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: THE MAD AUSTRALIAN. Grant Balfour looked better striking out 3 in 2 perfect innings. His fastball is still only 92-93, so we are not going to get too excited. But it was nice to see some success.

THE BAD: WHITE SOX LEFTIES. Don’t know what it is about playing the White Sox in Chicago that makes the hitters go comatose, but this is getting old. One day before facing Mark Buehrle, players not named Carl Crawford went 0-25 with 10 strikeouts, getting just 2 hits of John Danks in 8 innings…DAVID PRICE. It was 2009 all over again with poor pitch efficiency. Price was pulled in the 6th inning after 97 pitches.

THE TELLING: Today is the first time the Rays will face Mark Buehrle since he threw a perfect game last season…Dioner Navarro is hitless in his last 15 at bats and John Jaso will continue to get a couple of starts a week.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 10-4, one-half game behind the Yankees and 1.5 games in front of the Blue Jays in the Wild Card. After 14 games in 2008, the Rays were 6-8.

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • If you missed it last night…MLB changed their stance on Joe Maddon’s hoodie and the players showed their support for their manager. [Rays Index]
  • The Rays are #2 in ESPN.com’s Power Rankings. [ESPN]
  • Former Rays minor leaguer Darnell McDonald had a big night for the Red Sox. [Boston Globe]
  • The Biz of Baseball has more details on the opening day payrolls. The Rays had the largest payroll growth in the last 7 years. Also, if you add the Red Sox payroll (second largest) to the Pirates payroll, it would still be less than the Yankees. [The Biz of Baseball]
  • Bill Chastain writes about John Jaso’s defensive adjustment during spring training. [MLB]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Aneury Rodriguez had a sizzling triple-A debut, throwing 7 shutout innings with 6 Ks and 1 walk. He allowed 4 hits…Fernando Perez went 2-5 with a double, a walk and his 7th stolen base…Dan Johnson hit his 6th home run and drove in 4…Hank Blalock and Desmond Jennings had the night off.
  • MONTGOMERY: Chris DeLaCruz went 4-5…Matt Fields was 0-5 with 3 strikeouts.
  • CHARLOTTE: Tim Beckham’s home run in the top of the 10th was the game-winner…Matt Moore allowed 4 runs and walked 5 batters in just 3.1 innings…Matt Sweeney was 2-4 with a walk.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Shane Dyer struck out 8 and did not walk a batter in 6 innings. He gave up 3 runs (2 earned)…Dustin Biell drove in the only run with his first home run.

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17 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    On the bright side — if any Rays at all get on base tonight we can say it’s an improvement over last year.

  2. Charles says:

    That picture is great – looks like it’s taking all of smelpy’s energy to keep herself from tackling Dirtbag to the ground :)

  3. Charles says:

    Also, I think Dan Johnson should change his name to Daaaan Johnson, because he’s everything a 4A player should be.

  4. Don says:

    After that hitting abortion by Upton, Pena, Longo, Zo, Navarro ect.
    I have a Great Idea….If we could just get rid of Carl Crawford (our most expensive player) we could have had another no hitter by Chicago White Sox (5-9) pitching aga. us…then we could have been all over national sports highlights again! Go CC you are STILL the Man among boys!

  5. Deadeye says:

    Small strikezone by Countyfried Joe West. No worries for Price.

  6. Kelley says:

    I’m dreading tonight after the way everyone but Crawford looked last night. Does anyone else have to look away when Pierzinski comes up to bat? He makes me nauseous.

    • Brian H says:

      totally agree, despise him and everything he stands for. tries everyday to get away with something he doesnt deserve.

  7. Alex says:

    That lefty change up is something our boys have never seen before. Give them a break

  8. Tone says:

    They cannot hit good change ups by any pitcher let alone a lefty. These are the Rays we all love, they kick tons of ass and then go into a coma. Not sure why all the fan comments from various pages are showing such surprise and disgust. They do this all the time, STREAKYness is their way. I am very worried for Ben though, not sure why he is chasing out of the zone so much, bad umps have gotten to his head maybe? Price looked like last year Price and not like the 1st 2 starts. He had poor command. I cannot wait for them to leave Chicago, although Toronto looks hot, Vernon will not be an easy out anymore.

  9. MJ says:

    Price will be fine, he just didn’t have the control last night.

    Can Dan Johnson catch?

  10. Alex says:

    The worst part of last night was in the 8th or 7th inning when Danks pitch count was getting up there and Ozzie had a man warming up. Pena, Bj and Burrell all swing and get out on the first pitch throw to them to end the 7th and begin the 8th. I thought this new hitting coach was supposed to help us. I haven’t seen anything that says otherwise in the first 4 lefties we’ve faced not named Lester

  11. Brian H says:

    i hope they were told to get to the park early today and work on some lefty hitting drills. this is absurd. danks pitched a non-crawford no hitter.

  12. Don says:

    After thinking a lot about last night’s disaster…and willing to give everyon
    a 2nd chance (except you CC) we will see how they react tonight after a car wreck…”either fight or flight”…MENTALLY could mean alot!

  13. Ben says:

    It’s definately not going to be any easier tonight with Burehrle on the mount but *if* we can pick up 4 wins between the last two sox games & the jays series I think we can count it as a success.
    The fact that only CC got hits last night isn’t really what concerned me as much as seeing both the red sox & yanks pick up wins. Hopefully at least one of them will loose tonight since hitting against Buehrle isn’t looking promising

    • Don says:

      Glad you brought up the Red Sox last night, after getting their ass kicked all weekend and being behind all game last night…they came back in the last two innings to win…thats the “fight” part of good teams!

      • Tone says:

        The Red Sox are horrible so far, and the Texas bullpen is almost as bad so far as well. The Royals have fight in them too, does not make them very good though.

  14. Ben says:

    All I care about this early on is what happens inside the AL East. Texas/Royals can win all day long as long as either the sox/yanks lose

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