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: Reid Brignac. One of the great things about young players? They still backup EVERYTHING. Leading off the 4th inning in a 1-run game, Mark Kotsay bunted his way on and tried to go to second when Evan Longoria’s throw got away from Carlos Pena. But Briggy Baseball was backing up just like he was taught in little league and threw Kotsay out at second. Huge play. He then singled home 2 runs in the next inning to stretch the lead to 3…Pat Burrell. After falling behind 2-0 early, The Bat drove in the tying and go-ahead runs in the 3rd. Paces mean little this early in the season, but Burrell is on pace for 97 RBI…Ben Zobrist. After a day off, Zobrist collected 3 hits to end a 3-28 slide.
THE BAD: Schedule. Nice of the White Sox to schedule the geteway day game as a night game. Yes, they are home this weekend, but it is still April in Chicago and the NFL Draft was on. It would have been a good opportunity to schedule an afternoon game for the weather and to allow the Rays to get home at a decent hour.
THE TELLING: This marked the first time the Rays scored 10+ runs in back-to-back games since May 23 of last year in Miami…Lucky? Based on the Rays runs scored (93) and runs allowed (54), the Pyhthagorean Win Percentage says they should be 12-4 through 16 games. The Rays are 12-4…The Rays went 9-14 last year in April.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 12-4 and have the best record in baseball. They are one-half game ahead of the Yankees and 2.5 games ahead of 3 teams in the Wild Card. After 16 games in 2008, the Rays were 7-9.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Marc Topkin is reporting that the Rays will announce a 5-year extension today for Ben Zobrist that will buy out his first 2 free agency years. [The Heater]
- Matt Joyce flew to Alabama to see Dr. James Andrews. It is never good when a player visits Andrews, but we would be worried more if Joyce was a pitcher. [MLB]
- Jayson Stark looks at the markets the Rays could move to and determines that even if they do want/need to move, Tampa may be their only option. [ESPN]
- There were some rumblings that the Orioles were like the 2008 Rays. Now Richard Griffin says the Blue Jays are not the next 2008 Rays by being the first to compare them to the 2008 Rays. [Toronto Sun]
- This just in: Jeremy Hellickson is pretty good. It is behind the “Insider” wall, but Jason Grey sings high praise for Hellboy. [ESPN]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Carlos Hernandez allowed 1 run in 7 innings, striking out 5 and walking 3…Desmond Jennings went 0-3 with 2 walks and 2 stolen bases…Hank Blalock was 1-4 and Dan Johnson was 2-4 with a double…Jose Lobaton had a double and 2 walks…Fernando Perez had the night off.
- MONTGOMERY: Matt Fields was 2-4 with a double and his 4th home run. He also struck out twice and now has a 24-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in just 14 games.
- CHARLOTTE: Tim Beckham was 0-4 with a walk and a strikeout…Henry Wrigley homered for the second straight game…Matt Sweeney went 0-4.
- BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein gave up 5 runs (4 earned) in just 3 innings…Ryan Wiegand had 3 hits including his first home run.