The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.
THE GOOD: Needed Win. After the way the Rays lost on Sunday and considering how they have played most of the season on Getaway Day, the Rays needed to come out early and remove any pressure that may have built up over the course of the game. The offense did that with each of the first 6 batters of the game scoring, capped by Carlos Pena’s AL-leading 38th HR…James Shields. It was ugly, but it was effective. With a 6-run lead before even taking the mound, Shields needed to just throw strikes and let the defense make the plays. He gave up 5 runs (4 earned) ultimately, but he only walked 1 and worked 7 innings for the win…Jason Bartlett. 3 more hits to raise his average to .340 including his 12th HR, a 400-foot blast…Big Bats. Carlos Pena and Evan Longoria combined to go 6-10 with 5 runs scored and 5 RBI.
THE BAD: Strange. (ok, this really isn’t bad…) If we had told you back in March that the Rays would play a big game in the middle of the playoff race with Jason Bartlett, Gabe Kapler and Ben Zobrist as the 1-2-3 hitters, you would have laughed.
THE TELLING: The Rays picked up a game on Texas who lost yesterday. The Rays trail the Rangers by just 1 game in the Wild Card…The Rays are 13-2 against the Red Sox at the Trop over the past 2 seasons.
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Carlos Pena
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- If you missed it late last night, Fox Sports is reporting that the Player to be Named Later in the Scott Kazmir deal is one of two players. [Rays Index]
- The Rays will add Jeff Bennett, Shawn Riggans, Fernando Perez and Andy Sonnanstine to the roster today. That means no Reid Brignac, Matt Joyce or Michel Hernandez. However, Marc Topkin does report that more players will be added at a later date. The Rays may be waiting to see how the Wild Card race unfolds and leaving any unneeded players in Durham for their own playoff race. [The Heater]
- Joe Maddon had a telling message for his team prior to yesterday’s game. [Rays Report]
- Joe Maddon is hopeful that a different Andy Sonnanstine is coming back to the Trop. Maddon says that he is hearing The Duke was better against righties at Durham, something he struggled with early in the year…While Sonny is better, it is still not great. While with the Rays earlier this year, right-handed batters were hitting .370. At Durham, the number was still a not-very-good .323. [Tampa Tribune]