Rays tank: First place day comes many times a year

Keep that left arm loose, Matt. - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Moore plays catch, throws changeup.

Last night, Alex Cobb was fantastic over six innings, and if he loaded the bases in the seventh with no outs, well, no harm done this time. Alex Torres, Jamey Wright, and Fernando Rodney had everything under control (Wesley Wright didn't, but once again, no harm done this time). It was a thin win. Read the full recap here.

Then, all of us East Coaster's who went to bed at a reasonable time got a gift from the other Bay Area. The Giants, trailing the Red Sox by one, tied the game in the eighth inning, and then won it with a walkoff walk in the ninth. You could read the Giants' recap. It's by Grant Brisbee and is therefore well written, funny, and generally enjoyable. But if you have only time for one, head on over to OTM for your daily dose of schadenfreude. Here's why it's fun: the Red Sox got into a mess in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game, and Koji Uehara, their best pitcher and one of the best pitchers in the league, was never called on to clean it up (or to start the inning, for that matter).

The other big piece of news is that Matt Moore played catch in the outfield yesterday and felt good. He threw his changeup. According to Bill Chastain, Moore says it's the first time he's thrown the change since going on the DL (after feeling discomfort while throwing the change). He gives an August 27th return as his best case scenario.

Other Rays Links

Jason Hanselman looked at how James Loney has been pulling the ball more in the second half of the season, rather than going to opposite field. It's a good look with some really clever graphs that dip into the cause and effect of location and allow the reader to process a lot of information at once.

Robbie Knopf has an interesting take about how David Price throws an inordinate number of fastballs to lefties in two strike counts. I'm not sure I agree with his conclusion though. Over his career, righties have hit Price for a .301 wOBA, while lefties have only managed a .246 wOBA, so I don't see a weakness in his approach, just a peculiarity.

Around the AL East

The Blue Jays are throwing in the towel. Jose Bautista is going on the disabled list for at least two weeks with a bruised hip.

Other Links

Stephen Loftus at Beyond the Box Score examines how starter to reliever conversions effect a pitcher's stats. Of interest due to the Alex Torres transition that's already happened and the possible Roberto Hernandez transition.

Uni Watch came out with baseball power rankings. The Rays come in at #18. I think they should be higher. I've already written Paul Lukas an angry letter, so don't worry.

Eno Sarris  has a great interview with Josh Reddick about changing one's approach. Basically, Reddick says that you can't really do it at the major league level, although you can make minor adjustments.

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