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

Red Sox 6, RAYS 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: The Rays have been better. Prior to the All-Star break, the Rays ranked 26th in MLB with a -74 run differential. That is, they gave up 74 more runs than they scored, a sure-fire way to lose a lot of ballgames. Since the All-Star break, the Rays have a +56 run differential, best in the American League and second only to the Chicago Cubs. That’s good.

THE BAD: Unfortunately, the Rays ran into David Price and some kid named Andrew Benintendi. Price gave up just 2 hits in 8 shutout innings and he did it with a masterful changeup and by pitching low in the zone. Rays hitters were 0-13 with 5 strikeouts against the changeup. The Rays also swung-and-missed at half of the pitches low in the strikezone. That’s notable because the Rays tried to make him a high-ball pitcher his last season or two with the Rays and he never really seemed comfortable with it even when he was pitching well. Price has not been great this year, pitching to a 4.00 ERA, but the Rays caught him at a bad time. He now has a 2.36 ERA in his last 6 starts and seems to be peaking just as the Red Sox are about to head to the playoffs. Oh, and he had some help from Benintendi, who was playing in just his 19th career game. Pretty solid catch.

THE TELLING: Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn threw out the ceremonial first pitch…Mikie Mahtook is now 0 for his last 32 at bats…Alex Cobb gave up 5 runs in a triple-A rehab start. It is unclear if he will make one more rehab start or rejoin the Rays this week. He has not pitched in a regular season game since 2014…

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Sounds like the Rays’ Astroturf is starting to take its toll on yet another Rays outfielder. This time it is Kevin Kiermaier. It was a different turf back then, but running hard everyday on the Trop field ruined Carl Crawford’s career. [TampaBay.com]
  • Offensively, Kevin Kiermaier has become more patient against lefties and that’s a good sign. [Fangraphs]
  • Are the baseballs juiced? Nelson Cruz hit a home run last night with a bat that nearly split in half. [BI Sports]
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4 Comments

  1. Jim says:

    The trop getting blamed for something else, can’t believe it. Crawford played 140+ games a year for nearly a decade. Did it take its toll, it probably didn’t help, but was it why he fell apart? Coupled with AGE, maybe, sure

    KK has played two full seasons and had a 2 month rest this year. Blaming the Trop is a joke, another ploy, another media member hooked by the Rays.

    Wasn’t it earlier that “his wreckless/aggressive style of defense” was front and center? Funny how that is never mentioned as a very realistic reason for his injuries, but the Trop has got to be a factor. What a scam!! Notice that Duffy already mentioned it also.

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    • Jim says:

      Funny how the foxsports article I read says that age and his running style are to blame for his career fading, and NEVER mentions the Trop. Yet Cork throw’s in “the Trop field ruined Carl Crawford’s career”.

      C’mon Cork!!!!!! Maybe you need to take a break, errrrr. nevermind.

      2007 -- Left groin strain -- 14 days
      2008 -- Right finger surgery -- 47 days
      2011 -- Left hamstring strain -- 30 days
      2012 -- Left wrist surgery -- Spring Training
      2012 -- Left elbow strain -- 116 days
      2012 -- Left Tommy John surgery -- 42 days
      2013 -- Left hamstring strain -- 33 days
      2014 -- Left ankle sprain -- 43 days
      2015 - Ankle
      2015 - Oblique
      2015 - Oblique
      2016 - Lower Back

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  2. Gus says:

    Couple of points on the turf issue:

    1. Blue Jays play on turf and they seem to be doing just fine. Jose Bautista has 1000+ games as a Blue Jay. It is also a cost benefit thing -- you may have some impact issues from turf over grass, but it is an even surface, no sprinkler heads to end careers and waterlogged fields to play on. Constant temperature has it injury benefits too. On balance, the Rays have been pretty healthy over the years. Don't think the turf is hurting them.

    2. I do think the Rays' particular surface could be replaced more frequently, just for appearances sake. Notice during the college football games the patched sections covering the infield look so much better than the existing outfield. Again, cheapskate owners are at work here and are never held accountable.

    3. KK didn't even really blame the turf -- he wasn't sure, but it became yet another blame the turf narrative when it made the press.

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  3. monte says:

    A return to the majors after Labor Day will be soon enough for Alex Cobb. That would give him at least one more start at Durham, perhaps two. No need to bring him up to get plastered all over the field and lose games for the Rays even thought the season has gone.

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