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: 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.