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: BJ UPTON. Dude is red hot and it sure looks like our Bossman is back. This time it was an opposite-field 3-run home run, his 4th home run of the road trip. BJ hasn’t looked this comfortable at the plate since the 2008 playoffs…PLAYING FOR 1 RUN. We are not big fans of the sacrifice bunt and Joe Maddon usually isn’t either. But yesterday he played for 1 run in the first innings when Carl Crawford bunted Jason Bartlett to third. Bartlett then scored on Ben Zobrist’s groundout for the early lead…NIEMANN’S ESCAPE. The Sox had runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs in the first and second innings. In the third he walked the leadoff hitter. In the 4th the Sox had second and third. And in each case he escaped without allowing a run. Then he settled down and retired 9 in a row until a 2-out single in the 7th…THE BAT. A 6-game hitting streak for Pat Burrell. 3 more hits yesterday. It was only his second 3-hit game with the Rays. Don’t look now, but Burrell is hitting .270…JASON BARTLETT. Bartlett was in an 0-14 funk before getting 3 hits yesterday.

THE BAD: TRUFFLE SHUFFLE. OK, he had 3 hits and we love his newfound enthusiasm and hustle. But what the hell was Pat Burrell thinking when he tried to stretch his wall-ball into a double in the 6th? He was out by 15 feet…STRIKEZONE. When Ben Zobrist is dropping F-bombs, the home plate umpire is not doing a good job.

THE TELLING: We know spring training means little, but the Rays are now 9-0-1 against the Red Sox this season including the spring…This was the 4th time the Rays have swept a 4-game series on the road and first since 2008 (Baltimore)…Matt Garza is the first AL pitcher in 20 seasons (Roger Clemens 1991) to go at least 8 innings in each of his first three starts and allow no more than 1 run in each start. Clemens won the Cy Young award that season.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 10-3, one-half game ahead of the Yankees and 5.5 in front of the Red Sox. After 13 games in 2008, the Rays were 6-7.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Kelly Shoppach did have surgery on his knee and will be out 4-6 weeks. [St. Pete Times]
  • Aneury Rodriguez, the player acquired for Jason Hammel, has been promoted to triple-A. [Biscuit Crumbs]
  • Joe Henderson says it is early but the Rays start is very promising. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Jeremy Hellickson was named the IL pitcher of the week. [Biscuit Crumbs]
  • The Rays now sit atop one power rankings list. [USA Today]
  • TAUNTR has an image in honor of the Rays sweep of the Sox. [TAUNTR]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Heath Phillips struck out 4 and walked 2 in 5.1 innings, allowing 1 run…Joaquin Benoit gave up his 2nd home run in 1 inning of work. He struck out 1 batter and walked another…Desmond Jennings went 2-6 with 2 RBI and his first stolen base…Dan Johnson hit his 5th home run in 12 games…Hank Blalock went 2-4 with a walk…Fernando Perez went 0-4, but had a walk and his 6th stolen base…Jose Lobaton was 3-4 in his second game with Durham.
  • MONTGOMERY: Alex Torres gave up 6 runs (5 earned) in 4 innings. He struck out 6 and walked 1…Ryan Royster hit his 1st home run and Matt Fields drove in 2.
  • CHARLOTTE: Chris Andujar gave up 2 runs in 6 innings, striking out 4 and not walking a batter…Tim Beckham was 0-3 with a walk and Matt Sweeney went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts.
  • BOWLING GREEN: The Hot Rods managed only 3 hits. Dustin Biell had 1 and the only 2 RBI.
Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Tags

 
 

16 Comments

  1. Charles says:

    This team has its killer instinct back. I remember reading during spring training how Joe Maddon was preaching to the players about taking the extra base and being aggressive. I feel like they're not only doing that but that it's cascading into other parts of the game too. They're taking the extra base, the extra inning on the mound from the starters, the extra runs, the extra few steps on defense to turn hits into outs. It's early, yes, but this has been nothing short of magical so far.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  2. Pat the Bat is back! 6 game hitting streak! Right now, I'd much rather have Pat the Bat trying to stretch singles than the guy pretending to be a DH for the Red Sox. Just keep in mind, as long as Bossman and Burrell are hitting the ball, Carlos Pena is going to see some pitches. It bodes really well for the line-up.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • Charles says:

      Yeah, I was happy with Pat trying to get two with the lead they had at the time. That's going for the jugular and not letting up because the lead looks safe, and I think this team needs to do that kind of thing all season long.

