Rays Twins Baseball

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.

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: Ben Zobrist. Zorilla hit another pinch-hit home run and is now 3-5 with 2 home runs as a pinch-hitter this season. Both were huge.

THE BAD: James Shields. Shields gives up home runs. Always has, always will. But what he can’t do is walk the leadoff hitter 2 batters before Justin Morneau. And then there is the hit batter with the bases loaded, and the 4 walks total…Willy Aybar. Where did he think he was going when he was thrown out at home by 20 feet?…Troy Percival. Let’s face it, at this point Percy still has decent stuff, but he has no idea where the ball is going. Nobody misses the strikezone by so much on such a consistent basis as Percival…JP Howell. Did his best Troy Percival imperonation by throwing about 126 pitches in the dirt…Baserunning. Stop us if you have heard this before. Two Rays were picked…

THE TELLING: Willy Aybar started at DH as Pat Burrell was pulled from the lineup prior to the game with a stiff neck…According to PECOTA, the Rays now have a 33.4% chance of making the playoffs. The Blue Jays, who lead the division have only an 11.1% shot.

SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Ben Zobrist. Can somebody please find this guy some more plate appearances?


  • In case you missed it, the WAGs list has been updated. [Tampa Bay Rays WAGs]
  • Ryan Fagan has a long interview with Joe Maddon, in which they discuss what Maddon told David Price this spring and how he handles such a young pitching staff. [Sporting News]
  • Interesting. Jason Bartlett only hits home runs when the Rays have a HUGE lead. [Bugs and Cranks]
  • Kenny Powers Rays jerseys? Yikes. And kinda cool. [Deadspin]
  • On Monday, Joe Maddon left Joe Nelson in the game to face Justin Morneau instead of brining in lefty Brian Shouse. Today we find out why. Maddon says Nelson is like having a third lefty in the ‘pen, noting that he likes Nelson against lefties “as much as any left-handed reliever in this league.”[St. Pete Times]
  • The Rays Party wonders why the Rays are holding on to Jason Isringhausen when other options are apparent. [The Rays Party]
  • Gerry Fraley says the Rays post-season run in ’08 is to blame for their rough start in ’09. [Sporting News]
  • Dayn Perry says it is too soon to panic. [Fox Sports]




  1. The telling for me last night: I knew in my gut that they were going to lose the game in the bottom of the ninth. Last year, my gut would’ve told me they were going to win.

    • I think a lot of us are in the same boat. And it makes me wonder how much confidence the team has right now.

    • Dirtbag Fan says:

      I’m with ya. Last year I wouldn’t have had one iota of anxiety coming down the stretch in that game because I’d know the Rays would find ways to score and then the ‘pen would shut ‘em down. This year it’s like bracing myself for the loss as soon as the other team scores.

      It’s reminiscent of the feeling I used to get when Brian Stokes came into the game.

  2. Sublime says:

    I still think it’s too early to hit the panic button, but the lack of run support is making the pitchers have to pitch perfect games in order to get the Win. This was cool last year, but with no pitcher having truly found their groove, makes for a lot of anxious nights.

    What do you guys think about the lack of having defined bullpen roles? Or is this really due to the lack of leads after the 6th inning?

  3. Brian says:

    This may be a long summer ahead of us. The magic is definitely gone this first month of the season. We keep hearing that the Rays were in a similiar position this time last year and went on one heck of a streak. However, this year we are not sneaking up on anyone.

    Is it too early to have a make or break stretch of games? 9 out of the next 11 games are against the Yankees and Red Sox. The Rays need to string some series victories together ASAP, and it begins tonight.

    This team is way too good to be playing like this. ’98 – ’07 we would expect this, but not now.

    Closed door team meeting time Joe.

  4. leningan says:

    I think the next stretch is vital. It was mentioned during the A’s series that a silver lining to the Rays racking up losses was that those losses were outside of the AL East. So, let’s hope that the boys can turn it on for this huge homestand…

    what’s the over/under for fans getting kicked out of Friday’s game?

    I’m going with 20.

  5. Joe D. says:

    The Red Sox seem to bring out the best in the Rays, hopefully we can pick up the win today, With Kaz V. Blackburn, and bring so momentum into this weekend series against the BoSox. This could be a really pivotal early season series.

    The thing about last year is there were flashes early on in the season, the home sweep of the Red Sox, anyone remember Nathan Haynes game winning hit? There was a lot of good things from spring training that carried on into the regular season. Last season, we were getting flirting with .500 with out Kaz and Longo too.

    Maybe the Rays need to be thinking about some call ups from Durham, or making some moves. Maybe I’m way off base here, but last season the Roster was in constant flux. Like acquiring guys like Nathan Haynes, Dan Johnson, calling up Longo, moving Hammel to the ‘pen for Kaz. DFAing Dohmann, DFAing Reyes. This year things haven’t been going so well, and there don’t seem to be any changes in the near future. It’s not as if the Rays don’t have options.

    • Dirtbag Fan says:

      I see Izzy in our future, and maybe an outfielder who’s last name starts with J

      • Joe D. says:

        I really liked the Kapler signing, but he’s done nothing for us yet, I think Gross has some value as a backup OF (mostly defensively). I agree as soon as Joyce starts hitting with some consistency in Durham, he needs to get the call-up.

        I’m curious, when the Rays are ready to call-up Izzy, or any of the other pitchers (Davis, Price, Thayer, Hernandez, ect…) What are some of the ideas that you guys have on who will be DFA, or who will have one of those mystery injuries and go for a trip on the 15 day DL? I’m guessing Percy has one of those mysterious 15 Day DL trips, I don’t object to Wheeler getting DFA.

        • Dirtbag Fan says:

          I don’t think there’s any way Wheeler gets DFA’d. Percy is due for a 15 day vacation. Cormier is a good inning eater, but he seems the most likely to me. Since Nelson showed that he can be brought in v. lefties maybe Shouse is expendable, i’m not sure. I could see a scenario where once Bradford is healthy, he squeezes his way back in but i’m not real certain about that either… who knows.

  6. Joe D. says:

    Okay totally different note, I remember the Rays traded Juan Salas to the Indians for some kid, Isaias Velasquez, I went to look up this kids minor league numbers this year and he’s in the Cincinnati organization. Any one know how Cincy acquired him?

    • Steve says:

      maybe two guys with same name? The guy we got had the game-winning hit for Bowling Green last night. And you can find him on the CORKBOARD in the sidebar under Bowling Green. Click on his name for his current stats

      • Joe D. says:

        Ahh, figured out what it is. I look at minor league stats on thebaseballcube.com, for Bowling Green they have CIN as the organization, probably has something to do with the Rays moving Single A from Columbus, to Bowling Green they haven’t updated their affiliations on thebaseballcube.com yet…

    • Don says:

      WHo gives a s h i t!

      • Joe D. says:

        I do! I grew up in Orlando, and never liked the Braves, we had Minor League Baseball, and Spring Training, thats what I saw and followed. Then we finally had the Marlins. Still, Miami nowhere near Orlando, I didn’t really follow them until they made the playoffs. Then we got the Orlando Devil Rays (AA) and Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and I finally had teams I could root for, and call my own. But I still follow Minor League Baseball, and my teams prospects.

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