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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.

Astros 3, RAYS 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Curt Casali is the ultimate feast-or-famine hitter and we saw a little bit of the feast last night when he hit his 9th home run. In his last 21 games, he has 8 home runs and 6 other hits. He also has 22 strikeouts and 2 walks during that stretch. There is a reason the Rays’ possibly best power hitter is hitting ninth…The Rays were flashing the leather last night. There was the Logan Forsythe diving stop in the first inning that probably saved a run. There was the strike-em-out-throw-em-out in the second inning. There was the first-home-first double-play in the 8th that kept the game tied. And there was Grady Sizemore’s leaping grab up against the leftfield wall when it looked like he might actually crumble to pieces. But the best play was the over-the-shoulder grab by James Loney.

8-19-2015 8-13-45 AM

THE BAD: Walk-off losses are never good and maybe it is time to keep Brad Boxberger out of these situations. He has now allowed 6 home runs this season, 4 have come with the game tied. Hitters are also hitting .333 with a 1.077 OPS in these situations compared to .229/.693 overall.

THE TELLING: The Rays are now 59-60, 7.5 back in the East and 3.0 games back in the Wild Card with 3 teams between the Rays and the Angels.  The Rays now have a 14.7% chance of making the playoffs, according to PECOTA.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Nearly one-third of the teams in MLB still have a legit shot to win the World Series. The Rays are not one of them. [BI Sports]
  • A fun read on the Bull behind the fence of the Durham Bulls home ballpark. [NewsObserver]
  • DOWN ON THE FARM [boxscores] Durham lost 4-2 to Louisville with Everett Teaford tossing just 3 shutout innings before being pulled. Joey Butler hit his first home run since returning to triple-A…Montgomery was rained out…Charlotte was swept in a double-header against Fort Myers. The Stone Crabs managed just 3 runs and 10 hits in the 2 games.
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9 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    The Rays could have gained some ground last night too. Too bad the bullpen is falling apart lately.

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  2. Geoff Peterson says:

    It's time to give up on the idea that this team can make the playoffs. Even if they did by some miracle, chances are they're gone quickly. Guys like Nava and Sizemore need to be gone and replaced with Shaffer, Butler, and whomever else may help this team when they are healthy again and can compete. There's no substitute for experience at the MLB level and this lost season may be the time to take their lumps and make these kids better.

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  3. Gus says:

    I have never understood Cash's insistence on keeping McGee as set up and Boxburger as closer once McGee got healthy. Both were much better in the opposite roles last year. Time to make the switch back, or let Geltz close. He's looked the best of them lately (although they all may be getting worn out).

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  4. Ken says:

    Cash's early to mid-season Captain Hook tendencies, combined with an inconsistent and mostly anemic offense, are now showing up nightly. Our relievers are over exposed. Our starters have little experience pitching deep into games. Thus every night is an adventure once the 7th inning begins.

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  5. Greg says:

    I would like to see the Rays move McGee this winter. I think we could get a decent return for him and I am in agreement with the Rays philosophy that bullpen parts are inconsistent from year to year and thus replaceable. McGee has gotten good results without throwing anything other than a fastball. I just can't believe he can keep doing that! He's been pretty darn good this year (36 appearances and only 6 were he's given up runs). So not a reaction to last night. Boxberger hasn't been very good but he's controllable and may honestly be affected by the increased workload from pulling starters early. Jepsen is gone but he and Geltz were bad in save opportunities so they are not the answer. Boxy needs more rest.

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    • Gus says:

      Boxberger had 6 days rest coming into last night; it all goes back to mid-May with him in NYC where he started getting hit hard and he went from lights out Boxberger to hoping the balls stay in the yard Boxberger. Not sure what happened -- cumulative over-use could be it, but he's simply not good enough to close.

      Disappointed they sent Romero down. He has closer's stuff and was at least a live arm to bring out of the bullpen. But Andriese can be useful also, just not sure what the plan is there.

      If they Rays were going to trade McGee, they should be featuring him in a closers role, not using him as a set-up man.

      But Ken is right that the impact on the bullpen of the lack of offense making almost every lead a close game is showing up. Stake a starter to a nice lead, let him get into the 7th or 8th, and then let somebody other than a closer finish a game. Basically we need Monday night to happen more than once a month.

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      • Rob says:

        He blew it again. When is Cash going to learn?

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        • Rob says:

          The worst part is that Colome in the 8th was as dominant as I've seen a pitcher this year. Sometimes you have to go with the hot hand.

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      • Greg says:

        You're right. I just hate to be too reactionary. I cringe through the finish of every game. I don't trust any of them. If bullpen arms have value, move them and replace them with the next guy unless you have a Chapman or a Kimbrell! Rob's right...Rays should go with the hot hand.

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