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 3, Royals 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Nathan Karns now has 19 starts this season in which he has allowed 2 runs or fewer. That is a Rays’ rookie record. Only 4 pitchers in all MLB have more.  Since Dwight Gooden had 20 such starts in 1984, the only other rookie with 20+ starts giving up 2 runs or fewer was Jose Fernandez with 22 in 2013…Kevin Kiermiaer is red hot with the bat. He homered on both Saturday and Sunday. He is now 30-91 (.330) in August and has 11 hits in his last 7 games…With the Royals threatening with 2 runners on and 1 out in the 8th inning, James Loney and Rene Rivera teamed up for an unusual double-play. Kendrys Morales hit a bouncer to Loney at first who threw home to get the runner trying to score. However, Morales never left the batter’s box because he thought the ball was foul and Rivera tagged home out for the double-play. The craziest part is that Morales never left the box. Think it was foul? Fine. But that should come after at least a step or two out of the box. Morales just assumed it was foul before the ball ever got to Loney and you know what they say when you assume: You lose ballgames…

THE BAD: The bullpen was great this weekend, and have allowed just 1 earned run in 17.2 innings over the last 4 games. But the Rays are 17-27 in games decided in the 7th inning or later which sounds like it is all the bullpen’s fault. At what point do we stop blaming the bullpen and start blaming the workload? Rays relievers lead the AL with 433 innings pitched and is on pace to throw 540 innings. That would be 37 more innings than last year and 149 innings more than the 2011 squad (391 ip). From 2008 through 2014, the bullpen averaged 465 innings pitched. The Rays have made the young starters more effective, but at the cost of the bullpen, which was once a strength for this club.

THE TELLING: Brad Boxberger leads the AL with 32 saves…The Rays are 18-6 in their last 24 games against a left-handed starter…The Rays now play 3 straight series on the road (9 games in 10 days) with trips to Baltimore, New York, and Detroit…19 of the Rays last 32 games are against playoff contenders (assuming the Orioles are a playoff contender. They may not be for long)…The Rays are now 23-23 in 1-run games, but they are now just 2-10 in extra innings games and have 10 walk-off losses compared to 1 walk-off win. Overall, the Rays are 64-66, and while they have moved up to 3rd in the East, they are now 10 games behind the Blue Jays and 4.5 back (5 in the loss column) in the Wild Card. The Rays’ playoff hopes have plummeted to just 6.6%.


  • Marc Topkin looks at who could be added to the roster for September. []
  • “Snell expected to be next great young arm.” []
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscoresBlake Snell, a possible September call-up, did it again, giving up just 1 run in 5 innings, striking out 6 and walking 2. His triple-A ERA is now 1.60. Richie Shaffer went 2-4 with 2 RBI in the 4-2 win…Montgomery was shutout 7-0 by Mobile, with the hitters picking up just 3 hits, all singles…Charlotte was rained out…Bowling Green lost 4-3 to South Bend, collecting just 2 hits and committing 4 errors.




  1. monte says:

    I heard it said by someone on a TV baseball sports show that younger pitchers are not getting developed in the minors to go beyond 5-7 innings. Remembrance was made to the game in which Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal each pitched 14 innings. I don't know if the way pitchers and players are handled nowadays is better than the old days or not, but I would be interested in hearing someone who knows pitching speak to the issue.

    • Vic says:

      I think that pitchers in the "dead ball" era didn't throw with nearly as much stress on their bodies -- not as hard, and not with as much movement. I think it's somewhat comparable to the NFL -- there wasn't as much concern about concussions when players didn't turn themselves into projectile weapons on the field.

      • monte says:

        Explain the dead ball era. Was that during the time of Koufax, Marichal, Gibson, Seaver and Carlton? Or does the dead ball era go all the way back to Ruth? You certainly may be right about it, but I'm just not sure. Are you giving me your theory, or do you know for certain? I'm still interested in hearing more of an analysis. Thanks, Vic, for responding.

  2. Gus says:

    It is the nerds in the front office who are saying 3rd time through the order, doom is impending and you must pull the starter at the first sign of trouble.

    I'd also note the anemic offense has a role to play -- if by chance you have a 3+ run lead, you can give your starter a little more rope. The amount of 1-run games the Rays play is just exhausting for everybody involved.

    Love to see Keirmayer's bat match his defense. That guy is a reason to watch every night.


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