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. It is just two starts against the Orioles, but Gonzo is starting to look like he could be off to a magical season. The first batter of the game ruined any chance for a no-hitter or a shutout, but after that he did not allow a run, striking out 5 and walking 3…Carl Crawford. Best thing about losing CC after the season? He seems motivated like never before, and the Rays are reaping the benefits. Last night it was a 4-4 performance with a home run, 2 runs scored and a diving catch in left-center. That catch came in a 2-run game with a runner on third. If he doesn’t make the catch, it is 3-2 with a runner in scoring position and only 1 out…Rafael Soriano. He looked a little better this time, striking out 2 in a scoreless 9th…Reid Brignac. Briggy hit his 2nd big league home run. He later added an infield single driving in the 5th run. Might he have earned himself a little more playing time with Sean Rodriguez struggling a bit?
THE BAD: Dioner Navarro. We are beginning to wonder if his head is in the game anymore. In the 7th inning with 2 outs and nobody on base, Navi tried to bunt his way on. We’re speechless.
THE TELLING: This was just the second time in 7 games that the Rays have scored more than 4 runs…The crowd for the Orioles was 9,129. That is the smallest crowd to ever see a game at Camden Yards. [begin sarcasm] Clearly Baltimore is a terrible baseball town and the O’s need a new stadium [end sarcasm]…On queue, Joaquin Benoit worked last night, marking the first time he has worked back-to-back days since the Rays signed him. We would be shocked if he is not with the Rays by the time this road trip is over…Ratings for the first five home games (not including Saturday’s national broadcast) are up 141% over last year.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- PSA: You can now reach the Raysheads Forum through the link in header above or at Raysheads.com.
- Hank Blalock hasn’t played since opening day, missing 4 straight games due to “soreness” in his upper leg. However, it is not serious and he has been dressed and available to play.
- Joe Maddon says he will continue to use Randy Choate against right-handed batters. [St. Pete Times]
- The Yankees had some not-too-kind words for the Rays. Apparently they had never heard of the Trop’s catwalks prior to this past weekend’s games. [NY Daily News]
- We are not sure how somebody could confuse Carl Crawford for Reid Brignac, but Briggy did not hit 2 home runs last night. [All Headline News]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Carlos Hernandez only allowed 2 runs in 5 innings despite giving up 4 hits and walking 4 batters. Only 46 of his 85 pitches went for strikes…Joe Dillon continues his hot start, going 2-5 with a double and a pair of RBI…Matt Joyce returned to the lineup for the first time since being hit by a pitch and went 1-4 with a double…Joaquin Benoit allowed 2 hits in 1 scoreless inning.
- MONTGOMERY: Jeremy Hall pitched 7 shutout innings, striking out 5 and walking 1…Emeel Salem and Matt Fields were each 2-4.
- CHARLOTTE: Kyle Lobstein pitched 5 shutout innings, striking out 3 and allowing 2 hits and a walk…Tyler Bortnick went 3-5 and Mark Thomas was 1-2 with a pair of walks.
- BOWLING GREEN: No game scheduled.