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
      • I LOVE agressive baserunning...for everybody in the lineup except Burrell. Even Navi is agressive sometimes (he'll steal 2nd with2 outs) but he picks and chooses his moments. Burrell looks like a crazy man on the basepaths right now.

        Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
        • LOL, his eyes were kind of WILD, weren't they? It was like something wasn't quite there.

          Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
        • Justin says:

          No doubt, he should be more careful, but as long as he's producing RBIs, I'm OK with him going all out... I mean he's slow as anything, but look at his effort now compared to last year. It's like he woke up.

          I'd rather see him excited to play and a mad man on the base paths (to a limited extent), than doing nothing and jogging to first.

          Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
          • Good point. In my defense, it is hard to find "Bad" items after the Rays swept the Red Sox at Fenway and never even trailed in any of the games.

            Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  3. Beth says:

    I know the season is young. I know the bullpen is a question mark. I know that we are stuck with Navarro in the line up nearly every day until the all-star break.

    But can we just pause for a minute and celebrate? The Rays just SWEPT THE RED SOX IN FENWAY PARK.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • I haven't stopped celebrating since 2:30 yesterday afternoon.

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
    • Justin says:

      I'm with Michael.

      I live in Boston, and people were none to happy to see my Rays hat glued to my head yesterday and today.

      Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
      • Jason Hanselman says:

        You probably won't be the only one rocking the baby blue up there by the time the season is over. A couple more weeks of this and the rats will be flying off the ship like barrels of tea.

        Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
        • Michael says:

          What will be even better is when all the bandwagon Red Sox fan in the Tampa Bay area (of which there are many) put their Sox hats on the shelf and start sporting a TB lid. Of course they'll claim they've been Rays fans all along, and that's fine, but a bad season by the Red Sox will go a long way towards boosting fan support around here.

          Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
          • Jason Hanselman says:

            Can't wait, as long as they buy tix and merch, the more the merrier. It would be nice if we could raise enough revenue to make a realistic run at Los or one of the other FA 1B during the off-season. I'm torn on this, as a great season by Los makes him pretty much not affordable, but most likely gets us that much closer to playoff revenue.

            Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  4. Michael says:

    That wasn't just a series sweep or even an out-and-out beatdown. The Rays embarassed the Sox this weekend. The Sox looked awful. I couldn't stop laughing at their outfielders yesterday -- it was hilarious. Even the folks on MLB network were making fun of them. Apparently the fans yesterday were chanting "Let's go Bruins".

    It's definitely way too early to count them out, and yes they will get hot sooner or later, but how can you not think that those who saw the Red Sox as a bit overrated coming into the season (myself included) were correct? I know the Sox fans at overthemonster.com are feeling that way. Lester and Lackey WILL pitch better, and Youkilis and Pedroia will most likely hit better, but they have serious problems in their bullpen and the rest of their lineup. I think they'll be lucky to win 88 games this year.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  5. Gus says:

    Was the best week of Burrell as a Ray? Glad to see it. He still swings and misses a lot. (Prof: You got a stat for that? He's the anti-Wade Boggs I'd have to think). But any production out of him is better than nothing.

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)
  6. Don says:

    NEWS FLASH from Chicago ....since Burrell went 3 for 4....after a day off and Bartlett got his swing back after 2 1/2 days of sitting around...
    Maddon decides to give them both off tonight so he can get Kaplar (.200)
    Rodriquez (.160) and Aybar DH (.125) in the line up...
    Maddon says the idea came to him on the long flight to Chicago....and It has worked before...so he's going to give it a try...you know a lefty is pitching!

    Likes(0)Dislikes(0)

Leave a Comment