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: Running Start. For all the bad, the Rays are now 19-20 in steal attempts this season. Before leaving the game yesterday, BJ Upton was on the move during Carl Crawford’s at bat, which avoided the double-play and he kept going when he stole third a few pitches later.
THE BAD: Rays Not Down With OBP. The Rays are now 9th in the AL with a .333 OBP. On top of that, Rays hitters are second in the AL, having struck out 109 times, but are only 9th in walks with 43. Yesterday it was 9 more K’s and not a single walk…Helium-Filled ERA Baloon. The Rays starters now have a 5.26 ERA (9th in AL) and the bullpen’s ERA is 5.59, good for 8th in the AL…Getting Beat By Wrong Guys. The bottom 3 in the White Sox lineup went 7-14 with a walk…Defensive Shifts. Call it bad luck? Once again Joe Maddon had one of his defensive alignments come back to haunt him. With one out and the bases loaded and Jim Thome up, Maddon had shortstop Ben Zobrist shifted to the rihgt side of second base. Thome hit a ground ball directly at Zobrist. Zobrist was unable to turn two and end the inning because there was nobody to cover second base. Instead, a run scored.
THE TELLING: Today is the Rays first off-day of the season…On this date last year, the Rays had a losing record and were in last place of the AL East after 18 games…Joe Maddon had a makeshift lineup yesterday with Michel Hernandez behind the plate, Evan Longoria at DH, Willy Aybar at third and Ben Zobrist at shortstop.
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Ben Zobrist. He didn’t get the start on Saturday, but he did come through with 2 hits on Sunday and the Rays only 2 RBI.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- BJ Upton tweaked his quad muscle and was pulled from the game. He is not expected to miss any more time.
- From Marc Topkin: Pat Burrell was an option quarterback in high school and claims he could run back then…Joe Nelson was a high school basketball teammate of Jason Kidd…BJ Upton bought the entire Charlotte team dinner at Outback Steakhouse and gave the team new speakers for the clubhouse and weightroom. Nice gesture for a player still making near the big league minimum. [St. Pete Times]
- Joe Maddon spoke about his decision to start Gabe Kapler in right on Saturday one day after Ben Zobrist hit the go-ahead grand slam off of a lefty. Maddon said that this is why Kapler was brought in and they’ve “got to get him going.” [Tampa Tribune]
- John Romano explains why it is too early to panic. [St. Pete Times]
- The Rays averaged 28,986 in attendance for the first 7 home games. At the same point last year the average was 18,159. [St. Pete Times]