Athletics Rays Baseball

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: James Shields. Show of hands: How many of you think Shields would have allowed both of those runners to score in the 7th? And how many of you think Shields could have also at least started the 8th?…Zorilla. As great as his offense has been, we must admit, the defensive play is just as surprising. Not great, but he has definitely improved and it doesn’t matter where Joe Maddon puts him. Yesterday he was in right field and immediately contributed by throwing out a runner at home…Pat the Bat. It is not really the lack of home runs that have bothered us. It is the lack of RBI doubles. Those are the hits that Burrell should be delivering on a regular basis. And yesterday he did with 2 RBI.

THE BAD: Joe Maddon. Did JoeMa pull James Shields too early, having thrown only 89 pitches? Sure looked like it. Maddon said he was concerned after the walk. It wasn’t like Shields was all of the sudden walking the ballpark. It was his first walk of the day. Shields has been hampered by poor run support this season. Yesterday he was hampered by poor managerial support…The Bullpen. Maybe Dan Wheeler and JP Howell thought they were still wearing the Devil Rays jersey.

THE TELLING: Carl Crawford was given the day off…The Rays finished the first-half 48-41, 6.5 games behind the Sox and 3.5 behind the Yankees. At the all-star break last year, the Rays were 55-39, one-half game behind the Red Sox, depite having lost 7 in a row. CoolStandings.com gives the Rays a 37.1% shot at the playoffs, while PECOTA says it is 20.9%.

SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Ben Zobrist. 2 hits, scored a run and nailed a runner at the plate. Might have gone with James Shields if Joe Maddon leaves him in for 2 more outs. Not Shields’ fault, but wasn’t given the chance.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Updates will be limited this week since we were not selected to represent the Rays in the All-Star game.
  • We reported yesterday that Carlos Pena was named to the all-star team as a replacement. Well, he will also participate in the home run derby contest tonight. We also love this quote from ‘Los: “This is a huge deal to me,” Pena said. “I’m not going to even pretend to play it cool.” [Tampa Tribune]
  • With Dustin Pedroia off the all-star squad, and Carlos Pena on, Ben Zobrist will not be the starting second baseman, with Joe Maddon electing to go with Aaron Hill. Of course we are biased, but it would have been fitting if Zorilla would have been called upon to start at second base with the starter unable to play.
  • Dioner Navarro was a little woozy on Saturday night after taking a foul tip off the mask, but tests showed he did not suffer a concussion and he is expected back Friday. Navi says he does not remember the pitch…Also, Grant Balfour went back to Australia to attend his grandfather’s funeral and Shawn Riggans will begin a rehab assignment today with Charlotte. [Tampa Tribune]
  • The voice for moving the Rays to Tampa is getting a little louder. 10 fans have started a grassroots effort that we have a feeling will become much larger. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Martin Fennely is tired of Stuart Sternberg’s banter about a new stadium. [Tampa Tribune]
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6 Comments

  1. MikeD says:

    Looks like a 3 way tie for second for the SPOG contest, if my ciphering is right. Congratulations to Martin B. for his win. And Cork, thank you for doing this for the first half. I looked forward to seeing the SPOG post, and the results the next day. Helped me to be more involved with following the Rays, and keeping up with this, the best Rays site.

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    • KillaTapes says:

      Damn man, if Shields could've just stayed in an extra inning or two, I might be in there! Oh well, shoulda-coulda-woulda don't cut it. It was fun to try to pick these throughout the half.

      Any chance on a second half test of similar proportions?

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  2. Don says:

    You would think I would be use to it by now...but its still hard to take!
    That is: Maddons insistance to "under utilize" the talent he has available..
    Shields is our BEST pitcher...I will accept it if HE gets beat..Why pull him?
    Crawford given a day off when he might play 1 or 2 innings(all star game) in the next five days...please give me a break, is he tired?? Did he ask not to play? Can he rest this week? How old is he.... 40??
    Many sing Maddons praises, but I could see more success with someone who uses the BEST players available....maybe that just me.....

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  3. I think that the Rays should've traded Adam Kennedy to a national league team.

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  4. Sam A says:

    Wheeler got tagged with the loss and Howell did have a rare bad outing, but the reliever I'm becoming quite frustrated with is Bradford. If you look beyond the ERA he has been abysmal. No way should he be used in any situation when the game is on the line and someone else is available. He needs to be demoted to the back of the 'pen until he proves he can get big league hitters out.

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    • Beth says:

      Bradford has not been at all effective since returning. I dont' think that ERA is a great way to evaluate relief pitchers, especially not over just a few innings of work...because often they are letting in runs that get charged to someone else. (Personally, I think a pitcher should only be "responsible" for runners left in scoring position -- I'm sure Shields' ERA is at least partly jacked up by how often his relievers let him down).

      I'm most concerned about Choate and Cormier -- until their last two or three outings they've been such a nice boost for the Rays. Why the change?

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