Dave L says:

    The underlying assumption of the Shelton is killing the Rays theory is that we have hidden hitting talent. I don't see where it is.

    For every ex-Ray who left and became a better hitter there are 3 to 5 that regressed, and we are talking about many guys in their prime.

    The only current player on the team who will see a .300 season at any point in his career is Loney. I don't care who the hitting coach is. He's the only true contact hitter on the team.

    The Rays averages would actually be much worse if not for the platooning protecting most players from the worst matchups. Think of Myers if he played everyday it would be a bloodbath.

    This season was a bit of an anomaly as Drew's numbers show. We combined injured + bad + unlucky and the numbers prove it.

    Its all about 2015 at this point. Low scoring baseball bores some people I know that. All this hand wringing after a 2 game win streak?

    Some people see a 1-0 victory and say we only scored one run! We are pathetic! Well guess what? The other team feels worse, they actually lost.

    We have made the playoffs with very good pitching and league average hitting and can do it again in 2015 with most of the same faces IMO.

    Colome is out of options BTW.

    I'd give him as many starts as possible to see if he sinks or swims. If we are going to move him to the pen wait until next year unless we plan to keep him there for good and not move him in the offseason. Seems like he would have more value as a potential starter if we were to deal him.

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  6. Jim says:

    Many teams now incorporate a "on or out in three" mantra. If the pitcher can throw strikes over the plate early, then we are completely screwed. Our "work the count" crap is a completely flawed system. There's no confusing the batter, until there's two strikes and then you have more than one chance to do that, because we're digging a hole with early strikes.

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