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: Carlos Pena. In an otherwise anemic night offensively, Pena continues to show he is on the upswing hitting his 8th home run and 3rd in 5 games.

THE BAD: Wade Davis. For the second consecutive game, a Rays starter allowed the opposition to bat around in an inning as the Red Sox scored 3 in the third. Big Dub needed 40 pitches to get through the third and he was out of the game after 3.2 innings. Outside of Jeff Niemann’s injury-shortened start, this was the first time a Rays starter did not work at least 5 innings…David Ortiz. We really wish Big Papi would have listened to Red Sox fans and retired in April.

THE TELLING: Of the 7 starts in which a Rays starter failed to work into the 6th inning, 4 have been by Wade Davis…John Jaso moved to the 5th spot in the lineup with Carlos Pena and BJ Upton dropped to 7th and 8th…Matt Joyce made his first start with a glove during his rehab assignment. He started in right field last night and it sounds like the Rays want to accelerate his rehab. But where will Joyce go once his rehab assignment ends? We have to think he will be assigned to Durham at least for the foreseeable future.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 32-13 and lead the Yankees by 5.5 games in the East and lead the Blue Jays and Tigers by 6.5 games in the Wild Card. After 45 games in 2008, the Rays were 26-19.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • We have a bunch of stuff in the queue, so be sure to check back early and often today.
  • Andrew Friedman told ESPN that Carl Crawford will not be traded this season. [Sporting News]
  • BJ Upton filmed a commercial yesterday for Adidas and the upcoming World Cup. Upton provided us with some pictures. [Twitter]
  • One writer calls Carl Crawford the most overrated hitter in baseball. [Chicago Tribune]
  • Remember that myth about how the Rays are only good because of all the high draft picks? The one we have debunked more than once? Well he is more proof that the myth holds no water. [MLB]
  • Baseball Daily Digest argues that the Rays pitchers have been lucky so far…You are going to see a lot of stories like this in the near-future. To predict that a team on pace to win 115 games is going to slow down is an easy prediction to make (thanks Thad). [Baseball Daily Digest]
  • The Hardball Times revisits the trade that brought Scott Kazmir to the Rays. [The Hardball Times]
  • Here is your chance to jump on the MFIKY bandwagon. [RaysRev.com]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Jeremy Hellickson was perfect for 6 innings and carried a no-hitter into the 8th. He finished with 1 hit allowed and 1 walk in 8 innings with 5 Ks. He is 7-2 with a 2.79 ERA…Winston Abreu struck out all 3 batters in the 9th for his 3rd save…Ryan Shealy had 1 of the Bulls’ 3 hits, his 8th home run.
  • MONTGOMERY: (postponed)
  • CHARLOTTE: Nick Barnese gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in 6 innings, raising his ERA to 4.01. He struck out 6 and walked 1…Tim Beckham had 2 more hits and a walk, raising his average to .217. He has 13 hits in the last 6 games. He did commit his 8th error. Matt Joyce started in right field for the first time on his rehab assignment and walked 3 times.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Aaron Dott making just his second start threw 5 shutout innings, striking out 6 and walking none…Christopher Murrill had a pair of doubles and now has 17 hits in the last 10 games. He is hitting .349.
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21 Comments

  1. Cork, I was thinking last night that we have a problem this year that wr didn't last year. Last year we struggled in the getaway game. This year half of our losses have been in the first game of the series. This is amazing to me considering all the series we have won.

    Any thoughts?

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    • I had the same thought last night. But, looking through the schedule nothing jumps out at me. It does seem recently they've been having problems, but the last two series have involved time zone changes without a day off. I believe they got in real late to Houston from New York. And then they had to come back home and face a hot Red Sox team.

      To me, the biggest problem last night was that (expletive) speaker in foul territory. The little troll should've been out right there and he never could've got that rally started. So, I'm attributing the entire loss to the quirks of Tropicana Field. Of course, all the runners LOB in the 1st 2 innings didn't help either.

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      • Sarah says:

        I totally blamed the first Houston lost on the travel schedule -- they should have scheduled the getaway game in NY for the afternoon -- the team arrived in Houston early in the morning and had to play a game that evening.

        But Futon Refomer (?) does make an interesting point -- I'd noticed this, too. It's as though they put such an emphasis on getting up for the getaway game this year that they are out of gas for the first game of the next series.

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  2. Sarah says:

    I know the Rays can't win every game, but I really wish they could win every game against the Red Sox. Ouch.

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  3. Joe D. says:

    I was at the game last night.
    I thought Sonny was good in relief, he helped save the 'pen for the rest of the series, we had couple of good hustel plays, Peña going 1st to 3rd on the Upton hit, and BJ advancing to 2nd on the throw, also Bartlett taking second on the bloop to right, but it was all for not, the GTMI wasn't working at all last night.

    The bad, the big blow was Cormier serving up the HR to Youk, the Rays ABs were pretty lousy down the stretch, the worst was Brignac's good. morning, good afternoon, good night AB. The Rays had chances and blew them last night, especially in the 1st and 2nd, even late Sonny held the game where it was at and they couldn't get anything going offensively.

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  4. MJ says:

    ESPN MLB page line:

    "Listen closely. Hear it? No? Well, the Rays might. It's the sound of footsteps coming from Boston."

    lol.

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  5. Oh yeah, I'm think about getting an RSS feed for www.twitter.com/sawxfan7 and putting it on RaysRev.com. However, I try to keep my site safe for work and kids, so I may just have to link it.

