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: King David. Simply put, that was the best we have ever seen him as a starting pitcher. It was the longest outing of his career, working 7.2 innings and was only the second time he has worked into the 8th inning. He was consistently painting corners, topped out at 97 on the gun and even hit 96 in the 8th inning. His only flaws were facing leadoff hitters, who were on base 4 times in 8 innings and Alex Rodriguez who just missed a 2-run home run to center on an absolute rocket, but would score anyway on an error…Carlos Pena. His 2-run home run was the difference maker for the offense and the crowd. After the Rays fell behind 2-0 and managing only 1 hit in the first 3 innings, Pena got the ball rolling with a 2-run home run that jumpstarted a 5-run 4th inning…Using The Whole Field. Dioner Navarro did a nice job going to left to drive in the go-ahead run and BJ Upton led off the 4-run 6th with a double down the right field line…Joe Maddon. JoeMa wanted to get Willy Aybar in the lineup, having him DH in place of Pat Burrell. Aybar hit a 2-run home run.
THE BAD: Free Runs. Prior to the offensive outburst, we saw an eerily familiar situation in the 2nd inning. With runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1 out, Willy Aybar struck out and Dioner Navarro grounded out and the Rays failed to score. Aybar has got to get the bat on the ball in that situation. Just about any contact will score a run as the Yankees would be protecting against the big inning and willing to give up the one run.
THE TELLING: Desmond Jennings is out until May. This is where Rays fans have to be careful assuming he is going to be the heir-apparent in the outfield. He is 23 years old and has still only played 311 games since high school…Rocco Baldelli took batting practice prior to the game. He was not wearing a bp jersey if that means anything…Have you guys seen the all new JP Howell? This picture is from spring training (via TampaBayRaysFan.com) and there are rumors that his hair and beard are much longer now. He is starting to look like Shaggy from Scooby Doo…Willy Aybar will play first base today in place of Carlos Pena who had his fingers broken last year by CC Sabathia.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jeff Niemann postponed his bullpen session to Sunday which doesn’t sound good for making his scheduled start on Tuesday in Baltimore…Our guess at this point is that Andy Sonnanstine will start on Tuesday and be limited to about 5 innings (to keep him in bullpen shape) and Niemann will return to the rotation the next time through…Also from Tony Fabrizio: Evan Longoria will receive his Gold Glove award today.
- CC Sabathia really wants Carl Crawford playing for the Yankees next year...Brett Gardner, the likely left fielder behind Sabathia today for the Yankees must just love those comments. [Fox Sports]
- There is a new sign at The Trop announcing that an entire row of fans will win a copy of MLB 2K10 if Evan Longoria hits a home run into section 149. Here is a picture of the sign. [Twitter]
- The Arizona Daily-Sun spoke with Kyle Lobstein about the upcoming season. [azdailysun.com]
- Jeremy Hellickson’s hometown paper writes about his rise through the ranks and the upcoming season. [Des Moines Register]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Dan Johnson went 3-4 with a home run…Matt Joyce was 1-5 with a stolen base…Justin Ruggiano was ejected after striking out…Hank Blalock did not play.
- MONTGOMERY: Aneury Rodriguez got knocked around in his first start, giving 4 runs in 4 innings on 6 hits…Eddie Morlan and Ryan Reid each struck out 2 in 2 scoreless innings, but Reid walked 3…Matt Fields went 2-6 with a home run.
- CHARLOTTE: Nick Barnese struck out 5 and walked just 1 in 6.1 innings. He did not allow a run until the 7th inning when he gave up a 2-run home run…Matt Sweeney might not be long for single-A, hitting his second home run in 2 games…Reid Fronk also homered.
- BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein did not start and will not make his debut until Tuesday.