The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
Twins 11, RAYS 7 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: James Loney took news of his suspension well, going 3-5, driving in 3. Kevin Kiermaier also added 3 hits.
THE BAD: More home runs. Wait. What was that sound? Oh, it was another Twins player hitting a home run…Fewer Fans. 9,632 fans for the Rays and Twins last night. I mean, it’s not surprising. Kids are back in school. It’s the Rays. It’s the Twins. It’s the Trop. And some Rays fans will point to the 12,000 in Cleveland or the 14,000 in Atlanta or the 14,000 in Chicago for the White Sox and Red Sox. The problem with pointing to those games is that none of those 6 teams are real playoff contenders and none of those teams are averaging 15,800 per game. In other words, those teams do have crappy attendance nights. But they also have good attendance nights. The Rays don’t get the benefit of the doubt because their good nights are too few and too far between. And there are no Lightning playoff games to blame…More injuries. Desmond Jennings was knocked out of the game with a “bruised left knee,” an injury he actually suffered in Oakland. Curt Casali, who does nothing but hit home runs, did something David Ortiz will never do. Casali injured his hamstring on a home run trot and had to leave the game. In Casali’s defense, the ball was a line drive and it was not clear it was going to clear Kapler’s Korner Wall so he was running hard to first base. But still.
THE TELLING: James Loney was suspended 1 game for his bump of an umpire on Saturday. I was expecting 2-3 games so there is a suggestion here that MLB gave him a lesser suspension because the ump provoked it. Loney is appealing…The Rays are now 62-63, 8 back in the East and 2.5 back in the Wild Card but with 3 teams between the Rays and the Rangers, including the Twins who beat the Rays last night.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Rodney Page speculates that James Loney could drop the appeal of his suspension on Thursday when the Rays face a lefty. Instead of missing an entire game, Loney would likely just “miss” being a late-game pinch-hitter and defensive replacement and that’s if the Rays are winning. [TampaBay.com]
- Matt Arnold, one of the top guys under Matt Silverman (think President Silverman followed by VPs Chaim Bloom and Erik Neander and then Arnold) is the team’s director of player personnel and is now considered a candidate to be the Brewers next GM based on “industry speculation.” [Jerry Crasnick]
- Marc Topkin writes about how the Rays will use their young starting pitchers down the stretch. [TampaBay.com]
- DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] The Durham Bulls scored 3 in the top of the 11 and then held on for a 6-5 win over Norfolk. Blake Snell allowed just 1 run in 5 innings with 3 strikeouts and no walks. He now has a 1.57 ERA in 7 triple-A starts. Joey Butler had a pair of doubles and drove in 3. Richie Shaffer also had 2 doubles…Austin Pruitt struck out 8 and walked none in 8 shutout innings during Motgomery’s 3-0 win. Dayron Varona was 1-3 with a double and a walk…Charlotte lost 6-4 to St. Lucie with Chih-Wei Hu giving up 4 runs in 4.2 innings…Bowling Green scored 4 times in the top of the 11th for the 8-4 win.
The Ice Bucket Challenge is back and the Rays took place, including Todd Kalas.