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: Pat’s Occasional Bat. Even if Pat Burrell occasionally does something good, that will be more than many of us expected from him this season. Yesterday it was a big 3-run home run in the bottom of the 3rd inning after Wade Davis had just coughed up a 4-0 lead…Catcher Production. 3 hits from the catcher’s spot? Huh-wha? John Jaso went 3-4 with an RBI. Is his defense and ability to handle the pitchers that much worse than Dioner Navarro?…Bottom of the Order. The Rays 7-8-9 hitters combined for 5 hits, 2 home runs and 5 RBI…Rafael Soriano. There will be some rough patches for certain, but right now, Soriano looks like he is in a groove. He has retired the last 11 batters he has faced.
THE BAD: Wade Davis. After being staked to a 4-0 lead, Big Dub gave it right back with 4 runs in the 3rd, 3 on a home run. Joe Maddon will tell you it was one mistake (the HR), but he can’t make a mistake there and needing 41 pitches that inning suggests more than one bad pitch.
THE TELLING: Attendance. It was a battle of two first-place teams and only 10,825 people showed up, or about 5,000 LESS than they had for the triple-A Omaha Royals last night
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 15-5, 2.5 games ahead of the Yankees in the East and 4.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the Wild Card. After 20 games in 2008, the Rays were 9-11.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- JP Howell will throw a bullpen session today. [Tampa Tribune]
- Dock of the Rays looks at Ben Zobrist’s home run dry spell and projects what might still be to come. [Dock of the Rays]
- Gary Shelton writes about the Rays hot start. [St. Pete Times]
- Martin Fennelly writes about the Rays efforts to keep up the hot pace. [Tampa Tribune]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Carlos Hernandez gave up 5 runs in 4 innings on 7 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 1…Joaquin Benoit allowed 1 run in 1 inning…Chris Richard hit his 3rd home run…Hank Blalock went 2-5 with a double and an RBI.
- MONTGOMERY: David Newmann threw 7.2 shutout innings with 7 strikeouts and 1 walk…Matt Fields was 1-3 with a double, 2 walks and 2 strikeouts.
- CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz allowed 2 runs in 5 innings, both on solo home runs. He struck out 6…Matt Sweeney went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI…Tim Beckham was 1-3 with a walk, a strikeout, his 2nd stolen base and his second error.
- BOWLING GREEN: Wilking Rodriguez picked up his first win with 6 strikeouts and 2 walks in 6 innings. He allowed 2 runs (1 earned).