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.