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

Mariners 3, RAYS 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Chris Archer needed to be on top of his game going head-to-head with Felix Hernandez and he was, striking out 12 and walking none in 8 inning, giving up just 2 hits. In his 43 starts since the start of last season, he has 23 starts in which he has allowed 2 or fewer runs and this may have been his best one yet.

THE BAD: Brad Boxberger has now given up home runs in back-to-back appearances, but what really hurt were the 2 walks before the 3-run home run that broke a 0-0 tie in the 9th inning. Boxberger had gone 12 straight appearances without allowing a run. But what is interesting (and worrisome) is that Boxberger should have been well-rested, but not rusty. He had not pitched in the 3 days prior to Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games. The good news is Boxberger’s velocity was normal yesterday. But it will be interesting to see if he gets a little bit more of a break over the next few days and maybe even a non-high-leverage situation…Kevin Kiermaier was hit on the ankle with a pitch and was down on the ground in some serious pain. He eventually got up and shook it off but it was downright scary for a few seconds.

5-27-2015 1-31-33 PM

THE TELLING: X-Rays on Kevin Kiermaier’s ankle were negative…The Rays were shutout for the 6th time, tops in the AL, thanks in large part to hitting into 4 double-plays in the first 6 innings…As several people quickly pointed out, I somehow accidentally pulled up the first voting results from last year’s All-Star game in yesterday’s GBT. Evan Longoria is not among the top 5 vote-getters with the big clue obviously being that Josh Donaldson does indeed now play for the Blue Jays…The Rays are now 24-24, 1.5 games behind the Yankees.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Grant Balfour may be leaning towards retirement. [TampaBay.com]
  • PECOTA is now giving the Rays a 39.1% chance to make the playoffs. [BaseballPro]
  • Where will the money from the redevelopment of the Trop land go? [TampaBay.com]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Everett Teaford gave up 6 runs in 4 innings during Durham’s 8-2 loss. JP Arencibia had 3 hits in 4 at bats. Richie Shaffer was 0-3 with a walk…Montgomery lost 12-4 with Daniel Robertson going 0-4 with a strikeout…Jacob Faria threw 7 shutout innings in Charlotte’s 3-2 win, giving up just 4 hits and a walk. Willy Adames went 3-4 with a pair of doubles…Bowling Green lost 6-2 with catcher Mac James going 2-2 with 2 walks and 2 batted in.Casey Gillaspie was 0-3 with walk.
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11 Comments

  1. Fort Myers Dave says:

    6 shutouts this early in the season, that is hard to stomach but us Ray fans are used to ineptitude on offense for the past 4 or so seasons.... Look I hate to see anyone go, but perhaps it is time for the Rays to get a new hitting coach..... Derek Shelton has been on the watch for numerous shutouts, no hitters, a perfect game or 2, and many, many games where the Rays scored 1 or 2 runs.... Yes it is hard to score when you have guys like Beckham and Rivera batting 8th and 9th and even slotting Nick Franklin with his 0.083 batting average in the 6th spot so I do understand that the talent may not be there but perhaps it is time to bring in someone else, perhaps a fresh mentality and a set of eyes that might help with some of the Rays' offensive issues. Don't even need to fire Shelton, just re- assign the guy to other duties with the club... The team is still 0.500 but losing 5 straight to Oakland and Seattle is troubling, especially with McGee and Boxey handing the M's 2 wins. The Rays are very fortunate that every other club in the AL East are also having major issues though the other clubs can score, their pitching is just tremendously bad...

    And BTW, congrats to Grant Ballfour on a good career, the guys had some good outings with Tampa and Oakland but perhaps it is time to hang up the cleats and decide what is next in life for the Aussie as the guy has not had his mojo since 2013.... The one strength the Rays had this season is that Jepsen and Boxey were so much better than Peralta and Ballfour of 2014 but now that McGee is back and suddenly the pen is having the same late bed*****ing issues that we were forced to endure for the first half of last season until Maddon finally went with Boxberger/McGee; hopefully the last 2 games vs the M's were just an aberration for the bullpen and not a sign of things to come in the summer....

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    • Rob says:

      I agree it's time for a change at hitting coach. I don't understand the oft referenced argument that a hitting coach can't improve a batter's performance, but then give Hickey credit for revitalizing pitching careers off the scrap heap. So pitching coaches can affect pitchers but hitting coaches can't affect hitters?

