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: Reality. At least one of the players realizes that not all is well in the Raysiverse. James Shields called this losing streak “embarassing.”
THE BAD: Joe Maddon Occasionally Not Smart. Prior to September, Matt Garza had made one start with at least 118 pitches. He now has 3 straight starts in September with at least 118. With the Rays out of the race, one has to wonder why Garza took the mound in the 8th inning. And we don’t even care about the runs he gave up. For an organization that does so much to protect their pitchers, the best word we can think of is “dumb.”…Offense? The Rays have scored 23 runs in their current 11-game losing streak and 8 runs in their last 7…Playoffs? The Rays are now 72-71 and in very real danger of not even finishing above .500.
THE TELLING: The Rays are now 12.5 game back in the wild card in 4th place and their Tragic Number is now 8…Matt Garza has now set a career high in innings pitched (185) with 3 starts left. James Shields is 1.1 innings away from his 3rd straight 200 inning season…Andy Sonnanstine will get yet another start on Wednesday…Not that it is a great stat, but when looking through some numbers we thought it was funny that Scott Kazmir’s career win percentage with the Rays was .556. Victor Zambrano’s was .565.
SUNBURST PLAYER OF THE GAME: Due to confusion over the double-header and our own absent-mindedness, we are scratching yesterday’s Sunburst.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Pat Burrell tried to check his swing during a pinch-hitting appearance and was called out. Burrell snapped at the umpire and was ejected. But then something strange happened…Joe Maddon kinda threw Burrell under the bus: “From my perspective, I thought he did swing…” [Tampa Tribune]
- Joe Maddon says the bullpen is not tired. At least, not tired physically. [Tampa Tribune]
- Did we miss something? Did somebody accuse of BJ Upton of faking his ankle injury? Or did Bossman start a fire just so he could put it out? [St. Pete Times]
- See if you can follow this logic: The Rays suck now, because they sucked in April. Got that? Yeah, neither do we. [St. Pete Times]
- This will be the Pirates 18th straight year without a 16-game winner. That is the only streak longer than the Rays, because apparently 16 years is longer than “never.” For the record, the Rays have never even had a 15-game winner. [The Hardball Times]
- Marc Lancaster writes about how far Jeff Niemann has come since his first start in April and his Rookie of the Year candidacy. [Tampa Tribune]
- Ken Rosenthal sees how the Rays waited for Scott Kazmir’s value to peak before trading him and wonders if that means they will be less inclined to trade BJ Upton this off-season. He also feels they may be more likely to deal Carl Crawford. [MLB Trade Rumors]
- Vince Naimoli helped improve the student commons area of a school where his daughter is a student. [Venture]
- Proving once again that the only “Next Rays” is the Arizona Cardinal of the NFL, the Cardinals barely sold out their first home game since going to the Super Bowl. [Yahoo! Sports]