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: Jeff Niemann. The AL Rookie of the Year race is going to be close (see below) but Niemann is making a late charge and pitching in a pennant race is only going to help his cause. Especially if he continues to throw gems like yesterday, 8 innings, 1 run on 4 hits. Most impressive was the 7 strikeouts and no walks…Jason Bartlett. The home runs have come to a screeching halt, but the hits haven’t. His 2-run triple in the first and subsequent dash home on the throwing error was all Jeff Niemann would need…Catch-Throw-Catch-Collision. Great job by both Carl Crawford with the throw to the plate to nail a runner in the 5th and an even better job by Navi to convince the runner that the throw wasn’t going to be close. Oh by the way, Crawford added his 11th home run and already matched his career-high with his 37th walk…Jeff Bennett. The Rays added the relief pitcher earlier in the day and made his debut the same day, striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced with a 92-93 mph fastball and a very nice slider.
THE BAD: Blackouts. We love Dave and Andy. Really, we do. But we prefer when we have choices.
THE TELLING: Thanks to 3 straight losses by the Yankees, the Rays are now just 5 back in the East, but still 4.5 back of Boston in the Wild Card, 2 behind the Rangers…The three leading candidates for AL Rookie of the Year are likely Brad Bergesen (7-5, 3.43 ERA, 2.3 WAR), Ricky Romero (9-4, 3.59, 1.6) and Jeff Niemann (10-5, 3.62, 1.9). Anybody we are missing?
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Jeff Niemann
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Today is Scott Kazmir bobblehead day. That would have been awkward had he been traded.