The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: John Jaso. Nobody saw it (unless you were at the game or have an iPhone) but Jaso hit his first big league home run. Not bad for not even being in the original lineup (Dioner Navarro was scratched with a sore leg). He also saved a run in the 8th when the Rays were still trailing by one when he blocked Dan Wheeler’s wild pitch with a runner on third…Bases Loaded Freebies. Back in ’08, the Rays led the majors (by a wide margin) the number of free runs with the bases loaded. They walked 25 times and were hit by a pitch 4 times for 29 free runs. Last night the Rays had one of each in the 7-run 8th inning…Randy Choate. Choate came on and ended a Jays rally in the 7th by getting a bases-loaded strike out.

THE BAD: Blackouts. They suck. We were able to watch the game on our iPhone for some reason. Not sure why the blackout rules are different…’09 Flashback. The Rays got a runner on third with no outs in the 7th, down 1, and they failed to score. If the Rays had lost, ooooh, mama…Jeff Niemann And The Long Ball. Giraffe was great early, needing only 13 pitches in the first 2 innings and striking out 6 in the first 4 innings. But he ran in to trouble in the 5th with a leadoff home run. And in the 6th, after getting the first 2 batters, he gave up a 2-run home run and the lead. As great as his stuff was last night, it seemed like he lost his concentration at the absolute worst times.

THE TELLING: Big Innings. In their first 7 games, the Rays scored 3+ runs in an inning 2 times (both in same game). In the last 11 games, they have score 3+ runs in an inning 14 times…Every starter had a hit except Carlos Pena who was 0-4 with a walk.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 13-5, tied with the Twins for the best record in baseball. The Rays are one-half game ahead of the Yankees and 2.5 games ahead in the wild card. After 18 games in 2008, the Rays were 8-10

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Ben Zobrist’s new deal includes a $561K signing bonus which essentially boosts his 2010 salary to $1 million. [St. Pete Times]
  • Nothing is torn, but Matt Joyce is going to be shutdown for another 3-4 weeks. There is no timetable for his return, but we have to believe this means that the earliest we would see Joyce with the Rays is after the all-star break. [Tampa Tribune]
  • More evidence that Sean Rodriguez really is Ben Zobrist Jr: If Dioner Navarro is suspended for bumping an umpire this past Friday, John Jaso’s backup would be Rodriguez. [MLB]
  • Pat Burrell missed his second straight game because of “stiffness in his upper back.” [St. Pete Times]
  • Jake McGee will miss his start on Mondayto give his sore knee a rest. [Biscuit Crumbs]
  • Why is the Tampa Tribune continuing to write stories on a new Rays stadium even though there is nothing new to report?…Listen, we think the Rays would do better in Tampa, but there is something disingenuous about all the “Rays to Tampa” talk now that the Rays are good. [Shadow of the Stadium]
  • Roger Mooney writes about Carl Crawford’s newest weapon, the bunt. [Tampa Tribune]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Desmond Jennings did not start, but was used as a pinch-runner. He was caught stealing…Fernando Perez was 1-5 and stole his league-leading 10th base…Hank Blalock was 2-3 with a double and 2 walks…Justin Ruggiano hit his 3rd home run.
  • MONTGOMERY: (ppd. rain)
  • CHARLOTTE: Tim Beckham was 0-5 with 3 strikeouts…Matt Sweeney had 2 doubles and an RBI…Henry Wrigley hit his 4th home run and his 3rd in the past 4 games.
  • BOWLING GREEN: (ppd. rain)

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14 Comments

  1. thadw says:

    FYI, mlb.tv ended up providing the Rogers broadcast video feed from Canada. But I think it didn’t start until after Yanks/Angels game.

    • Jason Hanselman says:

      This is correct, pretty fun game to see. One thing, Niemann pitched last night not Wade. It was hilarious to hear Buck Martinez basically calling Beejus a bad ballplayer for not bunting in the 8th. If we give up that out who knows if we even tie the game, let alone put up a 7-spot.

  2. Erick says:

    I’m pretty sure the Giraffe pitched last night, so not sure why you put Big Dub in the Bad section.

    • Blake says:

      Lol yeah I was just about to come on here to say that. Niemann was great other than those two at-bats. The first homer was his first 3-Ball count of the entire game. Also, John Fogerty was phenomenal last night. I hope I’m having that much fun when I’m 70.

    • Damn. Brain fart. My bad.

  3. John says:

    Jason -
    Love the analysis on Garza – spot on. On another note, your earlier comments and interview re: attendance. I am a former season ticket hodler (20 game package; 3 years). The Rays increased prices 30%, as noted by analyst of MLB. The Rays never contacted me via e-mail or phone which they have done in previous years. Deeply disappointed in their public comments about Rays fans and their customer service and pricing. I’m a life-long Tampa resident, who attended games with the Reds AA, who appreciates major league bb – but Rays managment is singing a duplicious song. Our attendance % wise is healthy, middle of the league and has been for the last 3 years. Our % increase over the last 3 -4 years is one of the highest in mlb, but you never hear about that. Lastly, The teams in front of us re: attendnace are all older franchises for the most part – with at least 3 – 4 generations of fans. Thanks for your work – keep the faith!

  4. Don says:

    Now with Navarro & Shopp. both making $2mil…what are they going to do with Jaso…who right now looks better than both of them?
    See if he can play 1st. base…Pena back to his .230 BA!…

    • Erik Lurz says:

      Pena has 17 RBI, tied for 5th in the MLB. He’ll always have his share of strikeouts and low BA, but he’ll also have his share of 3 run blasts, not to mention what he brings defensively. Crazy talk. Not crazy: how good Jaso looks. I’m not shedding any tears over his nagging injuries and impending suspension. I think the guy that needs the boot once Shoppach comes back (or even before!) is Navarro (.136 avg, crap defense).

      • Don says:

        On the other side of the same coin…home run hitters always have a lot of RBIs because they pick them up in twos and threes…
        What I don’t like is those 3/4 games between home runs that he is useless…last night good example…The ONLY starter without a hit…How does that help???

  5. Alex says:

    He also walks a lot. He gets on base and he drives in runs. End of story. You are always negative in the comment sections and this is coming from a person that constantly bashes Burrell.

    Jaso must get the starts over Navi. I don’t care how much Maddon loves Navi. Jaso is an actual catcher and he gives us great AB’s.

  6. Chris Wise says:

    Just a note to remind folks that if you want to see the Durham Bulls in action, they will be on MLB Network monday morning at 11:00. Don’t ask. Long story about why that time of day. The starting pitcher was to have been Virgil Vasquez, but he’s broken his wrist, so starting pitcher is a mystery at the moment.

  7. dre says:

    i was out of town all weekend and was not able to watch ANY of the games. and, in typical fashion, anytime i was able to catch baseball tonight, the only ray that gets love is CC (not that he doesn’t deserve it, but seriously.)

    i dont see a good, bad, and telling for Friday’s game. can someone tell me wtf happened with navi getting ejected? is there video anywhere??
    thanks

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Lind led off the 6th with a home run. There was at least one pitch in that at bat that probably should have been a strike but was called a ball. In the next at bat, Balfour threw a pitch that was close, but probably low. Navi said something emphatic as he was throwing the ball back to Balfour. After the throw he turned around say something and the umpire immediately threw him out. And when he threw him out, Navi leaned into him with his chest protector. Nothing malicious, but definitely bumped him on purpose.

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