Time to bring back the GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
THE GOOD: Carlos Pena. El Gato is finding his groove. Yesterday he hit his 4th home run.
THE BAD: The bullpen. In 24 innings spanning 9 games, the relief corps have given up 15 runs (5.63 ERA) and 44 base runners (28 hits, 19 walks, 1 hit batter)…The baserunning. Two more runners thrown out on the basepaths yesterday. Gabe Kapler was thrown out at third on a 5-3-6 double play for the second out. We are all for agressive baserunning, but in that situation with the top of the order due up and only 1 out, Kapler can’t go unless he knows for certain he will make it. And Michel Hernandez was picked off first. We know Andy Pettitte has one of the all-time moves to first, but Hernandez isn’t a threat to run, which means he should still have his left foot on the bag…Defensive positioning. We don’t mind agressive defense either, but there is zero reason why flyballs should be getting over the heads of BJ Upton and Carl Crawford and actually landing on the field of play. That is too shallow, and it happened for the third time this series in the 8th inning that led to the tying run…Strikezone command. The Rays hitters are second in the AL with 78 strike outs and only 10th in walks with 30. Only the Royals have a worse strikeout-to-walk ratio in the AL.
THE TELLING: Andy Sonnanstine was pulled after 5 innings and only 78 pitches…Tonight’s game marks the 10th day out of 13 straight without an off-day. Thanks to the opening day rain out, this upcoming Monday will be the Rays’ first off-day of the season…Willy Aybar started at third base with Evan Longoria absent…All players wore #42 without nameplates in honor of Jackie Robinson…Jason Bartlett was moved up to the sixth spot in the lineup.
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Carlos Pena. Now if we can just get Pat Burrell to warm up a little more, the Rays might not lose for 2 weeks. Of course, Pena, Burrell and Evan Longoria might also have to be used as relief pitchers, but we can work on that.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays honored their two African-American coaches, George Hendrick and Steve Henderson, by having them throw out the first pitch prior to last night’s game. [MLB]
- Todd Kalas spoke with the Philadelphia Inquirer about his last conversation with his father, Harry Kalas, and the opportunity to work with his dad during the World Series last fall. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
- Carlos Pena was awarded his 2008 Gold Glove prior to the game. [MLB]
- The guys over at Big League Stew debate whether or not teams should award rings for a league championship…We are amazed that the rings and the raising of two banners has been such a big topic of conversation. In one thread debating the raising of an AL East banner, several were arguing that is something that is only done in hockey and basketball (which is not true by the way). Why would it be ok to have divisional championship banners in basketball and hockey where divisions mean so little and yet not ok in baseball where winning the division is still a very big deal? [Big League Stew]
- In case you missed it in the “Down on the Farm” segment, Jason Isringhausen has finally accepted a minor league assignment to Montgomery and eventually to Durham. [St. Pete Times]
- Below…Season 2 of “The Defenders of the Game” has commenced. We know you have been counting the hours.