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: Raising The Bar. The great thing about Evan Longoria this season is that he is putting up great numbers (.364/.425/.657), but it doesn’t feel like he has been in a hot streak. He just seems to be “doing what he do.” And after last night’s home run, Dirtbag has now been on base in 24 of the 26 games this season and has at least 2 hits in 8 of the last 10 games…Big Game’s Big Escape. James Shields escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the 6th with back-to-back strikeouts of Milton Bradley and Ken Griffey. The later on Shields’ signature changeup. He eventually worked into the 9th and struck out 10+ for the second straight start. In his last 2 starts, James the Greater has 22 Ks and 1 walk…The Devil Is On The Road. The Rays are now 10-1 on the road this season. Last year, the Rays went 32-49 on the road.
THE BAD: Dioner Navarro. Navi was back in the lineup and the M’s scored their first run on a James Shields wild pitch that most catchers would have blocked, including John Jaso…Backup Leadoff. So Joe Maddon felt the need to give Jason Bartlett the night off after that grueling off-day. Whatever. But is Sean Rodriguez really the Rays second-best leadoff option? He went 0-4 with 3 strikeouts…On Second Thought. Why exactly were Jason Bartlett and BJ Upton not in the starting lineup against a lefty?
THE TELLING: There were a lot of empty seats in Seattle last night. We are waiting for the first writer to blame Raysheads for not supporting their team.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are off to the best start in the AL since 2005 at 19-7. They have a 1 game lead on the Yankees and a 4 game lead over the Tigers in the Wild Card. After 26 games in 2008, the Rays were 14-12.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- If you missed the update last night, Carl Crawford claims he was misquoted by Sports Illustrated. [The Heater]
- Even though the Mariners are starting 3 lefties in this series, Joe Maddon may start John Jaso on Thursday. [St. Pete Times]
- Joe Maddon and Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu are good friends. [Fanhouse]
- Dock of the Rays thought the taser incident in Philadelphia was reminiscent of an incident at The Trop. [Dock of the Rays]
- Minor League Ball has a mock draft with the Rays taking a high school pitcher with high upside with their first pick. [Minor League Ball]
- Roger Mooney writes about Randy Choate’s rebound from a tough start. [Tampa Tribune]
- Alex Cobb, the Rays 4th round pick in 2006, will make his 2010 debut with Montgomery today. [Biscuit Crumbs]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Heath Phillips gave up 6 runs in 5 innings including 2 home runs. He struck out 5…Hank Blalock was 4-5 with his 2nd home run and 4 RBI. He is now hitting .377/.430/.506 in 18 games…Joe Dillon (4), Ryan Shealy (3) and Chris Richard (5) also homered…Fernando Perez went 2-6 with his 12th steal.
- MONTGOMERY: Chris Nowak went 3-4 with his first home run…Matt Fields was 1-4 with 2 RBI including a walk-off single in the 10th.
- CHARLOTTE: Chris Andujar gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in 3.2 innings on 8 hits and a walk…Matt Sweeney was 3-3 with 3 walks and his 4th home run. He is now hitting .291/.406/.532 in 23 games…Tim Beckham missed his second straight game.
- BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein allowed 4 runs in 5.1 innings. He struck out 3 and walked 1.