Joey Butler

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

RAYS 6, Angels 5 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: People will point to the home runs in the 5-run 6th inning or the home run by Kevin Kiermaier in the 10th inning. Those were big, but were not as big as the play by Asdrubal Cabrera in the bottom of the 6th. The Rays had just rallied to take a 5-4 lead and the Angels had a runner on second base. Carlos Perez hit what looked like an RBI-single up the middle until Cabrera dove and just barely got his glove on the ball knocking it down. He got up and threw out the runner going home to keep the lead…And then there was the play by Evan Longoria in the 8th with a runner on 1st and a single to right field. Steven Souza made a wild throw to third, but Longo was head’s up and quickly threw back to second to get the batter trying to sneak into second base behind the throw…OK, I can’t ignore the Steven Souza home run. his last 6 games: 4 home runs, 2 doubles, 8 batted in. Saucy!

THE BAD: Players never want to give an opponent a free pass. Players always want to challenge the opponent and think they will win. So I wonder if Kevin Cash the player overruled Kevin Cash the manager in the 3rd inning when he decided to pitch to a red-hot Albert Pujols with 2 runners on and 2 outs. Pujols singled and the Angels extended their early lead…If you think you are seeing more and more players slide past second base it is not an illusion. It happened last night when Mikie Mahtook stole second base but couldn’t hold on to the bag on his way to left field. He was tagged out. The feeling is that this a result of younger players being taught to slide later, that is, slide as close to the bag as possible. The upside is that sliding can slow a player down and if a player slides later, he won’t slow down as much and will get to the bag quicker. Of course, this requires a player to grab the bag and hold on and unfortunately you see a lot of players in a position like this with a WELP face.

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THE TELLING: On Tuesday, Chris Archer became just the second pitcher since records are available (1914) to have 12+ strikeouts and no walks in back-to-back starts. The other was Dwight Gooden...Nick Franklin has been working out at first base…Entering last night’s games, the Rays had hit 20 of the 54 home runs hit by AL rookies…The Rays are now 28-26, 1.0 game behind the Yankees, 3.5 games ahead of the rest of the division.


  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Matt Buschmann gave up 4 runs in 4 innings during Durham’s 4-2 loss. Curt Casali hit his 3rd home run. Richie Shaffer went 2-4 and is 10-28 in his first 9 triple-A games…Montgomery lost 4-3. Boog Powell had 3 hits including a triple. He also stole his 7th base. Daniel Robertson was pulled from the game in the first inning with an injury…Matt Moore started the first game of the double-header. He gave up 2 unearned runs in 2.1 innings on 2 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 2. Taylor Guerrieri also pitched, giving up 1 run on 5 hits and a walk in 2.2 innings. Charlotte split the double-header.

It’s good to see Matt Moore back on a mound in a real game.





  1. Greg says:

    The sliding past the bag thing is getting out of control. Seeing it on both head-first and feet-first slides. Not just the Rays...noticing it all over. Interesting thought about how they're now taught to slide late. I was wondering if they are worried about hurting a finger so much that they're afraid to grab onto the bag too tightly. Maybe they should just run right through second and head for third!

  2. Rob says:

    Does anyone else think the ball is coming off the bat harder than normal in this series? Of course there were all the HRs, but even ground balls and liners looked zippier than usual. Plus the bat making contact seemed to have a different sound (maybe that's just a difference in microphones or acoustics). Anyway, I'm just wondering if the dryness in the air from the drought out in CA is causing the power surge?


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