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  6. Thad says:

    I'm starting to give in to my inner-Don on Upton. Are we going to have to accept a Mike Cameron-ish career out of him? And maybe without even that much production? I know it's early, but his ABs do not engender the type of process that would seem to translate into this "potential" that always seems to be around the corner. He's consistently over-matched by fastballs in the zone, even on hitters counts. It doesn't even look like pitcher's with a plus fastball even worry about location with Upton. Just groove it, he can't hit it.

    Very frustrating. Moreso than Pena. You know what you have in Pena and the power has ALWAYS been there. Year after year after year. With Upton, I think a paradigm shift is in order with regard to expectations. In my mind, he's trending to a fairly inconsistent 7th or 8th place hitter that is only in the lineup because of his All-Star defense in CF and an occasional HR.

    Hopefully, my chicken little attitude toward Upton is warranted, but I'm fearful it's not.

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    • MJ says:

      Ha I had the exact same thought on Sunday (I hate to sound like Don, but...). When will BJ stop swinging through fastballs? Add the fact that he chases sliders away about as often as Alfonso Soriano, and it seems like he will have to stay at the bottom of the order for the foreseable future. If something isn't working, shouldn't you try and change it ("it" being his approach/swing)? I thought that oppo HR he hit last week was a sign, but its back to the same old swing and miss/pulling off the ball bs again.

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    • Beth says:

      Ditto -- and I also am loath to write a guy off. But this was supposed to be his year. He's healthy, he's got a few years of facing these pitchers under his belt. And yet he looks worse at the plate then ever. There are players like Crawford, Longo or Zobrist who seem to always be learning and adjusting. BJ doesn't seem to have a real learning curve.

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  7. Don says:

    Bad news for big Dud...one or two more starts like that and our 5th starter will be Jesus Hellickson (savior)....not only last night... but who needs a pitcher who can't throw the ball over the plate..esp. in tight spots...walk in runs!... come on...we have more talented pitchers!

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  8. Joe D. says:

    Nice one Don, Davis has 15 career starts, and less than 100 ip, and you want Hellickson to replace him if Davis has 2 more bad starts.

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    • Don says:

      DON'T You....I suppose you want to watch a pitcher walk hitters to the point of walking in runs...I don't.... esp. when we have better!
      Why put up with it? because he's a nice guy that doesn't talk?

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      • Alex says:

        Honestly. Do you not know how to type? You type like a five year old that has never used a computer before. No one listens to your points because they never make sense and you type like an idiot. Maybe you should work on graduating high school instead of spending so much time on here.

        Davis is a ROOKIE. He is going to struggle. He's our 5th starter for a reason. There aren't many teams that have a pitcher with his talent as their 4th starter.

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        • Don says:

          Alex...spell the(y) for me please..actually I learned that one before the 5th grade...I think it was the 1st!

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    • Indiana Rays Boy says:

      Joe D. and Alex, excellent points on Wade Davis. Davis is technically a rookie that is a 5th starter for a reason. I expect WD-40 to have 6 inning 2 ER type outings. It is not like Davis suppose to be the savior of the Rays pitching staff. Hellickson is putting up great numbers in Durham but he needs another 2 more months of dominating starts to have him in the Rays plans in the future. Remember, Davis, McGee and Hellickson were mentioned as Rays top prospects from 2006-2009. Davis is a 5th starter, Hellickson is an up and coming and McGee had some injury issues and currently struggling in AA. For a rookie, Davis had to face superior pitchers like Sabathia, Buchholz, Burnett, Buehrle, Fister, Sheets and Grienke. At this point, Davis is the best 5th starter in MLB; Davis would be a 3rd or 4th starter for half of teams in MLB that are out there.

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      • Indiana Rays Boy says:

        In 2008, Rays won 97 games with Andy Sonnanstine and Edwin Jackson as 4th and 5th starters. Who would have thought that Mitch Talbot (former Ray) from the Indians would be 5-3 with a 3.88 ERA as a 3rd starter? It comes to show you the depth of the Rays farm system. Talbot was traded because 1. Out of minor league options 2. Rays needed a catcher 3. Davis and Hellckson were better pitchers than Talbot.

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  9. Joe D. says:

    I don't know that we have better, I think I may have seen Hellickson pitch one spring training inning, so I'm no expert on him by any stretch of the word, I'm not saying won't be better, but I'll say that I don't think Hellickson is better right, now maybe last night Hellickson may have had better stuff than Davis, and might have even won that game.

    As a Rays fan I want to see Davis taking the hill for at least the next 2 months, maybe at the trade deadline if Hellickson is still pitching 8 inning shutouts, and Davis is walking in runs with the bases loaded, then call up Hellickson.

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  10. MJ says:

    It's def annoying having to deal w/ the fact that ESPN Boston writers are linked on the ESPN main page. If I want to read them, I'll go to ESPN Boston. Just another reason they need to change to NorthEastSPN.

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  11. Cork Gaines says:

    Yes and no. Even before the season, I was a little worried about the depth, especially in double-A/high-A. I know Barnese and Moore are struggling, but it could be that they are working on a new pitch or a new mechanic and there is an adjustment period. Also, guys like Aneury Rodriguez and Alex Torres have thrown well. And there is Colome who could be as good as any of them. Beckham has hit well the past week. And Chris Murrill at Bowling Green might have some skills.

    But the reason I'm not too worried is that the Rays have a bunch of first and second round picks this year and will have even more next year. It will only take 3 or 4 of those picks to stick and all of the sudden the farm system will be very deep again.

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