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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: Zorilla. We talked to several Rays fans during and after last night’s game. Based on the recent struggles with the bats, every single one thought the game was over when the Rays fell behind 5-2. It is amazing how much our feelings about the team can change with one swing of the bat. And last night, that one swing was Ben Zobrist’s pinch-hit grand slam. The third grand slam of his young career…BJ Upton’s Golden Glove. Another night, another amazing catch by Upton in center. If you haven’t seen it yet, click on the score above and that link has the video. If Bossman doesn’t win a Gold Glove this season, we’ll be angry. Very angry…Dan Wheeler. Looked like the Wheeler of old. It is amazing how much different he is in the 8th inning as compared to the 9th (the numbers aren’t even close). Last night he came on with the tying run on first and 1 out. He struck out Jermaine Dye and then got Paul Konerko to get out of the inning.

THE BAD: James Shields. His one weakness is that at times his changeup hangs a bit and when it does, he is susceptible to the long ball. Last night he gave up 2 home runs at the worst time, with the score tied 2-2 in the 6th inning…Troy Percival. Yes, he got the job done. And yes, he has some velocity, even reaching 93 at one point. But as one commenter pointed out, Percy was almost exclusively fastballs around 88-90 with no movement. That’s not going to get it done very often.

THE TELLING: Joe Maddon has been planning on giving Ben Zobrist more starts in right field against righties. Zorilla’s grand slam came off of a lefty…Evan Longoria was back in the lineup after missing two straight.

SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Ben Zobrist. Was there any doubt?

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Rays the Stakes wants to know what you think of Kevin Kennedy. [Rays the Stakes]
  • Comcast has reached an agreement with Sun Sports to broadcast the remaining Rays games. [Naples Daily News]
  • Troy Percival says he was trying to overthrow in his first two outings and felt better last night, reaching 93 on the gun. [St. Pete Times]
  • MLB.com has the complete list of 29 not-for-profit organizations that received donations from the Rays Foundation. [MLB]
  • The Rays added a couple of more acts to the Summer Concert Series. [The Heater]
  • The Rays are giving away replica AL championship trophies tonight. [The Heater]

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4 Comments

  1. bobrittner says:

    “Percy was almost exclusively fastballs around 88-90 with no movement. That’s not going to get it done very often.”

    This is very troubling. From where I sat it seemed that Percival was throwing well. He got a routine fly out from the lefty and a strikeout before a ground ball (admittedly hard hit) single. And then it seemed to me the umpire was squeezing him as the pitches looked really close, but of course, I cannot be confident about that. In any case, following the walk, the last out was a weak popup off the end of the bat, so it is possible that his location was good even if his pitches were unimpressive.

    Nonetheless, it would be nice to avoid the 9th inning adventures, and if he really is throwing mediocre and straight fastballs, Maddon will have to be willing to pull him quickly when he struggles.

  2. Next time, you’ll have to talk to me during the game. I really didn’t think it was over (maybe I’m just too much of a homer).

    I think the big problems with the bats are at the 1/2 spot. Bossman and CC are a break in what is otherwise a vicious circle. Right now, they’re the rotten meat between a Aki/Bartlett and Longo/Pena sandwich. Is it cause for concern? Not really. I think Bossman’s still getting his swing in order and CC’s in a little slump. Once those guys start getting hits… watch out!

  3. Oh yeah, it’s hard to believe this is only Bossman’s 2nd year playing CF.

  4. Scot (who is glad to see the Rays & A's) says:

    I like the linking to the box score and the highlights of the game.

    As for Percy – I don’t know which radar gun is being used at the stadium. I’m using the one provided by MLB on GameDay. No pitch in the game showed more than 90 on their data. Final count: 15 pitches, 7 strikes, 8 balls, 13 fastballs (between 88-90 mph with 3 to at most 5 inch break) and 2 changeups (83 mph, with 7 inch break.)

    For comparisons, Shield’s fastballs break between 3 and 7 inches. His curve is beyond 10. They have movement.

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