Chris Archer changed his stripes.

Chris Archer changed his stripes from sky blue to grey.

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

Indians 6, RAYS 1 (boxscore)

THE NOT AS BAD AS THE REST OF THE BAD: This is your 2016 Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays are now 10-17 in their last 27 games. What makes that even worse is that those 27 games also include the Rays’ best stretch of the season where they went 9-2 in 11 games. Unreal. So what went well last night? Not a god damned thing. OK, this was a nice play, I guess.

THE REALLY BAD: Remember when the Rays were scoring runs and Evan Longoria was red-hot and Peter Gammons was saying things like “how good will the Rays be when they start pitching like they are supposed to?” A week later and the Rays have stopped hitting and the pitching is still not pitching like it is supposed to. The Rays are now 70 games into the season. That is almost halfway. At what point do we stop dreaming of greener pastures and realize this is who the Rays are? The Rays are 26th in runs score per game, 26th in batting average, and 25th in OBP. Over the last 6 games, the Rays have not had more than 5 hits in a game. They are striking out more than 6 times for every 1 walk (3 strikeouts per walk would be bad. this is much worse). They have also had 3 pitchers throw complete games against them. Things were especially bad against the Indians. For the year, the Rays batted just .144 against Cleveland (26-180). That is the lowest average ever for an AL team against another AL team for an entire season. Of course, the Rays weren’t getting any favors from the umpire last night. When the pitcher is shocked it is called a strike, that’s bad.

THE TELLING: And the hits just keep on coming! Prospect Richie Shaffer was taken out of last night’s game with a possible neck or back injury. Watching Durham Bulls Baseball has some more details…[Durham 6, Charlotte 4Dayron Varona hit his 8th home run and Luke Maile added his first and also went 3-3.

With the Parade yesterday in Cleveland, it was a long day for Cleveland sports fans. Some handled it better than others.

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14 Comments

  1. doug says:

    no comment...nothing to comment on!

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  2. Ken J says:

    James Loney is hitting .290 for the mets, but he's not a big power hitter like LoMo !

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  3. Drew says:

    Little pessimistic there with those cherry-picked stats? How about these stats:
    13th in SLG%
    19th in wOBA
    t11th in wRC+
    Yes, they have been bad recently, but the offense is one of the top 1/3 or 1/2 in the league when the entire offense isn't on the DL. Also, the pitching definitely sucks and I have no idea why. I guess Hickey can't be a magician 100% of the time.

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    • Ken says:

      Only Cleveland and KC have allowed less TOTAL runs (not only earned runs) in the AL. So even with all of the warts with our pitching, giving up runs isn't our biggest problem. Run prevention isn't our problem. Burning out our bullpen early this year may result in us giving up more runs as the season progresses, but our bigger problems are all of the errors, voluminous injuries and lack of runs scored.

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  4. Jim says:

    5 starters in the lineup hitting below .200 going into the game. That has to be a record for a MLB team.

    I’ll ask for the one millionth time…. What does Derek Shelton actually do? What are his job responsibilities? The front office and WDAE say over and over that it’s not his fault that players can’t hit. What is he doing to make us better? Why not replace him to see if it makes a difference? Obviously we haven’t produced squat the entire time he has been here.

    Teams fire hitting coaches all the time. But I honestly believe that the “smartest man in the room” syndrome didn’t leave with JoMa. This front office will never admit that the fans were right the entire time about Shelton.

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  5. Ken J says:

    Injuries are part of the game,even a lot of them. But how does a major league have no position players that can be brought up other than Motter who was hitting .190 and considered the best replacement.

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    • Jim says:

      i could give two craps about injuries, they happen. HAVING no one in our system than can step up and hit over .200 is inexcusable. years of bad drafting and the unwillingness of the front office to actually bring in capable players is finally starting to show.

      There has to be an attempt to make this work. Shelton has to go. i don't care if he is a scapegoat, something has to change. if we're not willing to spend money on bats, then we need someone to make the most out of the talent on the roster. that has to be shelton.

      it will be another uneventful trading deadline. Moore will our only player that draws interest and we'll make the Ray's Way statement after not moving him. "He'll have better value in the offseason."

