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: James the Greater. He had the changeup working as good as ever and the end result was a career-high matching 12 strikeouts. He had 9 in the first 5 innings…Belly-to-Belly. Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena hit back-to-back home runs in the 6th (Pena’s nearly landed in the Ray tank). It was the first back-to-back home runs for the Rays this season…Jason Bartlett. Bartlett gave the Rays their first lead with a bloop double. 10 of his 24 hits have come with runners in scoring position, giving him 13 RBI from the leadoff spot. He also teamed with Carl Crawford on a relay to nail a runner at home in the 5th to preserve a 2-2 tie…Yet Another Big Inning. This time it was a 6-run 6th that broke a 2-2 tie started by Evan Longoria’s rulebook double.
THE BAD: Attendance. Just when you thought it couldn’t go any lower. 10,691 last night.
THE TELLING: Rocco Baldelli took batting practice with the Rays prior to the game…Former top pick Matt Bush has been activated by the Rays and will pitch for high-A Charlotte.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are an MLB-best 16-5, 2.5 games in front of the Yankees and 4.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the Wild Card. After 21 games in 2008, the Rays were 10-11.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- We add a couple of entries to the 2010 Rays Trade Pool and made the corresponding adjustment to the rankings. [2010 Rays Trade Pool]
- JP Howell’s bullpen session went well. We are still looking at a late-May return. [St. Pete Times]
- John Romano offers his 2 cents on the Rays attendance woes. [St. Pete Times]
- On Tuesday we pointed out that the Rays run production was due in large part to their league-leading success with runners in scoring position. Roger Mooney takes a closer look at the team’s efforts at the plate in those situations. [Tampa Tribune]
- Joe Maddon received a gift from Bill Belichick. [Tampa Tribune]
- The Baseball Opinion takes a look back at the trade that brought Ben Zobrist to the Rays organization. [The Baseball Opinion]
- The Baseball Notebook takes an early season look at the Rays and what we can expect the rest of the way. [The Baseball Notebook]
- Ryan Royster will have surgery on his back and will miss at least 6 weeks. [Rays Prospects]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Jeremy Hellickson picked up his 4th win after allowing 2 runs in 5.1 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 1…Mike Ekstrom, Winston Abreu and Dale Thayer combined for 3.2 scoreless innings of relief…Hank Blalock was 2-4 with a double, walk and 3 RBI. He is now 23-57 (.404) in 13 games…Rashad Eldridge, Chris Richard and Angel Chavez homered for the Bulls…Dan Johnson drove in 3 with a single and a double.
- MONTGOMERY: Jeremy Hall struck out 5 in 5.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk…Matt Fields was dropped to 6th in the lineup and responded with his 5th home run and 3 hits overall.
- CHARLOTTE: Tim Beckham had a bases-clearing triple in the second and a 2-run triple in the 5th for 5 RBI overall. He also drew a walk.
- BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein allowed 2 runs (1 earned) in 5.2 innings. He struck out 3 and walked 3…Brett Nommensen had 3 hits and 2 RBI.