Rays White Sox BaseballThe 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: CC’s HR. The most exciting moments in baseball include stealing home, the 9th inning of a no-hitter and the inside-the-park home run. CC was the only Rays hitter with more than one hit and one was a doozy, his 9th home run…David Price. 4 runs in 6 innings is never good, but you can see the kid maturing. We usually hate the excuse that it was “1 bad pitch,” but for a rookie going through growing pains, that can be a good sign. Last night it was a slider that didn’t slide. He’ll learn. And only 2 walks (3 in last 2 starts), shows that he may have gotten over his tendency to come unhinged for short spurts.

THE BAD: Do Rays Need A Stop Sign? We love aggressive baserunning, but you have to be smart about it. With 1 out in the 8th and men on first and second, the Rays were primed to tie the game with BJ Upton, Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria due up. But Jason Bartlett and BJ Upton ran the Rays out of the inning. Bartlett was caught stealing third and Upton failed to follow on the steal, remaining at first…Willy Aybar. Ben Zobrist will likely never be a gold-glove middle infielder. That is not a knock. He has actually become a very good second baseman. But watching Willy Aybar play second base this season makes Zobrist look like a gold-glover. 2 errors last night in the 7th somehow did not cost the Rays a run…Solo HRs Are Lonely. The Rays scored 3 runs. They also hit 3 home runs.

THE TELLING: The Rays are now 4.5 back in the East with the Red Sox and Yankees tied for first…Jeff Niemann will be the starter tonight on 9 days rest. Niemann has 7 starts this season on extra rest and he is 6-0 with a 2.44 ERA…Carl Crawford’s inside-the-park home run was the first at Comiskey since 2000. It was also CC’s third of his career, which ties him for the lead among active players and it was the 8th in team history.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Scott Kazmir feels he can go on Thursday, but Joe Maddon is hesitant to name him the starter. If Kaz can’t go, Marc Topkin speculates that it would either be Matt Garza on short rest or Wade Davis from triple-A…Topkin also ponders potential moves to make room for the return of Brian Shouse. [St. Pete Times]
  • Martin Fennelly says that if the Rays want to go to the playoffs, they need to win more games…Brilliant! [Tampa Tribune]
  • Not using Twitter? Or even if you are, here is a great guide to the Rays coverage in the Twitterverse. [Rays Revolutionary]
  • Bill Marshall makes a case for Ben Zobrist as the AL MVP. [mlive.com]
  • Is Jonny Gomes, the ’09 version similar to Gomes, the ’06 version? [MLB Notebook]

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14 Comments

  1. Brian says:

    I was at the game last night and the JB caught stealing totally took the wind out of our sails. The reaction in the dugout after that was not good.

  2. Jeff A. says:

    Anybody remember a guy named Eric Hinske? (I thought he might’ve made a mention in today’s “The Telling”.) Hinske has five hits since coming over to the Yanks – 4 of them home runs – and last night he tied the game at one in the bottom of the second. Meanwhile Pat “the Bat” Burrell had another 0-fer. Oops.

    • Don says:

      Someone wrote early this year: “that the Hinske (get rid of) decision could come back to haunt the Rays”…we will see…

      • I’m not going to worry about what Hinske’s doing in New York… it’ll drive me crazy. But, I will say this for PtB… he needs to step up in these next three games. They brought him and Gabe Kaplar in for stretches like this where the Rays have to face 3 lefties in a row.

  3. Don says:

    Bartletts Big Decision:

    Get this: Maddon says “he didn’t know anything about the decision to steal”…plus 3rd base coach,1st base coach, and Upton just standing around like nothing going on…
    You would think in a 1 run game, late innings, SOMEONE would have a PLAN on what SHOULD be done ….But maybe… thats just me….

  4. Pudieron says:

    I think he was just trying to do too much. Emotion running high in the 8th inning of a game they were behind in, for the FOURTH game in a row, it was almost as if the expectation was there that they should do it again, and they were in prime position. It was disheartening to see JB caught, especially when CC came back with a single to left that very well could have brought in the tying run if JB had sat or even if BJ had followed. But I think as far as losses go, this was not the worst one. The Rays hung around again in a tough road game and showed life late in the game in both the 8th and 9th, even with 2 outs. The bullpen didn’t pitch especially well, but pitched effectively to get out of tough spots. As did Price for that matter. And like Staats and BA said all night, they pitched like that while letting the leadoff man on base in 6 or 7 of the 8 innings. Talk about pressure. Anyways, I feel like we played well last night, despite not winning. I didn’t watch Maddon’s postgame, but I’m sure he said some optimistic things for the rest of the road trip.

    • Beth says:

      If we’re looking for positive moments — I thought Price’s strikeout of Konerko (forget what inning) was really memorable. Konerko had hit the 3 run homer, and then wallops two balls that just go foul. For Price to come back and strike him out tells us something about Price’s determination and ability.

  5. Brett says:

    As for Fennelly saying we need to win more games to get to the playoffs. Did he not see that we are 7-3 in our last 10? We’ve consistently been playing .600 or above baseball for the last month or so, give or take. Have a little patience.

  6. Fennelly’s column: Blah, blah, blah. 3-1 since the All-Star break and that’s what he comes up with? The White Sox aren’t a pushover team. They got really amped for this season.

    The Rays still control their own destiny. If they want to win this division, they’re going to have to beat Boston and New York head to head. 17 games against those 2 teams left. Win a good 2/3rds of those and you’ll be playing in the postseason. If not, you’ll be watching from home.

  7. rayhawk says:

    Boy I got the feeling that this series is going to be a 27 out WAR. These teams do not like each other, as well as the cws catcher, who uses playground antics…..Lets keep fouling balls off AJ.

    • Don says:

      AJ broke the Rays backs last night…catching our “expert” base runners
      on not so good decisions…
      Pin the loss on mistakes…plenty of them….

  8. TOBY says:

    How is BJ at fault for not stealing second base? Bartlett stole on his own, and got a horrendous jump. If a double steal occurs, many times a catcher will throw behind and get the man tryng to steal second because they arent able to get as good of a jump. Having said that, BJ would have been out by a mile if the catcher decided to throw to 2nd.

    The pitcher had done an inside move multiple times to slow down the running game during that at bat. When stealing 3rd base, it is almost entirely on the pitcher. Bartlett made an awful decision to go,yet somehow BJ is at fault as well…. Sorry, but this is not an instance you can blame BJ.

    • Even if Bossman gets thrown out at 2nd, you still have Bartlett at 3rd for CC’s single. However, Maddon said that he had wished Bartlett pulled up when he didn’t get a good jump. Maybe that’s why Bossman doesn’t go there. If Bartlett stops, bossman gets hung out.

      • TOBY says:

        Michael,

        That’s the point. The only reason to risk stealing 3rd in that situation is to get a guy on 3rd with less then 2 outs. Bartlett is usually great at stealing 3rd, but he got an atrocious jump and should have held up.

        If he gets a good jump, and BJ is able to read that, then BJ might have been able to get to 2nd. But when a guy goes on his own, the man on first usually cant get a good jump and is in jeopardy of getting thrown out if he tries to steal as well.

        The simple fact is that Bartlett should have held up when he got a poor jump. BJ plaed it safe, which is what Bartlett should have done with the best hitters on the team coming up.

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