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: Pat Burrell. Yep, 2 hits, including a cue-shot off of Mo Rivera in the 9th…Joaquin Benoit. After another strong outing (see below) Benoit has now struck out 9 of the 12 batters he has faced. He still hasn’t shown that he can work back-to-back games. But at this point, isn’t Benoit every other day, still a better option for the Rays than some of the everyday options Joe Maddon has now?
THE BAD: Joe Maddon. Despite throwing 24 pitches the day before, and despite Jorge Posada being a better hitter from the right side with more power versus versus lefties, JoeMa brought Randy Choate in with a 2-1 lead to try and induce a groundball double-play. Instead, Hip-Hip Jorge hit a 2-run home run to give the Yankees a lead they would never relinquish…James Shields. With this bullpen, Shields has to give Joe Maddon more than 5.1 innings (103 pitches)…Hot Springs. Sean Rodriguez may have used up all his hits in the spring. After an 0-3, he is now 2-13 (both singles) to start the year…Baserunning. We’re not going to mention that BJ Upton was picked off first base. Nope, not going to mention it…Navi’s D. Does anybody else remember when Dioner Navarro was actually a decent defensive catcher? Yesterday the Yankees scored their 4th run on a wild pitch by Lance Cormier. The pitch was in the dirt, but the pitch was blockable and Navi made only a half-assed attempt at blocking the pitch.
THE TELLING: Andy Sonnanstine worked the final 2 innings which means Jeff Niemann will make his scheduled start on Tuesday…The Rays debuted their new powder blue jerseys. We were a little disappointed at the beginning of the game, but they were starting to grow on us by the end…Matt Joyce is day-to-day on his rehab assignment after being hit in the forearm with a pitch.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Marc Topkin talks to some of the Rays about getting ready for their 11-day roadtrip. [The Heater]
- Joe Maddon talks about the need for the Rays to play better on the road this season. [St. Pete Times]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Hank Blalock sat for the third straight game even though Matt Joyce was unavailable to DH. The opposing starting pitcher was a lefty. Still, he didn’t come in after Joyce left Saturday’s game and he did not pinch-hit yesterday…Virgil Vasquez made his first start since being acquired from the Pirates, allowing just 1 run (a home run) in 5.2 innings with 2 strikeouts and 1 walk…Joaquin Benoit, struck out 3 of the 4 batters he has faced and 9 of the 12 he has faced on the season…Joe Dillon went 2-4 with 2 doubles and an RBI.
- MONTGOMERY: David Newmann pitched an impressive 7 shutout innings, allowing just 5 hits and no walks with 4 Ks. He needed only 65 pitches (45 strikes)…Shawn O’Malley was 3-4 with a walk, an RBI and 2 stolen bases…Cody Cipriano went 3-4 with a double and a stolen base.
- CHARLOTTE: Game suspended in the 2nd inning.
- BOWLING GREEN: Wilking Rodriguez, whom some think is the Rays next great pitcher, got pounded early giving up 6 runs (4 earned) in the first 2 innings. But he did settle down to work 5 innings with 6 strikeouts and no walks…Mark Thomas went 2-4 with his second home run.