Kevin Kiermaier

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

RAYS 2, Braves 0 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Erasmo Ramirez got off to a shaky start but settled down nicely. After giving up 4 hits to the first 8 batters he faced and getting some help with a runner thrown out at home in the 1st inning, Ramirez retired the next 16 batters before giving up a lead-off single in the 8th inning and then getting pulled. Ramirez needed just 70 pitches to go 7+ innings. Ramirez has now allowed 0 or 1 earned runs in 8 of his last 10 starts…Kevin Kiermaier hit his first home run since June 3 and he made it count, accounting for all runs in the game with his 2-run blast in the 7th…Asdrubal Cabrera had 2 more hits and is now 22-46 (.478) since coming off the DL on July 28. He leads all AL shortstops with 34 extra-base hits…The Rays are certainly making things interesting all of a sudden. The Rays have won 6 of their last 8, 3 in a row, and are now 57-56, above .500 for the first time since July 18. The most surprising aspect of the resurgence has been the power. This was the 9th straight game with a home run, the longest streak by the Rays since May, 2013.

THE BAD: Hitters not named Kevin Kiermaier or Asdrubal Cabrera went 1-20.

THE TELLING: Desmond Jennings is expected to be activated on Friday…The game was over in 2:02, the fastest game by the Rays since August, 2011…The Rays are now 5 games back in the East but are still 6 back in the loss column (remember, teams can make up wins, they cannot make up losses) and still trail 3 teams. For once, things actually look a lot better in the Wild Card where the Rays are now just 2.5 games back, 3 in the loss column and only trail 2 teams (Angels and Orioles).

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Not only are the Rays last in attendance (by a mile) but they are among the teams that have had the biggest drop off this season. Meanwhile, the Royals, who are consistently among the bottom 5 in attendance have surged 38% this season. [BI Sports]
  • I guess “Home teams win all 15 games for first time in MLB history” sounds a lot sexier than “Home teams win all 15 games for first time since MLB expanded to 30 teams in 1998.” [SI.com]
  • The Hudson Valley Renegades jumped on the Star Wars jersey bandwagon. [Chris H]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Durham lost 3-1 to Norfolk with Drew Smyly giving up all 3 runs (2 earned) in 4 innings. He struck out 5, walked 2. The Bulls managed just 5 hits with Nick Franklin going 2-4 with his 7th home run…Montgomery needed 14 innings to beat Jacksonville 5-4, with their 4 batters in the 14th going hit by pitch-single-wild pitch-intentional walk-walk with the last producing the walk-off win…Charlotte lost 2-0 to Palm Beach with the Stone Crabs picking up just 5 hits, all singles…Bowling Green beat Burlington 1-0 with 2 of their 3 hits not coming until the 8th inning, the same inning they scored their only run on a wild pitch. Yonny Chirinos tossed 6 shutout innings with 6 Ks and no walks.
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10 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    I can't remember whether I read this somewhere or if I heard it on a post-game broadcast, but apparently Shelton (and the organization) has done something of an about face with regards to their hitting philosophy. Instead of working counts and trying to get to the bullpens, the Rays are taking a more aggressive approach at the plate from the get-go. This shift is recent and correlates with their sudden surge in power and overall offense. Haven't fans been saying to do this for years?? It's about flipping time. It also makes games so much more fun to watch (and attend)!

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    • angrybuddha says:

      Absolutely. The Braves were aggressive too... everyone was first-pitch swinging. I don't know that I'd want to see that every night, but it was a refreshing, different kind of baseball game to watch.

      Starters had low pitch counts, there were minimal bullpen calls, and the game was over in 2 hours.

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    • Political_Man says:

      If one assumes that you should pull your starting pitchers early in order to get to your own bullpen faster (avoid the 3rd time through the order or whatever,) logically it doesn't make sense to center your offense around the idea of trying to get to your opponent to pull their starter early.

      The logically you'd want your opponent to keep his starter in the game for that dreaded 3rd time through the order.

      I give them credit for finally coming to this conclusion but it certainly took long enough. And it had to have come about through their pitching philosophy as opposed to hitting philosophy... whatever it takes I guess.

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  2. Jim says:

    Curious about the KC attendance. They've jumped from 24K to 33K (25th to 10), Did they require fans to put down a deposit on this years season tickets in order to get playoff tickets for last year? I wouldn't be shocked to learn that this was the reason for the attendance bump.

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    • Jim says:

      i looked it up, they offered playoff priority to people that put down a deposit on 2015 tickets.

      Also is there attendance based on actual turnstile numbers or tickets sold? aren't we one of the few in the teams in the league that uses actual turnstile, or is that the bucs?

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      • Starmand says:

        If a person buys a ticket, it counts as attendance regardless if the person shows up at the game or not.

        That's why they announce 10,000 or so when the eye test reveals that there's barely 7,000 in attendance.

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  3. Ken says:

    Jennings returns Friday? Who goes down? Butler I'm figuring. I don't have a lot of confidence in him making a difference, Hope I'm wrong.

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  4. Gus says:

    Erasmo is the new James Shields -- if he can get through the first inning, he's going to have a good night. But the first inning can sometimes be an adventure. Shields always had problem, particularly at the beginning of his career.

    Rays need to put together a nice 7 or 8 game win streak at some point. This would seem to be the week to do so.

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