Red Sox Rays Baseball

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: 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.



  • 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]




  1. Justin says:

    Let’s hope this is indeed the turning point. Good news about Burrell and practice… he and BJ need it. Navi, well…


  2. MikeD says:

    Good game last night, but a little more consistency would be appreciated. I screamed when PtNB came up, and he proved me right. Sit him. Free Willy. Keep BJ down in the order until he gets over it, and gets hits. Hopefully Price will continue with another good start. I would imagine SOMEONE is on a flight from Pawtucket as we speak. I agree Justin – whup up on Bad Penny, get to the pen, spank some Sox tail again. Can’t wait.

  3. Charles says:

    I smell blood in the water tonight. Brad Penny is not going to go more than 5, the Sox are going to have to get into their bullpen. The Rays have guys who didn’t throw last night, especially Jeff “Sit Down Slider” Bennett, who looks very early on like a great find.

    The key to this game tonight is going to be David Price. How far can he go? If he can even get 7 innings in, the Rays should be able to take this one.

  4. Cougar Bait says:

    Just an FYI, Upton was in the 7 hole last night not 6th. And he showed why. Can Dillon play CF?

    • Cougar Bait says:

      Also, I was at the game so I wasn’t able to hear and commentators…..can someone explain to me why Joe Dillion came in for Ayabr??

      • Joel says:

        Dillon was pinch running. Maddon clearly doesn’t have any faith in Aybar the baserunner – remember when he used Navarro to pinch-run for him?

        • Cougar Bait says:

          Yea, thats what I thought….it just makes NO sense at all, especially with the go-ahead run in front of him on the bases and Dillon being the last bench player we had available.

          • Joel says:

            Maddon was going for the kill. It was bases-loaded with no outs – there was no reason to think at the time that we wouldn’t at least get the guy on third to score. If someone hits a hard single to the outfield, it improved our chances of getting two runs across. I was totally okay with it – better to run out of bench guys than bullpen guys.

  5. Joel says:

    *cough* just one game *cough* Sorry, I had to do it =)

    The funny part is you almost sound more optimistic than me this morning. Maybe it’s the 5-hour game hangover. Maybe it’s the shut-up-about-the-rule-change already hangover. Actually I think the issue is my own worn-out optimism. I work with a couple of Rays fans and one hardcore Red Sox fan. It seems like at least 5 times this year I’ve come to work and told them “That was the turning point win, we’re gonna turn it on now.” It just seems like momentum makes the team press more instead of letting the game happen.

    I think I just need some coffee. Game on indeed!

  6. Joel says:

    I forgot to mention the easily overlooked decision by Maddon that paid off last night: ignoring the pitch-count fiends and leaving Garza in for the 7th. That extra inning he got over Lester was enormous – while we had just put in our long-reliever in the 13th (and still had Choate in the pen), the Red Sox were down to Saito and had Buchholz warming up. In a game where the offense clearly had no interest in driving in baserunners, we were going to need every bullpen out we could get.

    • That’s a great point. When you’re 3rd in the Wild Card this time of the year, you can’t “save” guys anymore. It was a really good move to run Garza back out there. If you notice, Joe is doing that more and more now. He’s giving the starters a chance to keep a good game going with a short leash. Garza rewarded him.

  7. I’d also like to point out how the Victor Martinez trade really didn’t do too much to bolster the Red Sox this year. The essentially traded Lowell’s bat for Martinez in the order, while giving up a pretty good reliever/starter in Masterson. The Red Sox bench was loaded last night (compared to what the Rays have) and it didn’t help them at all in a 13 inning contest. While the Sox are busy collecting 1st baseman, the Rays are busy collecting relievers. How much did the Red Sox miss Masterson last night. Like Friedman says “it’s all about run prevention.”

  8. GatorRaysHead says:

    Great game. Made getting to work tough this morning though. Lets hope Price faces the minimum tonight so we can get some sleep.

  9. Hal says:

    I was at the game last night and was sitting in center near the rays tank. Longoria’s shot in the eighth may have been the hardest ball ever hit. It was screaming when it hit the little strip above the windows above the restaurant and left a viasable dent. Huge win – we have to get tonight as well.

  10. Cougar Bait says:

    Agreed. Last night was great, but it means nothing unless we can win tonight as well.

  11. Sam A says:

    I would have included all the relievers who pitched last night in The Good. Six shutout innings is pretty impressive, especially since the offense choked away so many opportunities.

  12. Don says:

    At least Maddon seems to be “seeing the light” as far as players who should be playing…. and what a more productive line up is!
    Hope he continues and not revert to past mistakes!

  13. Dirtbag Fan says:

    FYI- I’m back from vacation and have re-commenced posting over at Rays the Stakes.

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