USATSI_7880411_154511044_lowresThe GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

Yankees 5, RAYS 1 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Bullpen. Yes, there was an implosion in the 12th inning. But let’s take a moment to praise what came before that. Specifically, the top 3 in the ‘pen (Grant Balfour, Jake McGee, Joel Peralta) combined to throw 4.2 perfect innings, striking out 5. There is no 12th inning without those guys…Wil Myers Glove. Yes, there was the odd play in which Myers caught a ball off the wall. But the better play was his running grab towards the foul line in the 6th inning. Instead of a 2-run double, it was 2-on with 2 out and the Rays got out of it on the next batter.

THE BAD: Heart of the Order. The Rays are not going to win too many games when Wil Myers and Evan Longoria combine to go 0-10 with 4 strikeouts and 5 left on base…Heath Bell. This biggest mistake in the disastrous 12th inning was letting Heath Bell come back out to start the inning instead of starting the inning with CJ Riefenhauser with nobody on base. Instead, Bell walked the leadoff hitter on 4 pitches and it was all down hill from there…Missed Sign. There was some criticism of Wil Myers for getting caught stealing with just 1 out in the 11th inning. But that was all on Brandon Guyer, who clearly missed a hit-and-run sign. Of course, with a player that young, it is usually a good idea to pull them aside in the dugout or on deck circle and let them know it might be coming. That clearly didn’t happen.

THE TELLING: Jeremy Hellickson’s return has been pushed back to June after a minor setbackAlex Cobb’s return is also “late May/early June“…Desmond Jennings is expected back in the lineup on Tuesday…CJ Riefenhauser was sent back to Durham and the Rays will call up Juan Carlos Oviedo prior to Tuesday’s game. Riefenhauser will be back soon. Despite his rough outing on Sunday, it was clear that he has big league stuff…Sam Fuld has been claimed by the Twins off of waivers…Ivan Nova, who was pounded on Saturday night by the Rays, has a partially torn UCL in his elbow and may need Tommy John surgery…Saturday’s game was just the 5th game in franchise history the Rays scored 16+ runs. It was the first since 2011 and the 2nd against the Yankees…Joe Maddon has ordered an intentional walk with a runner on first base 23 times since 2008, ten more than any other team in that span.


  • Joe Maddon threw “shade” on the Yankees win? This seems like headline homerism at its worst. []
  • Scoring is down to its lowest mark in more than 20 years. Most point to steroid testing, but in the last few years, there may be a simpler answer: Teams are getting smarter and it is hurting hitters the most. [BI Sports]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscoresEnny Romero gave up 5 runs in 5.2 innings on 7 hits and 2 walks. Jerry Sands went 3-4 and hit his 5th home run in 17 games. He is hitting .379 with a .486 OBP early on. In double-A, Richie Shaffer hit his 4th home run and also added a triple.

CJ Riefenhauser’s second pitch in the Majors was absolutely nasty…

Chris Archer had a wardrobe malfunction…






  1. Dave L says:

    That BI article on shifts being part of the reason for declining run production tell only part of the story.

    Maddon has made the point that all of the increased info and data in recent years has mostly tended to benefit the pitcher and the defense but not the hitter. Hitting is still more reactive and split second built up until its an instinctual process.

    The information not only includes where to place the defenders but what and where to pitch each individual hitter in each particular situation to induce the desired batted ball to the defender.

    This has led to specialized relievers who mangers can make use of their typically smaller repetoire of pitches to maximize thier effectiveness. IMO relief pitching is much better than it used to be 10 years ago.

    Thats the reason the Rays rebuild an effective bullpen on a yearly basis with little drop in effectiveness not in recognizing talent, but building a corps and recognizing and maximizing its abilities

    Plus the percentage of pitchers who can throw 94 - 100mph with some control on every team has increased dramatically during the past decade.

    • Beth says:

      I'm curious to see whether these new defensive alignments give rise to a premium put on batters who use the whole field, as opposed to dead pull hitters. That may mean working with players from a younger age to value bat control over power, or if such things can't be taught it may mean that players with less defined pull tendencies will simply come to have a higher value. Surely there will be an adjustment to these new defensive positionings, but it could take some years to see that emerge.

      • Drew says:

        This is something I haven't thought about yet. It's a great point. I wonder how long it will take

      • Dave L says:

        Shifts killed Texiera's LH bat. He used to rake a OPS in the 1.000 range as a lefty then when everyone started shifting him the last few years it dropped to under .800.

        He beat our shift the other day once but that is rare

  2. jason says:

    The history of how the Rays protect their pitchers coming off of arm surgery I would not be surprised to see Alex Cobb and Jeremy Hellickson back after the All-Star break.

  3. jason says:

    *coming off of injuries in general, not just arm surgeries only.

  4. Beth says:

    Must be a very slow news day in NJ if Maddon's comments about his team's poor offense generate an entire article. As one who reads his postgame comments daily, I thought it was refreshing that, for once, he DIDN'T say "well, pitcher X had great stuff" to explain away his team's inability to score runs.

    • ken says:

      Beth, the news kings in that part of the good ole USA range from Bombastic to Hyper-Critical to properly WASP. Heading to Jersey next week for my yearly sojourn, I was born and bred "down the shore" but moved on years ago. Three younger sisters still there, same town, probably for life. Gonna see the Rays/Yanks at the stadium 5/3.
      I just love the wacko press there (Post, Daily News, Times, Ledger, Journal, et al) and the way Maddon manipulates them on every visit.
      One side note to Rays fans who call the Trop "inconvenient" to get to, try Point Pleasant to Metro Park, Amtrak to Penn Station, the 7 line to the Bronx...3 hours each way, yet the fans find a way. In comparison we have it pretty good. GO RAYS.

      • Rob says:

        I've lived my entire life (42 years) in Pinellas County, but my wife's family is from NY and we go to Avon by the Sea, NJ every couple of summers. Will be headed that way this year again - it's actually a very beautiful little town.

        • ken says:

          It is a great little town Rob, as is Spring Lake, Manasquan, and Point Beach. Spent my youth cruisin' the Asbury Park strip, sneaking into the Stone Pony, hoping to catch a glimpse of the "Boss". Enjoy, Jersey really does get a bad rap from many, and it doesn't deserve it. Still hate the Yanks though, grew up a Dodgers fan till they took the "first" train to the coast.

      • Sarah says:

        Hey, I'm a Jersey girl myself! That part of the Shore is definitely underappreciated. But I have to admit when I go to the Trop and the Yankees are in town, I realize that I don't miss the people all that much.

  5. Dave L says:

    Rays caught a break. On the second series of the road trip in Chicago Price was scheduled to face Sale but he just went on the 15 day DL. I don't think anyones rotation is intact right now.

    • ken says:

      Just saw the same thing Dave and breathed a sigh of relief. Sale is a mighty tough hombre when on his game. I mentioned a few posts ago that I had an uneasy feeling about our season thus far. While Friday and Saturday refueled my level of optimism it seems we're still hamstrung by the RHP and RHB dilemma's of our bench. Lueke, Oviedo, Forsythe and Guyer are replaceable parts. Durham appears to have a few candidates to shuttle back and forth to give us more balance. Boxburger, Riefer-man, Believu and Kelly look to be better options on the pitching side and Sands, Figueroa and Kiermayer are as attractive on the position side. Is Lueke's potential that high that he can't be DFA'ed for fear of losing him? I like Logan, but is he ever going to hit RH pitchers? Does he need more seasoning? Is Guyer really ever be any kind of reliable bench man? Thoughts?


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