Rays Blue Jays BaseballTime 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: Jeff Niemann. The Giraffe was the master of pitch efficiency needing less than 10 pitches in 3 innings and less than 15 in 2 others…Joe Maddon. With the score 0-0, a runner on 3rd and just 1 out in the 2nd, Maddon went against the book and brought the infield in. The gamble paid off as Niemann got a ground ball to short followed by a flyball to center to get out of the inning without allowing a run…Carl Crawford. Two pitches after just missing a home run foul and with Roy Halladay distracted by BJ Upton running around the bases, CC launched ano-doubt home run to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.

THE BAD: Niemann With Runners On. Teams are going to continue running wild on Niemann until he figures out how to hold them closer to the bag. Luckily the Jays didn’t have many men on base last night as he gave up just 1 steal. But it was Scott Rolen stealing third without a throw, for just his 3rd steal of the year. That could have been disastrous, and on many nights it will cost Niemann runs.

THE TELLING: Willy Aybar got the start at second base, spelling Ben Zobrist for the night…If the Rays win the division or make the playoffs by just 1 game, they can look back to this game. Jeff Niemann versus Roy Halladay should be a loss 9 out of 10 times. Winning this game was an absolute bonus. Like a free win. And who doesn’t love free stuff?…The Rays are 34-21 since May 1st, the best record in the AL over that span…The Rays now have the 4th 6th best record in all baseball and yet are only 3rd in the AL East.

SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jeff Niemann.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • A big point of emphasis this season for Joe Maddon has been 2-strike hitting and the Rays have gone from 23rd last season to 2nd this year in those situations. [St. Pete Times]
  • You might think it is just Rays versus Jays. And you would be wrong. [Trop It Like It's Hot]

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4 Comments

  1. Don says:

    I think they threw Niemann to the wolves (changing rotation) figuring that it was a good shot to get beat by Halladay anyway…
    Now if I was the rookie I would tell the older guys(pitchers)…
    “Hey I did my job, now its your turn”
    I can just see Garzas and Shields face…..

  2. Pudieron says:

    On the offensive side, “Pat the Fat” went yard, CC showed why he should be an all-star, and Bossman showed hustle. In fact, BJ ran down some great plays in the outfield too, including the shallow fly ball where he and Bartlett had a collision. Maybe they’ve been reading the blog and decided to prove you wrong?

    I really, really think trading CC would be a bad idea. He’s so much of the dynamic in the lineup, and is the best left-handed bat in the lineup even when Aki gets back. When he and Upton are hitting well at the top of the lineup, they can carry the team or catalyze the rest of the lineup by creating distractions on the basepaths, just as they did with Halladay and Accardo last night. If anything, I say that I like Aki too, but we’re proving that we can play great baseball without him. If Sternberg has to cut some roster budget, I say go with Aki.

    • I have praised Upton’s defense forever. And it wasn’t like Burrell hit 15 home runs last night, raised his OBP 50 points and suddenly lost 15 pounds. Never said he couldn’t hit a home run. Am just worried that he is not in his typical peak condition which MAY cause him to hit fewer home runs.

  3. Scot says:

    Just a correction. Yes the Rays are the best team since their 8-14 start, but at the moment; however, they have the 6th best record. (Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees, Angels, Tigers.) I suspect what the Prof is saying that by the time they leave Toronto, they will have the 4th best record.

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