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: 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.