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: Offense Coming? The runs came, but they came late. John Jaso’s 2-out single in the 8th scored the Rays first run in 22 innings. Three more scored in the 9th capped by Evan Longoria’s 2-run double that tied the game and marked only his second hit and first RBI since getting that craptastic haircut…Jaso’s Defense. Jaso’s prospect status was always on hold due to his defense. And the biggest weakness in his defense was always his throwing. Well, his defense has made huge strides. His throwing motion is still a little awkward, but last night he threw out both would-be basestealers.

THE BAD: Jaso’s Defense. He’s still got a ways to go. Rule number one in blocking pitches is to get down. Don’t come up with the ball. That’s what the chest protector is for. With a runner on second in the 11th and 1 out, Jaso came up on Grant Balfour’s pitch in the dirt and the ball scooted under Jaso’s glove. That put the runner on third who would then score the winning run on a sac fly…Gonzo’s Big Mistakes. Joe Maddon will probably tell you it was just two mistakes, but those mistakes were the worst kind, 2 home runs. The second came off the bat of the 8th hitter in the lineup, Mike Napoli. After being hit in his previous at bat, Napoli proved that revenge is a pitch best served over the fence…Carlos Pena. Pena has always been streaky, but this is getting out of hand. Pena was 0-3 and is now 1 for his last 40 with 18 strikeouts.

THE TELLING: Ben Zobrist’s 2-out single in the first was the Rays first baserunner in 12 innings…BJ Upton was not in the lineup as he was home for the birth of his son. It is unclear when he will return. Sean Rodriguez started in center.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 22-10, a half-game ahead of the Yankees in the AL East and 3.5 games ahead of the Blue Jays in the Wild Card. After 32 games in 2008, the Rays were 17-15.

COMMENT O’ THE DAY: “I was actually wondering whether hiring Kevin Kennedy wasn’t a secret plot to drive us all to the ballpark more often.” – Beth

DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays announced two more sumer concert acts. Barenaked Ladies will perform June 26 and Bret Michaels will be on September 25, bumping Dierks Bentley to June 12.
  • More tidbits from the perfect game. [St. Pete Times]
  • The Rays dropped to third in this weeks installment of the simulation-based power rankings at What If Sports. [What If Sports]
  • Another look at who the Rays might take in the first round next month. [Rays Prospects]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Heath Phillips was touched for 6 runs (4 earned) in 5.2 innings…Dan Johnson hit his 10th home run…Hank Blalock and Desmond Jennings were each 1-4.
  • MONTGOMERY: Jeremy Hall gave up 1 run on 4 hits and no walks in 6 innings. He struck out 6 and walked none…Matt Fields hit his 6th home run.
  • CHARLOTTE: Leslie Anderson made his pro debut going 0-4 with 2 strikeouts…He batted third and played first base…Chris Andujar allowed 1 run in 5.1 innings. He struck out 2 and walked 4…Tim Beckham was 1-3 with a walk and a stolen base. He also committed his 6th error…Matt Sweeney went 0-4 with 3 strikeouts.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Alex Colome held Lake County to 1 run in 6 innings. He struck out 6 and walked 1.
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25 Comments

  1. Charles says:

    Here's an amusing distraction to take the sting off the last few games.

    First, if you're not reading Morgan Ensberg's blog, you really should - it's quirky and fun and also has some great nuggets of baseball insider info from a player's perspective that you don't get a lot.

    So his most recent entry is an imaginary courtroom drama taking on the case of Evan Longoria's bunt attempt during the perfect game: Un-Written Rulebook vs. Evan Longoria. http://is.gd/c48wU

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  2. Sarah says:

    Trying to find silver linings:

    The Good: Maybe it won't be so hard to sign Carlos Pena for 2011?

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    • Chris says:

      Sarah:

      There are plenty of positives!

      - The boys came back last night, waking up just in time to let the rest of us go to bed.
      - Still the best record in baseball
      - The last team to get to 10 losses.

      We may be in a bit of a skid, but no reason not to see the remaining good points!

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  3. I would just like to give Ben Zobrist for his "get-out-of-the-way" approach when it came his turn in the late innings. Longo's always going to be the money guy, so getting out of the way (with a walk) and not making the third out is the best strategy for the guy batting in front of him. Looks like Zorilla has learned. He did it twice last night. Once it worked, once it didn't.

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  4. Alex says:

    What's funny is Navarro never blocks balls in the dirt.....

    When the Angels got a man to third why was Maddon so quick to his 5 man defense without doing a few other things. For being such a "forward thinker" he was pretty dumb last night:

    1. Intentionally walk Rivera and/or Kendrick. Those runs would mean nothing and it would give you the out anywhere. Or at least the double play.

    2. Why is Balfour still in, in that situation. Does he not realize that Balfour is no longer a strike out pitcher and he is real heavy on fly balls. Why not put either your closer or Benoit in their to strike Napoli out seeing as he's struck out 26 times in 71 ab's. That's ~36% of his ab's.

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    • Alex says:

      Meant to say: Napoli out since he has stuck out...

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    • MJ says:

      agree on both.

