Rays Blue Jays Baseball

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

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: We’re Calling It A Comeback. After setting a franchise record with the largest comeback ever, the Rays are now 6-3 on their roadtrip and have trailed in the 7th inning in 8 of those 9 games. The only game they did not trail in the 7th inning was Friday’s win against Roy Halladay in which the Rays were tied in the 7th inning.

THE BAD: Better Stop Calling It A Comeback. Winning is about 3 things. Pitching, Pitching and Pitching. And the fact that the Rays have trailed in the 7th inning of 8 of their last 9 games suggests that the starting pitchers just aren’t getting the job done. Their 4.06 ERA since the All-Star break is 9th in the AL. Eventually the goodiness of the late-inning comebacks will come to an end.

THE TELLING: We’re Back, kinda. After the perfect game on Thursday, if you would have asked us what it would take to make us feel a little better, we absolutely would have said, 1) beat Roy Halladay, 2) stage a miraculous victory, 3) sweep the Jays. Two down, one to go. But their are still problems with this team. Too much inconsistency from the offense and too little domination from the starting pitchers.


  • Joe Maddon talks about his use of Twitter. [The Tony Ambrogio Experience]
  • Joe Maddon had to use all 7 relievers yesterday which means the Rays really need a big start today and they have the right guy on the mound in Jeff Niemann. Maddon also noted that if the Rays had not won the game in the 12th, James Shields would have been his next pitcher.




  1. bobrittner says:

    "And the fact that the Rays have trailed in the 7th inning of 8 of their last 9 games suggests that the starting pitchers just aren’t getting the job done."

    I think there is some truth to this, but I also think it is overstated and the presumption that because the Rays had to make late comebacks the starters were not getting the job done is inaccurate.

    As a matter of fact, in 6 of the 9 games the starters were adequate or good. It was more the lack of offense than starting pitcher failures that caused the problem. I agree that many of the starts were uninspiring, but they were not really bad, and had the offense been normal would have looked pretty good.

    Here are the lines of those 6 with the scores when they left:
    Kazmir: 6-4-1-1-4-3 (L1-0)
    Garza: 5-6-3-3-5-5 (L3-0)
    Price: 6-8-4-4-2-6 (L4-3)
    Niemann: 8-8-2-2-0-7 (L2-1)
    Shields: 6.2-4-2-2-3-4 (W3-2)
    Garza: 9-5-2-2-0-9) (T2-2)
    The first 2 show too many walks but are otherwise solid. (Well, 5 innings from Garza is not solid, I agree, but despite his control problems he limited the damage.) Price struggled in his game, but it all came down to 1 pitch to Konerko and a terrible defensive 1st inning. He hung in very well. (I was at the Cell that night and can attest that Price had problems but persevered.) The last 3 were pretty good or excellent, particularly Niemann and Garza.

    To me, it was the weak offense against generally ordinary pitchers or poor ones that was most irritating, more so than the starters' performances. They hung in there with Greinke and Halladay after all and won both games. Not hitting Richard and Torres was more a problem in my mind.

    • I did not mean to imply that they have been bad. Rather, they have just been pedestrian. The problem is, if the Rays are going to chase down the Red Sox or the Yankees, the starting pitching needs to be dominant.

      In those 6 starts you reference, only twice did they pitch past the 6th inning. Eventually that will catch up with the bullpen.

      Right now, the starting pitching is pitching like a 3rd place team.


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