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: Matt Garza. We predicted that The Garza Complex would contend for the Cy Young this season and he did not disappoint in his first start. He allowed 2 runs (1 earned) in 8 innings striking out 9 with just 4 hits and 2 walks…Evan Longoria. Dirtbag might make us eat our words that he is not an early favorite for AL MVP. He homered and doubled and now has driven in half of the 8 runs the Rays have scored.
THE BAD: Rare Error. Carlos Pena couldn’t field a low throw in the first inning that would have been the third out. Instead the O’s scored their second run…Kelly Shoppach. With the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 4th, Shoppach took a fastball right down the pipe. He was either sitting on a breaking ball or he was just hoping the pitch would be a ball. Either way, it was not good…Umpires. There were a couple of questionable calls last night, but none worse than the check-swing strike called by Kerwin Danley on Carl Crawford. CC clearly did not swing and Danley did not ask for help from the third base umpire. In the confusion, Reid Brignac was thrown out at second because he assumed it was ball 4…Rafael Soriano. It is early so we don’t want to make too many Troy Percival comparisons, but one thing we do know. Big league hitters can hit 92-mph fastballs that are up and don’t move. And they usually hit them hard as Garrett Atkins did with his ground-rule double in the 9th.
THE TELLING: Matt Garza used to have chin-pubes. He now has chin super-pubes. Lucky for Matthias MLB doesn’t take hair samples during drug testing, because his goatee is on something…The season is about winning series and the Rays have already clinched their first series. But beating bad teams is what the Rays are supposed to do. We won’t know until this weekend whether they are ready to compete with the big boys…While opening day did not sell out until the last minute, TV ratings were very good. The 4.8 average rating was more than double last year’s home opener (2.2)…Matt Garza now has a 2.72 career ERA against the AL East and 5.09 against everybody else…The Rays top 4 minor league affiliates begin play today.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Matt Joyce will begin a rehab assignment tonight with Durham. [Tampa Tribune]
- Jeff Passan has a long piece suggesting the Rays can’t compete in the AL East and that they are destined to become the next Oakland A’s. That is, they will develop talent just to see it shipped off to other teams because the Rays can’t afford to keep them. [Yahoo! Sports]
- Jonah Keri wrote an even longer rebuttal to Jeff Passan. [JonahKeri.com]
- Nevin Ashley will miss Montgomery’s opener due to a death in the family. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- We were going to search for a picture of Matt Garza’s chin super-pubes, but Her Rays’ artistic rendering is much better. [Her Rays]
- Michael Sasso reports that a baseball stadium is not part of the proposed development of the Florida State Fairgrounds. But the developers may be “keeping the door open.” [Tampa Tribune]
- Jake McGee says he feels as good and as strong as he did before his injury. Wade Davis predicts that McGee will need “maybe a month” in Montgomery before he will be promoted. [Montgomery Advertiser]