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    • Don says:

      Who ever said Maddon is a "forward-thinker".....Just look at the expression on his face when things get tight in a game...
      It's the same expression I have on my face in the parking lot when I can't find my car...(has nothing to do with 10 beers)!

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    • ramedy says:

      1. I can't argue that one - I was fully expecting that to be the result of him going out to the mound. I'm not sure how to explain that one.

      2. There are only two Rays relievers with better ground-ball rates this year than Balfour: Choate (lefty, already used) and Cormier. Cormier also has the worst K/9 rate in the bullpen.

      Benoit's ground-ball rate is pretty atrocious. Yes, he hasn't pitched enough to really make that rate mean anything, but lack of playing time also makes me not want to see him out there in that situation.

      Soriano? Not sure. I've heard it said that he's pretty finicky about availability - maybe he told Maddon before the game that he wasn't feeling it outside of an actual save situation. I'm not saying that's right, but it may just be the way it is.

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    • Indiana Rays Boy says:

      Alex, I was wondering myself on why Maddon did not have the bullpen warmed up as soon as Morales got on base. Even Kevin Kennedy was mentioning walk Rivera and Kendrick to set up a double play. I don't understand the 5 infield 2 outfield shift...their was no need for that; they ask for that lost. I would had brought in Beniot, Sonnanstine or Cormier instead of Balfour throwing fastballs. Even though his ERA is 2.45 but it is a scary 2.45 ERA. Last two innings was poorly manage by Maddon. Why doesn't he just leave Jaso in the lineup everyday and enough of Gabe Kapler and Sean Rodriguez. I would rather see Ruggiano and Blalock on the roster at this point.

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  5. Tone says:

    Late inning offense is better than none, but I am still in a big let down mode right now. They built me up and then crushed my heart with that perfect game. Now that feeling of "they can win any game" has left me. Quickly they made me forget they can win any game. Offense is so weird, how can they just suck at the plate so collectively? STREAKY beyond belief. I think teams have made adjustments and now it is the Rays turn to adjust and they are having a hard time.

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    • Indiana Rays Boy says:

      It would be nice to have a set lineup that Maddon can use everyday instead of player like Kapler vs lefties, Navi playing 3-4 times a week or having S.Rod/Zobrist/Brignac combo playing RF/2B. Teams don't win a World Series with a platooned lineup. Red Sox and the Yankees have a consistent everyday lineup. Here is the following everyday lineup(5/11/10): SS Bartlett, LF Crawford, 3B Longoria, 1B Pena**, RF Zobrist, C Jaso, DH Burrell*, 2B Brignac, CF Upton bench: Navi, Aybar*, Blalock**, Ruggiano. Also, this team needs to use all sides of fields especially guys who are struggling right now.

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      • steve-o1285 says:

        The Yanks also have $200 mil to spend on their roster. Care to donate? Oh, and the Rays still are scoring the same amount of runs.

        Also, Boston has been platooning this year.

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        • Indiana Rays Boy says:

          steve-o, clever donation reference..LOL!! Yes, the Yankees have a $200 million dollar payroll but the point here is not about money; it is the lineup itself. The only time the Yankees/Red Sox use a platoon system is either 1. weak link at a certain position 2. player that is struggling (ie David Ortiz or whomever) 3. player that is down with an injury. A consistent lineup makes a huge difference no matter if it is the Yankees/Red Sox or the Rays. Maddon has been tinkering the lineup for the past 3 years. It is painful to see guys like Dioner Navarro's and Gabe Kapler's of the world are getting bulk of playing time. For the past 10 games, the Rays are 5-5 and the offense has been scuffling; that is not a good sign.

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      • Beth says:

        I don't see that having the same line-up every night is such a priority. Teams often platoon. It's not necessarily a sign of weakness. You use your best players for any given situation. On a small market team there are likely to be fewer superstars and more role players, but even high payroll teams platoon.

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        • MJ says:

          I think the issue people are having w/ the platoon is not the idea of platooning, but the platoon itself (ie Gabe Kapler).

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  6. Alex says:

    There's nothing worse than a late inning comeback in the West coast only to lose. JP Howell and the Sea game last year, I'm looking at you

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  7. Beth says:

    On a different note, re: Bossman III -- is there a "Mrs. Bossman," anyone know?

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    • Kelley says:

      I've been wondering that too. I was so shocked by the news last night. I think of these guys as so young, I'm always surprised when I hear that they have babies.

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      • Alex says:

        I don't believe so. I think he just has a girlfriend.

        To add to what I said above just as a note. I fell asleep in the bottom of the 8th so I don't know what was going during the last few innings other than what I saw via highlights and what I read.

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    • Don says:

      Is there ever a MRS. Bossman or anything...only child support payments or we get to pay thru ADC (gov. Programs)....

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    • Amanda says:

      Yes, in the sense that both families are completely involoved. So maybe we can say there is a Miss Bossman Jr. His comment about returning to the team was that both families were there for her and he was only going to be gone a couple of days before he was back in town.

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  8. Joe D. says:

    found this story of the Durham Bulls playing at their old ball park...

    http://wap.milb.com/news/201005109945076/

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