Phillies Rays 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: Matt Garza. He walked 3 and hit a batter, but didn’t allow a hit until the 5th and lasted 8 innings (117 pitches), giving the bullpen the night off…Pat Burrell. They say Pat Burrell is streaky. He hit his second home run of the season to start the scoring. Let’s see if he gets hot…Hustle. With the bases loaded and 2 outs inthe 8th and the score 2-1, Jimmy Rollins sat back and waited for a routine groundball and Ben Zobrist beat the throw to second base, allowing a run to score and extending an inning in which the Rays would score 5.

THE BAD: Upton Is Fast? How does BJ Upton get thrown out at home by Matt Stairs. We don’t care if Stairs caught the ball standing on second base and there was a Mack truck blocking home plate. No way BJ should ever be thrown out at home with his speed…Lollygagging. Carl Crawford was out at third going for a triple after not running hard between home and first and later BJ Upton was lucky to make it to second on a double after doing the same thing…Joe Blanton? After Pat Burrell’s home run, Joe Blanton retired 11 of the next 13 and at one point struck out 5 of 6 batters. Twice in the game, Blanton struck out the side, and finished the game with 10. It was only the second time this season Blanton struck out more than 7…Longo’s Hammy. Evan Longoria was pulled from the game in the 8th after feeling a “twinge” in the same hamstring that sidelined him a couple of weeks ago.

THE TELLING: Jason Bartlett tied the Rays team record by extending his hitting streak to 18 games…The Phillies closer, Brad Lidge, is expected to come off the DL in time for tonight’s game.

SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Pat Burrell. If The Bat gets hot, the Rays could be unstoppable offensively.


  • Evan Longoria says the hamstring issue is not as bad as it was earlier this month and hopes to play today. He also notes that his hamstring hasn’t been 100% since coming back…We would be surprised if Dirtbag is in the lineup today, and it wouldn’t surprise us to see the Rays shut him down for a handful of games to make sure the hammy heals completely this time. [The Heater]
  • Jon Heyman says the Rays are indeed interested in trading for a closer but that they cannot add payroll, calling it a “tough task.” []
  • Marc Topkin looks at the different options the Rays have with the rotation with a decision looming. [St. Pete Times]
  • Rob Neyer asks a good question: Why were the Devil Rays able to draw so many fans in 1998 (7th in attendance) and 1999 (10th) but can’t in 2009 (24th)? In other words, why was the novelty of a new team more attractive than the defending AL Champs and with all of the excuses being tossed about, why were fans able to overcome those back then? [ESPN]
  • The Rays Party offers a simple solution: Lower the ticket prices…The problem with that is that it alienates the Rays most important fans, the season ticket holders that have already paid a certain amount for the same seats. Those people would demand a refund. [The Rays Party]
  • The Rays Party addresses whether Ben Zobrist is more valuable as a utility player…We are still waiting for somebody to explain what the difference is between a utility player and a super utility player. [The Rays Party]
  • Julianna Zobrist was sing the national anthem tonight. [MLB]




  1. Toby says:

    Are you serious with your bashing of Upton getting thrown out at home? Stairs was practically at shortstop, and BJ still beat the throw. If the catcher hadnt done such an excellent job of blocking the plate, he would have been clearly safe.

    • Brixology says:

      Foley shouldn't have sent him. Not with 0 outs.

    • What I am saying is that the play was bad. Stairs would be a DH in the AL and Upton is one of the fastest players in the game. If under those circumstances it is going to be a bang-bang play, maybe he shouldn't have gone.

      • Michael says:

        I agree that we shouldn't bash Upton for lack of hustle on that play -- having watched the play I had no reason to think he wasn't going all out. Foley probably should not have sent him, as it was a very shallow fly ball on Stairs had all him momentum going towards the plate. Then again, it was still a close play where the Rays made the Phillies 1) make a throw right on the money (didn't even require the throw to be strong) and 2) have the catcher block the plate perfectly. The Phillies executed on both accounts, had they been slightly off on either end Upton probably would have been safe.

        Didn't seem a whole lot different from the play in the ALCS where Perez scored from third against JD Drew. That fly ball was slightly deeper
        and Drew has a better arm than Stairs, but Drew camped under the ball instead of catching it on the run and his throw was also offline a little bit if I remember correctly.

        I was at work and didn't get to see Crawford thrown out at third or Upton barely make it to second on his double.

      • Toby says:

        Then place the blame on Foley, not Upton.

  2. Amanda says:

    What what what? No lollygagging video?!?!

  3. Scot says:

    First of all - the reason there was no scoring between the 1st and 8th innings is because I had to leave to attend some chores. Just after Pat "the wet noodle" didn't strike out and happen to mimic a real offense-threat, Jason Bartlett, I left the house. I returned in the bottom of the eighth just as the Rays loaded the bases. 5 runs later, the game was over.

    Sorry - I'll inform my family of my duty to watch all the games - the team needs me.

    Hmmm, I doubt management spent $16 million (plus insurance costs and other overhead) to watch their big free agent signing hit 1/7th the number of homeruns of a player who barely hit 1 dinger last year. At least Pat is up to 2/7th of Bartlett's number.

    Finally, can you name the Rays most overrated positional player last year? Can you name the Rays most underrated positional player this year? If you said Bartlett-Bartlett, you are the winner.

    Using VORP, even with his time on the DL, Jason Bartlett is currently the Rays most productive positional player this year. In fact, he is 2nd most productive in the AL after Joe Mauer. Statistically, he is performing so much better than predicted, MLB might target him for PED watch.

    If we include fielding, Longo is still the king. Already this year, his glove has saved nearly 10 extra runs above the average third baseman. Overall, he has been the best positional player in the AL. Zack Greinke has been the best overall - by quite a margin.

  4. Charles says:

    As far as closers go, it might be possible to pry Jose Valverde away from the Astros and get them to eat his salary for a decent prospect. He was hurt earlier this year but is back now. Problem is, you have to wait for the Astros to think they're out of it, which is bound to be long after they're ACTUALLY out of it.

    Manny Corpas of Colorado was another guy I thought might work (younger & cheaper than Valverde and out of favor with the Colorado guys), but of course Colorado is making a run now so they'll probably stand pat.

    Gammons had mentioned that the Rays were among those interested in Ryan Spillborghs, but I think the senility must be setting in or something - that move would make no sense for the Rays.

  5. Mark says:

    Burrell can get hot you are right about that Professor. I would think that there wasn't a whole lot to hate about this game overall. Upton and Crawford are agressive base runners, so the fact that they got thrown out comes with the territory.

  6. Amanda says:

    Woot! While Whitney Johnson was giving his update from the Trop on The Sports Animal just now, you could hear Julianna Zobrist singing in the background. Sounded great!

  7. Ken Kandefer says:

    Does anyone know who made the decision and why the decision was made to wait 4 weeks before Aki had his knee surgery? It is great news about Aki, but if they had operated on his knee shortly after his injury on 5/24, he would be back with the team between 7/5 and 7/19 given the 6 to 8 week recovery period. We could have had him on the team no later than after the All-Star Break!!!

    • I don't know if this was the case with Aki, but if there is any swelling, they have to wait for that to go down before they can perform surgery.

      • Amanda says:

        I'm pretty sure that was the case, Cork. If I remember correctly, there was massive swelling around his knee. I bet that's also why they weren't sure of the severity at the time, because it was so swolen, they couldn't tell for sure.

    • bobrittner says:

      Here is one discussion of the question, from Will Carroll at BP:

  8. Scot says:

    Serious question - is Pat getting fat?


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