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 Story. After Dallas Braden retired all 27 Rays that he faced, the story wasn’t about the Rays. The story was about how Braden had somehow been vindicated and made Alex Rodriguez look even more like an idiot. Nobody likes being no-hit. But everybody likes it when A-Rod looks like an idiot.
THE BAD: The Same Story. Seven of the nine batters in the Rays lineup yesterday have now been on the losing end of a perfect game twice. That is two more than 99.9%* of the players in the history of Major League Baseball.
THE TELLING: Thanks to the Red Sox win over the Yankees last night, the Rays are still THE BEST TEAM IN BASEBALL. And the Rays are still on pace to win 117 games. Of course, they are also on pace to be no-hit 6 times this year…Joe Maddon has now been on the losing end of 4 no-hitters, 3 of which were perfect games…JP Howell will throw batting practice for the first time on Friday.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 22-9, a half game ahead of the Yankees in the East and 4 games ahead of the Blue Jays in the Wild Card. After 31 games in 2008, the Rays were 16-15.* Estimated DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Don’t forget, if you want to ask Matt Garza (or his chin super-pubes) a question, here is your chance. Questions need to be in by tonight. [Rays Index]
- If you missed it yesterday, here is a look at how hitters respond after being on the losing end of a perfect game. [Rays Index]
- Also, if you were off the grid this weekend, here is Evan Longoria’s craptastic hairdo. [Rays Index]
- Willy Aybar will now be the starting DH versus lefties and will share duties with Pat Burrell versus righties. We will have more on this later. [St. Pete Times]
- Cuban defector Leslie Anderson will join high-A Charlotte today and could be a September call-up for the Rays. [The Heater]
- Marc Topkin spoke with Scott Kazmir about facing the Rays for the first time on Tuesday. [St. Pete Times]
- We all know Rocco Baldelli occasionally takes batting practice with the Rays. But when the Rays are on the road, he is working with Rays minor leaguers. Last week he was in Bowling Green and the Bowling Green Daily News spoke with Rocco. [BG Daily News]
- Peter Gammons calls the Rays rotation “the best rotation in the game” and “one of the best stories of the first five weeks.” [MLB]
- Randy Choate has rebounded well from a rough start to the season. [DRays Bay]
- A very, very in-depth look at Jeremy Hellickson’s loss. [Triangle Offense]
- Where are they now? 2009 first-round pick LeVon Washington. [USA Today]
- Joe Maddon is not concerned about Carlos Pena’s batting average. [St. Pete Times]
- When the Pirates acquired Aki Iwamura, they weren’t worried about his surgically repaired knee. Maybe they should have been. [MLB]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Jeremy Hellickson picked up his first loss, getting touched for 5 runs in 5 innings on 8 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 3…Desmond Jennings made his first start in 2 weeks and went 1-5…Hank Blalock hit his 4th home run and added a double in 4 at bats…Fernando Perez tripled in 2 at bats.
- MONTGOMERY: (no game scheduled)
- CHARLOTTE: (no game scheduled)
- BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein dropped to 1-2 after giving up 5 runs in 5 innings on 9 hits and a walk. He struck out 5…Ty Morrison was 4-5 with a triple and 2 RBI…Tyler Bortnick was 3-5 with 2 doubles.