      Just to play devil's advocate, what trade value does Longo have? i realize that he leads our team in a ton of batting stats, but at what point do we shop him? never?

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      • Matt says:

        Amen to that Jim. Always been baffled by the behavior on the trade deadline. When they were buyers, they were always scared to pull the trigger (i.e. Brignac and Niemann for Bay in 2008). Now that they've been sellers the past few years, they just sit there and trade a minor pen piece, with the exception of the desperation price trade where the jury is still out with Adames.

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  6. monte says:

    It is not fair to suggest management has done nothing to improve the Rays offense. Look at Dickerson's sub 200 BA as an example. He hit over .300 at Colorado. Jennings has not been as pathetic as he is now.

    What a difference it would probably make if we had Kiermaier, Souza, Pearce and Guyer in the lineup. There have to be descent backups, but here we have 4 better players that have to be replaced at the same time.

    I think our bigger problem is pitching. We've seen some recent improvement in the starters (nothing exciting here) but the pen has turned south. It is as though the team can't get all cylinders pumping at the same time.

    Archer, Smyly and Moore are having terrible years. TERRIBLE. None of them can get through 5 or 6 innings.

    I think if we can get everyone back in the lineup we can start scoring runs: Forsythe, Guyer, Longoria, Souza, Morrison, Dickerson, Kiermaier, Miller, catcher should be able to produce more than 4 runs/game.

    There's hope for an above .500 season, but that hope is dim.

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    • Jim says:

      We changed hitting philosophies, we changed lineups, we've changed rosters. we are 70 games into the season and we started 5 players that hit under .200 last night. where is the accountability? derek shelton has to go. is he responsible? maybe so, maybe not. we've tried changing everything else.

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      • Gus says:

        Maybe Cash is the problem?

        But I expect somebody to go, and it probably will be Shelton. But the real people who should be shi*canned are the front office types, the guys who can't sell tickets, who can't get a stadium deal done and who forever cripple the franchise budget. The hitters aren't good enough, flat out.

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        • Jim says:

          HE AIN'T THE SOLUTION!!!!

          cmon Gus, you know there was a mandate put out in 2010 to suppress ticket sales so they could push sooner for a new stadium. is there any doubt about that.?

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        • Chris D says:

          Cash is a problem. So is Sandberg at AAA. Neither guy is performing to the level of Maddon or Montoya.

          Having paid attention to more AAA games than MLB games this year, a thing that Sandberg is doing differently than previous managers is being more swing aggressive. He's letting hitters (even sub-200 hitters like Maile) swing at 3-0 counts and he's never bunting. Seeing as this is going on at the same times the Rays are being more aggressive appears to make this an organization wide thing. Either way though, both Cash ad Sandberg are getting less from their talent than they should.

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          • Rob says:

            I don't think the solution is deciding between a more aggressive or a more patient approach at the plate. This team has a huge problem with making in-game adjustments. They believe their metrics will sort everything out by the end of the year (like a long-term equities investment), but I think they are leaving runs and wins on the table because they refuse to make in-game adjustments. Watching them play the Giants made me realize that the Rays are on an entirely different level than a team of that caliber and professionalism.

            For example, the high fastball was eating up Posey (I think it was the Sunday game) the entire game. He comes up in the 8th inning with a man on and the scored tied. Of course, we go to the well again (no adjustment), but Posey was expecting it and was prepared for it (made an adjustment) and knocked in the go-ahead run on a fastball around his shoulders.

            Also, the Rays have no business taking any plays off. With the talent they have, every play, every pitch is meaningful. Beckham had a play at short where he had more than enough time to set his feet and square his shoulders to first before throwing. Instead, he threw off one foot and 3/4 armed the ball over to the bag, pulling Morrison off and allowing the inning to continue. Errors happen, but a lackadaisical approach to the game is a huge problem for this team. BA was 100% correct that the Rays have no focus.

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