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: Stirrups! Yes, the top of today’s “Good” is a purely aesthetic observation. Take a look at Evan Longoria to the right. Perfect! And those beauties helped Dirtbag snap an 0-10 against Zack Greinke with 2 hits and a home run. Think they might stick around for a while?…Big Dub’s Big Start. Wade Davis versus Zack Greinke sounds like a mismatch. And more often than not, if the other pitcher wants to win, he will have to throw up a lot of zeros. And that is exactly what Davis did with 7 shutout innings on 3 hits and 3 walks…The Bullpen. Three relievers faced the minimum over the final 2 innings, with the only baserunner, a leadoff walk in the 9th, retired with a double-play…The Orioles. The Orioles? Yep. The O’s swept the Red Sox, who are now once again 3 games under .500 and 7 games back in the East.
THE BAD: Patience. Zack Greinke throws strikes, so it is usually ok for batters to be aggressive to avoid falling behind in the count. The downside is allowing a great pitcher to work deep into the game. Greinke needed only 87 pitches in 8 innings and in 5 of the 8 innings, he threw 10 pitches or less.
THE TELLING: In all five of Wade Davis’ starts this season he has faced the opposing team’s opening day starter. The Rays are 4-1 in those games…The game took only 2:15…The Rays starting pitchers have a 2.64 ERA, best in the AL…PECOTA now gives the Rays an 89.1% shot at making the playoffs.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 18-7, 1.5 games ahead of the Yankees and 2.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the Wild Card. After 25 games in 2008, the Rays were 14-11.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Well, if you ever wondered what it would sound like to hear Dave Martinez cover ZZ Top, today is your lucky day. The rest of us? Not so much. [The Heater]
- JP Howell could be ready to start a rehab assignment as early as next week. Meanwhile Matt Joyce will start throwing in about a week. [The Heater]
- John Romano writes about the lack of holes in the Rays rotation and how that could keep the Rays from slumping. [St. Pete Times]
- Joe Henderson writes about how the bullpen has stepped up in JP Howell’s absence. [Tampa Tribune]
- Roger Mooney writes about the struggles of mid-season call-ups to find enough clothes to wear. [Tampa Tribune]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Carlos Hernandez’ defense failed him as he only gave up 3 hits and a walk in 7 innings, but 5 runs crossed the plate. Only 1 run was earned…Dan Johnson hit his 9th home run…Elliot Johnson hit his 3rd home run…Hank Blalock was 0-5…Fernando Perez went 0-4 with a walk and his 11th steal…Desmond Jennings did not start.
- MONTGOMERY: (ppd. rain)
- CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz pitched 6 shutout innings with 5 strikeouts and 1 walk…Matt Bush pitched 2 shutout innings with no hits, 2 walks and 3 Ks…Tim Beckham was 0-4 with 2 Ks.
- BOWLING GREEN: (ppd. rain)