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: Joe Nelson. Nelson looks to have emerged from his mini-funk and has pitched much better of late, throwing 2 scoreless on Sunday.
THE BAD: Matt Garza. He only allowed 1 run, but it took him 96 pitches to get through 5 innings forcing Joe Maddon to go to the bullpen in the 6th. And it could have been worse. He walked the 8 and 9 hitters to lead off the 5th but got out of it without allowing a run…Grant Balfour. 2 more earned runs for Balfour and his ERA is now 6.31. Balfour was the one reliever whose high innings count last season had us worried…Willy Aybar. Brutal. Just brutal defense the past two days…JP Howell. Before yesterday, Howell was the one dependable arm in the bullpen but his control (and maybe the umpire’s strike zone) eluded him on Sunday…Reid Brignac. It may not have seemed that big at the time, but what the heck happened to Brignac when he was trying to steal in the 7th with the Rays up 3-1? He was out by 20 feet.
THE TELLING: The Rays lead the AL with 244 walks by their hitters. But yesterday they managed only 1 walk against a starting pitcher who entered the game averaging 4.6 walks per 9 innings…Evan Longoria was once again not in the lineup. We are all for being careful, but it seems that EVERY player that has missed time this season has been out longer than was originally planned. Remember when Jason Bartlett wasn’t even supposed to go on the DL? Or when Pat Burrell was day-to-day?
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Gabe Gross
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- No surprise here, but Marc Topkin finally confirmed what we already knew. The Twitter account, @evanlongoria is a fake. [St. Pete Times]
- Joe Maddon has altered the rotation a bit, moving James Shields up a day (will pitch Tuesday) so that he can pitch his next two starts at home and to give Jeff Niemann an extra day of rest. [St. Pete Times]
- No doubt about it, Evan Longoria is having a great season. But one reason that he is tied for the MLB lead in RBI is that he has had more opportunities than anybody else. Longoria has come to the plate this season 231 times. In those plate appearances he has had 114 runners in scoring position, the most in baseball. Only one other player has more than 105, Andre Ethier of the Dodgers (111). By comparison, the co-leader in RBI, Jason Bay has had 92 runners on second and/or third.
- Would you be susprised to learn that Evan Longoria does not lead the Rays in VORP? Jason Bartlett has a 31.8 VORP, good for second in the AL (Joe Mauer 37.1), and ahead of Longo’s 29.8.
- Tyler Hissey is still alive in “BP Idol” and his latest is about Desmond Jennings. [Baseball Prospectus] Brittany Ghiroli is also still competing for the title. [Baseball Prospectus]
- Will Ferrell was heckling Joe Maddon on Saturday, but apparently Dave Martinez said “earmuffs” first. [Rays Report]