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: The Magic Touch. Joe Maddon makes some unorthodox move sometimes. OK. All the time. And sometimes every single one seems to work. Yesterday, JoeMa started Willy Aybar and he hit 2 home runs. He put Jason Bartlett in the leadoff spot and he was on base 4 of 5 times. And he started Pat Burrell in the bench spot and he didn’t kill any rallys…Offense. Sometimes they look great. Zack Greinke entered the game as the AL ERA leader and had not allowed more than 5 earned runs in any start this season. The Rays scored 6 and scored in 4 of the 5 innings he took the mound…Day Baseball. If we were commissioner, we would make sure that every day of the regular season featured at least one day game, especially Mondays. A Rays day game on Monday is like finding a Barbie Big Wheel outside your apartment at 2am – A gift from above.
THE BAD: Scott Kazmir. He would have been pounded by a better team. He allowed more than one baserunner in 3 of the 6 innings and had to battle out of a couple of jams including a bases loaded situation in the 5th. But what really hurts is that even his “good” innings aren’t good. Kazmir needed 18 pitches to get through a 1-2-3 1st inning…In A Nutshell. The last two games sum up the entire Rays season. In one they score 10 runs and look like world-beaters. They look like the best offensive team in baseball, and get contributions from everybody, including 2 home runs from a bench player. In the other, the offense can’t score a run and the Rays somehow lose a game in which the starting pitcher took a no-hitter into the 8th inning.
THE TELLING: If the Red Sox go 29-29 in their final 58 games, the Rays would have to finish 33-23 just to tie. The Rays also have 6 games left with Detroit, 6 with the Rangers and a West Coast trip. Anybody still think there is “plenty of time”?
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Willy Aybar
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Fernando Perez will play in a simulated game on Thursday and begin a rehab assignment with Charlotte after that. Chad Bradford is still a couple of weeks away…In the same piece, Joe Maddon wishes Matt Garza would have chosen his words better when asked about hitting Mark Teixeira on purpose. [Tampa Tribune]
- Joe Maddon may do the impossible. He is considering some changes to the lineup with Jason Bartlett moving to leadoff and Pat Burrell possibly sharing his DH role with Willy Aybar. [St. Pete Times]
- Jason Bartlett says that when Willy Aybar is in the lineup, “everybody gets happy”. [St. Pete Times]
- John Romano argues that it is time to move BJ Upton out of the leadoff spot. [Point After]
- Joey Johnston discusses the Rays trade deadline acquisition – A rejuvenated Scott Kazmir. [Tampa Tribune]