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      • Starmand says:

        Please don't let common sense get in the way of a flawed argument, Rob. Everybody knows that pitching is way way easier when compared to hitting.

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        • Rob says:

          Of course they are not the same - I never said they were. I wouldn't expect there to be a 1:1 correlation, but to say the hitting coach has zero impact is absurd.

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          • Starmand says:

            https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/94/f0/cb/94f0cb21bd56b93e42b4e712200eced6.jpg

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          • Starmand says:

            Also...everybody knows that pitchers get all the good lookin' chicks.

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          • Fort Myers Dave says:

            Rob is right, it is not a 50/50 correlation but to say that a hitting instructor can not detect or correct a flaw in a batter's stance, swing, and/or mentality when facing the opposition is absurd. I am just pointing out that Derek Shelton is one of the few common denominators that the Rays have had all through their struggles at the plate, would it hurt to go in a different direction. It can not hurt, can it? I do not think the Rays hitting can not get much worse at the bottom of the order as Franklin and Rivera are collectively batting around 0.100 in the past month...

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  2. Dave L says:

    Four game winning streak and its all sunshine and roses around here.

    Five game losing streak and the discourse degenerates into woeful attendance and scapegoating Derek Shelton.

    Some things never change

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    • Fort Myers Dave says:

      Can you give a reason to retain Shelton, Dave L? What has he done that has been a positive affect to the Rays' bats since he has been their hitting coach through much of the Maddon years and now the first year of Cash as skipper?

      Yeah I do not like the attendance discourse and nothing can be done about that as long as BSPN and MLB network team up with big market teams to gang up on the Tampa and Oakland franchises of the world who piss them off by being rather successful with salaries a fraction of what they pay to buy themselves a chance at the postseason each year... But the fact remains that the Rays have been shut out 6 times this season and have scored 2 or less just as many times under Shelton's watch, it can not be overlooked......

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      • Dave L says:

        Then tell me why outside of Stephen Vogt, no X-Ray has gone elsewhere and blossomed as a hitter? Most fall off a cliff and their best years were with the Rays

        Instruction is done in the minors, the Shelton talk is just denial at any one time our collection of postion players just aren't very good hitters.

        Loney is our only contact hitter on the entire 40 man and he plays first with no power which most teams get power out of and run production. Dejesus is a platoon player.

        Longo is our only proven MLB hitter and he's streaky. He's not a contact hitter and strikes out alot. Guys like Cabrera and Rivera are castoffs from other teams looking to upgrade. We hang our hopes on 1 recent good year and then they play to thier overall career level or lower and we are crushed.

        We can never just buy a proven hitter. Imagine what a Nelson Cruz would do to this lineup? We can never, ever get a player like him but our competitors can year after year after year.

        We depend on our young guys and they all have flaws.

        Now position player injuries have crushed us, that may be the last time we see .500 all year. I was frankly surprised we had a taste of first place at all.

        Hitting instructors chart pitchers and tendencies and are like team psychologists at best. If he was the problem guys would be leaving here and become good hitters elsewhere but they don't.

        Some times we have to be realists as fans and accept that a boderline lineup to begin with needs some luck and good health to win. I always focus on health as the Rays biggest requirement to compete. This year we just arent healthy and dont have the depth to compensate. The hitting coach talk is a distraction and weak excuse.

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        • Fort Myers Dave says:

          Good argument DaveL, I do realize the hitting woes are not all on the shoulder of Coach Shelton but there are a lot of franchises in MLB who would have fired him by now if they encountered the hitting difficulties the Rays have endured....

          DaveL: the lack of hitting from the C spot is frustrating, it is with a lot of clubs but Rivera makes Molina look like an AllStar.. What do you make of how Tampa has no one to really anchor the catcher position? The Rays could have drafted Buster Posey but chose Beckham, that hurt as Beckham is a bust... But the Rays also had Dionner Navarro, Loboton and Chirinos: all better catchers starting on other teams than what the Rays currently have but let them go, why ???? The blame has to go somewhere then,as the current situation at C is embarrassing, who is to balme for this, alot of AAA teams have better Cs than what Tampa puts in the 9 hol;e every night........

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