Nothin' like facing the Jays to get the Boston bats going again. And Brad Mills is still a major league quality pitcher, right? I'll be goddamned if that guy doesn't repeat as the PCL pitcher of the year for the next 5 seasons, because I seriously don't want that guy pitching for my team, especially in the AL East.
The worst part about all this is that TB lost last night, which, paired with the Boston win, sort of hurts in terms of Boston missing the playoffs. I figure Tampa needs to win just about all of their remaining games, save for the odd one with the Yankees for Boston to full on miss the playoffs. Heh. I mean I am, and have been, trying to be really optimistic about this. I really like playoff baseball, but Red Sox games are just so hard to watch when Jacoby Ellsbury isn't at the plate. 4.0 games is a fairly big gap for a team to make up in 15 games, and the schedules don't really match up all that well to suit the Rays, though the 4-gamer with the Red Sox (starting tomorrow) is enough to really close the gap and make it interesting.
Tim Wakefield went ahead and picked up his elusive 200th career win last night, despite the -.136 WPA he put up. Sometimes your offense scores 18 runs off of a bunch of rookie relievers though and you pitch to the score. Valuable stat.
JP Arencibia's homer yesterday was enough to get him a Zaunhead. Jose Bautista also destroyed homer #42, and scored his 100th run of the year.
Tyler Kepner of the New York times has a piece about the unreasonable difficulty of the AL East, mostly from the Jays' and Orioles' perspectives.
The newest Elias Rankings are up. Kelly Johnson is now the highest ranked type-B free agent in the 2b/3b/ss division, as opposed to the lower end of the Type-A's that he found himself in last time. Edwin Encarnacion is still nowhere close for some reason, despite being the hottest hitter on the Jays for 2 months straight now. Brett Lawrie is literally one spot behind EE with about a month of playing time under his belt. Great system, really.
Jon Rauch might be in danger of losing his spot after. I remember pointing out the other day that Rauch probably won't lose his place among type-B's, but he actually moved down quite a bit since the last set of rankings, to the point where, since he's not playing anymore, he's not really at a huge risk of become an unranked guy. Not that any of this fucking matters, since nobody in their right mind would give Rauch a raise on the free agent market, making him a lock to accept arbitration, and thus, making the Jays a lock to non-tender that giant piece of shit.
Frank Francisco remains solidly with type-B status, and shouldn't have a problem there. Shawn Camp is battling his way back too, but remains on the outside looking in. Jose Molina is still a type-B, and will probably remain so for the rest of the year.
Ricky Romero pitches today against Boston. Andrew Miller was supposed to pitch for Boston, but yesterday I heard that it's going to be John Lackey. I don't really care all that much either way, since neither is very good.