Nathan Karns

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, Phillies 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Nathan Karns did it all for the Rays, throwing 5 shutout innings (he was taken out after facing just one batter the third time through the order). He also hit a home run to account for all the scoring. The hit ended an 0 for 363 days streak for Rays pitchers who had gone hittless since last July 23. Karns is also the first pitcher to hit a home run and get a win in a 1-0 game since Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers in 2009 and thanks to the DH, Karns is the first AL pitcher to do it since Milt Pappas in 1962 for the Orioles. He is also just the 14th pitcher to ever do it. Granted he only pitched 5 of the innings, but still…The other day when I argued that Kevin Kiermaier is not (yet) the best defensive player in baseball you would have thought I was saying he was a bad defender based on the responses. If I had to rank him, I’d say he is probably in the No. 5-10 range in all MLB, he might be the best center fielder, and is definitely a gold glover, all of which is still pretty damn good and he put it on display last night with a nice diving catch and an even more important throw to nail a runner at third base. If he doesn’t make a perfect throw there the Phillies have runners at first and third with no outs and an excellent chance to get a run or two (see both plays here)…Rene Rivera may suck with a bat in his hand, but he showed why he is on the team, nailing a would-be base stealer to end the 6th inning (see throw here)…On a side note, I loved Dewayne Staats call of Nathan Karns’ home run. It was bad which was actually kind of perfect. What I mean is that Staats starts calling it as a routine flyball that might have a chance to land for a hit and then seems surprised the ball actually went out, which is pretty much how we all reacted.

THE BAD: Pitchers hitting is still dumb and the Rays’ offense is still bad. It has now been 14 days since the Rays scored more than 4 runs or had more than 8 hits in a game. Nathan Karns’ home run masked the fact that the real “hitters” in the lineup not named John Jaso went 3-27 with no extra-base hits and 1 walk. Steven Souza was back in the lineup and looked awful, striking out 4 times in 4 at bats. Souza is now averaging 1.4 strikeouts per game. If he keeps up that pace and plays in all remaining games he will become just the 7th player ever to strikeout 200+ times in a season even though he has missed 17 games.

THE TELLING: Via Josh VitaleDrew Smyly threw 40 pitches in his simulated game. His fastball topped out at 89. Afterwards, said he “felt great” and hoped his next step would be to start his rehab stint although it is not clear if that will happen…The Rays are now 48-48, 5 games behind the Yankees.


  • Some in the national media get it. Rob Neyer of Fox Sports understands that the Rays’ problem is the stadium not the fans. []
  • Marc Topkin writes about Kevin Kiermaier winning the Rays’ Heart & Hustle award. []
  • “What’s wrong with Matt Moore?” Gee, I don’t know, he only HAD SURGERY ON HIS PITCHING ELBOW. Maybe these guys have heard of it. It’s called Tommy John surgery and everybody who is paying attention knows there is rust when a pitcher first gets back (warning: page has an autoplay video).  []
  • Want to watch Chris Archer workout? Here is a story on his off-season program that includes a couple of videos (and yes, one is an autoplay). The second video at the bottom is pretty impressive. []
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscoresEverett Teaford got shelled, giving up 6 runs in 2.1 innings. His ERA in triple-A is now 6.14 as the Bulls lost to Charlotte 7-4. Boog Powell was 1-4 with a double. RF Taylor Motter had 2 hits including his 9th home run. Nick Franklin added his 5th triple-A home run…Montgomery scored 4 in the top of the 10th to beat Chattanooga 8-4. Dayron Varona had 3 hits including a triple and an RBI single in the 10th…Charlotte had 20 hits in their 12-0 win over St. Lucie. Greg Harris pitched 6 shutout innings with 4 Ks and 1 walk. Six players had multiple hits including 4 players with at least 3 hits. 2B Kean Wong went 3-6 with his 14th stolen base…Yonny Chirinos gave up 2 runs in Bowling Green’s 2-1 loss. C Nick Ciuffo was 2-4.

Random photo of Nathan Karns and Matt Moore from batting practice in Toronto.

Nathan Karns and Matt Moore





  1. Gus says:

    Karns hasn't gotten a lot of love nationally, but compare his rookie season to the hyped rookie Rays starters of the last 7 seasons (Price, Davis, Hellickson, Moore) and it has a chance to hold up very well. He is older at 27, but a strikeout per inning and a 3.47 ERA is a pretty good return for Lobaton. Full credit to Friedman's regime on that one. I didn't like that trade much at the time (and it made us suffer through an extra 300 Molina plate appearances), but Karns is a nice looking pitcher.

  2. truraysfan says:

    It's time for a new hitting coach d Shelton is horrific. Escobar is hitting .329 and are players are not responding to his methods. Longo should be killing it and to say he is struggling is an understatement. That is all I'm so displeased with our offense. #firedshelton


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