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: Evan Longoria. It does appear that Sampson’s hair is growing back in a bit and it seemed to help last night with an RBI single and the big blow, a 3-run home run on what was a decent fastball down in the zone…Jeff Niemann. If you ranked the Rays 5 starters by talent, the Giraffe would probably be about 7th or 8th. But he just keeps on truckin’. This time it was 7.1 innings without allowing a run until the 8th inning. He improves to 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA.
THE BAD: Ben Zobrist. Yet another run-scoring bunt for Zobrist (his third?) was good within that moment. But is this really what Joe Maddon wants from his #3 hitter? He’s not hitting that bad. He is hitting .268 with a .350 OBP. But his wOBA is only .335 and he has yet to hit a home run. How patient will JoeMa be?
THE TELLING: BJ Upton was back in the lineup one day after the birth of his son…Carlos Pena was given the day off after the birth of his 1-40 slump. Ben Zobrist started at first and Sean Rodriguez was at second base…
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 23-10, 1 game ahead of the Yankees in the East (tied in the loss column) and 4.5 games ahead of the Tigers in the Wild Card. After 33 games in 2008 the Rays were 17-16.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Don’t forget to check out the ongoing conversations at the Raysheads Forum. [Raysheads Forum]
- Evan Longoria talks about beating Scott Kazmir (video). [The Heater]
- Shawn Riggans was released by the Mets…We wouldn’t be surprised if the Rays re-sign Riggans to a minor league deal. You can never have too many catchers around that are familiar with your pitching staff. And the need for another catcher is emphasized by the recent injuries to Kelly Shoppach and Dioner Navarro. Of course, if another team offers a spot on their 40-man roster, then all bets are off.
- Joe Maddon on John Jaso: “That tells me he belongs here,” Maddon said, raving about all the good Jaso did behind and at the plate (three hits). “The fact that he’s accountable for it and he told his teammate that — he belongs a Ray”…In the same piece we learn that Matt Joyce has finally played catch without pain and could start a rehab assignment next week. [St. Pete Times]
- Former first-round pick Wade Townsend was released by his independent league team. That might not be a good sign for his career. [Rays Prospects]
- Fake Evan Longoria defends his use of the bunt during Sunday’s perfect game. (thanks Charles) [Morgan Ensberg's Baseball IQ]
- Carl Crawford responded to Bobby Valnetine’s criticisms that CC needlessly dove for a ball Monday. [Sporting News]
- The Tampa Sports Authority won’t make any pitches for a new Rays stadium but they are planning to be involved if necessary. [St. Pete Times]
- BJ Upton was back with the Rays a day after the birth of his son. Here is talking about the experience (video). [The Heater]
- The Hardball Times takes a look at David Price’s newest weapon. [The Hardball Times]
- The Durham Bulls returned to their old ballpark, the one used in the movie “Bull Durham.” (Thanks Joe D.) [MiLB]
- Evan Longoria’s haircut is catching on with…squirrels? [RaysRev]
- How local sports radio personalities prepare to talk about the Rays. [RaysRev]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Jeff Bennett made his third start giving up 5 runs on 5 hits and 7 walks in 4.2 innings…Desmond Jennings was 1-3 with 2 walks and his 7th stolen base…Hank Blalock went 1-5 and stole a base…Ryan Shealy hit his 4th home run.
- MONTGOMERY: Jake McGee allowed 2 runs (1 earned) in 4 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 1…The Biscuits collected just 4 hits.
- CHARLOTTE: Matt Moore pitched 6 shutout innings on 3 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 3…The Stone Crabs managed just 3 hits…Tim Beckham was 0-2 with 2 walks and Matt Sweeney was 0-4 with a strikeout.
- BOWLING GREEN: (ppd.)