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: David Price. Not great for certain. Walking 5 batters, including 2 batters leading off an inning, never is good. But after the first 2 batters of the game got on base, he retired 8 in a row. Later he retired 8 of the final 9 batters he faced…Joe Nelson. With 1 out in the 7th and the tying run at the plate, Nelson replaced David Price. One pitch later, the Rays were out of the jam thanks to a 6-4-3…Gabe Kapler. Kapler was 11-22 in interleague play. There has been some chatter in the comments that his recent hot streak coincides directly with the arrival of his wife after their children finished the school year. In other words, Rays should look to move Kapler prior to Labor Day…Carlos Pena. A week ago, Pena bunted against the shift with the bases empty and 2 outs. That is not good because he is no threat to steal and get into scoring position. Yesterday, he bunted for a single leading off an inning. That is the ideal time.
THE BAD: Bradford And Howell. They sure tried to make things interesting in the 9th before JP Howell finally struck out Ross Gload with the bases loaded to end the game…Kevin Kennedy. Does he ever work? And is that a bad thing?.
THE TELLING: The Rays became the fastest team ever to reach 100 home runs and 100 steals…The Rays are 20-5 in their last 25 home games after starting the season 6-8 at The Trop…The Rays will play 18 of their remaining 85 games against the Blue Jays (21.2%).
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: BJ Upton. He led off the 3rd with his 6th home run and then in the next half-inning, with the tying runs on base, he ran down a flyball to deep center to end the threat.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon chose to push Jeff Niemann back to tonight’s game because he wanted to “go all righties” against the Blue Jays. He also noted that he may adjust the rotation again to separate the rookies Niemann and David Price, the next time through. With the a day off on Thursday, Matt Garza will probably go on Sunday on his normal rest, which would push Niemann back to Tuesday (July 7) on 7 days rest. [Tampa Tribune]
- David Chalk of Bugs and Cranks has an exclusive photo of JC Romero attacking a Rays fan that looks an awful lot like Edward Norton. [Bugs and Cranks]
- The Rays played host to their second-round pick, Kenny Diekroeger, a shortstop who is trying to decide between Stanford and the Rays. [MLB]
- 4 of the top 5 teams in Baseball Prospectus’ power rankings reside in the AL East (thanks Scot). [Baseball Prospectus]
- Remember when some people were preaching what a steal Eric Hinske would be for a team this year? Yeah, not so much. [North Side Notch]
- Martin Fennelly notes that the Scott Kazmir of old has returned, but wonders if it will last. [Tampa Tribune]