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: Evan Longoria. Before he won the game in the 13th with a 2-run walk-off home run, Dirtbag twice saved the game. First was the solo home run in the 8th that tied the game. Then it was the picture perfect 5-3 double-play with the bases loaded in the top of the 10th. But it was the home run in the 13th that provided the Rays with their first magical moment of the 2009 season…Jason Bartlett. Barty did nothing to indicate that Joe Maddon made the wrong decision having him lead off. He was on base 4 times…Grant Balfour. 97mph last night. Where has that been all year?…Garza the Good. Only 3 hits in 7 innings against the Red Sox is a masterful performance. He struck out 6 and walked only 2. And even though he looked a bit unhinged after the second home run, he did manage to retire 6 of the final 7 batters he faced…Pennant Race? GAME. ON!
THE BAD: Garza the Bad. 2 of the 3 hits were home runs and after the second, you could see Garza going through one of his tween tantrums, stomping around behind the mound. Offensive Struggles. The Rays strike out a lot. 16 times last night. Evan Longoria and BJ Upton each struck out 4 times. The Rays are 3rd in MLB in Ks. Each strikeout is only 1 out, but often they are worse than a regular out, because a strikeout gives the runners zero opportunity to advance and last night the Rays left 15 runners on base…Missed Opportunities. Bases loaded with no outs should be a guaranteed run or two. A team might go all season and fail to score in that situation 2 or 3 times. The Rays did it twice last night. Once in the 8th and again in the 10th. The also just missed a chance at a go-ahead run because of a strange deadball play in the 8th and again in the 10th when Carlos Pena hit a linedrive off the top off the right field wall.
THE TELLING: The Red Sox used every relief pitcher and had Clay Buchholz warming up in the 13th. They are likely to call up a relief pitcher today…BJ Upton was dropped to 6th in the batting order and Pat Burrell was dropped from the lineup completely…It was the Rays longest game of the season in both innings and time, taking 4 hours, 57 minutes.
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Evan Longoria.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Smith explains why the Rays were not given a go-ahead run in the 8th inning. [The Heater]
- BJ Upton commented before the game about being dropped from the leadoff spot, saying he is a “little upset” and that he disagrees that there will be less pressure down in the order…Also, Pat Burrell took extensive batting practice prior to the game. [St. Pete Times]
- Joe Henderson says last night’s victory could be the turning point for the Rays. [Tampa Tribune]
- Around the Majors revisits the Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano trade and all the signs that Jim Duquette missed. [Around the Majors]
- Some signs for Joe Maddon on his bike ride. [Trop It Like It's Hot]