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: Strong Starts. This is why the Rays strong start was so important. Every team goes through spells like this. But with a such a strong start, the Rays can afford a lull and still have the best record in baseball.

THE BAD: Adrian Beltre. Beltre had Matt Garza’s number, to the tune of two home runs that staked the Red Sox to an early 4-1 lead that nobody in their right mind thought the Rays would overcome.

THE TELLING: BJ Upton was given the night off and may not return to the lineup until Friday. It came after Joe Maddon’s ejection in which he said he had a chance to see the look on Upton’s face in HD and not liking what he saw.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 32-15, 3.5 games ahead of the Yankees in the East and 5.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 47 games in 2008, the Rays were 27-20.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Some asked why we did not comment on the Evan Longoria picture story…The reason is, we are not going to support a Boston website with a link when there is zero reason to believe it is true. If we posted a picture of a naked hobbit and claimed it was Dustin Pedroia, we’d like to think nobody would link to us.
  • Marc Topkin reports that no suspensions are expected for Carl Crawford or Joe Maddon for their roles in Tuesday’s arguments/ejections. [The Heater]
  • Bucs first-round pick Gerald McCoy got hounded last night at the Rays game. [JoeBucsFan]
  • Heath Rollins has been demoted to double-A. It has been a rough week for Rollins. [Biscuit Crumbs]
  • Martin Fennelly thinks it would be a good time for Carlos Pena and BJ Upton to start hitting…We like to picture ‘Los and Bossman reading this column and thinking to themselves “Well, now that Martin Fennelly says it is ok, I guess I’ll start getting basehits. Whew.” [Tampa Tribune]
  • Tiffany Simons of NBCSports interviewed Evan Longoria about a number of topics. [HardballTalk]
  • Andy Sonnanstine spoke with Roger Mooney about the transition to the bullpen (video). [Tampa Tribune]
  • Dock of the Rays has some video of Jeremy Hellickson pitching. [Dock of the Rays]
  • This is behind the insider wall, but John Perrotto takes a closer look (statistically) at the Rays starting pitchers. [ESPN]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: (no game scheduled)
  • MONTGOMERY: David Newmann allowed just 1 unearned run in 6.1 innings. He struck out 5 and walked none…Matt Sweeney was 0-4.
  • CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz struck out 8 and walked none, but got pounded for 7 runs on 10 hits in 5 innings…Tim Beckham was 0-4 to end his 6-game hitting streak. He also committed his 9th error…Matt Joyce played right field and was 1-4 with a double.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Wilking Rodriguez struck out 8 and walked just 1 in 6 innings. He held South Bend to 1 run.
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12 Comments

  1. Jim says:

    I'm surprised that Papi's slow truffle shuffle around the bases didn't make the bad. I thought for sure they were leaving Garza in just to plunk Youkilis following that AB. And even though it would have cost a run, it would have been nice to see Sonny hit Papi right in his fat @ss. Even if it was only a Sonny fastball...

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  2. Jordi says:

    2 things:

    1) I loved seeing Garza pitch Beltre up and in after his showboated 2nd homer.

    2) Good to see Tiffany Simons doing good things. We had a few classes together at FSU.

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  3. I hate the Red Sox.

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  4. Beth says:

    Hard to find any "good" from this series. In some ways I thought the team started to look a little frayed around the edges over the weekend in Houston, but the Astros weren't able to take advantage.

    Garza seems to have reverted back to "Garza complex" form -- last night and in his Houston start he just seemed to be battling himself - with better results in Houston, obviously. But it did occur to me that in both these starts Jaso was catching, which made me wonder whether Navarro ought to be catching Garza's starts despite his poor hitting. Just looking quickly through box scores, it seems as though Garza's best starts have come with Navarro behind the plate.

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  5. Connie says:

    What happened with BJ Upton? Anyone get a screenshot of that?

    Also, is it just me imagining things or do the rays suck at home this year?

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    • Thad says:

      I think Maddon meant he got to see the "lost" look in Upton's face after every at bat in HD on the clubhouse TV.

      Slowinski has a very interesting thesis on Upton's struggles today. He posits that Upton spent SO MUCH time in the offseason getting his swing grooved to hit the other way, that once pitchers figured that out after a decent April, they just started pounding him up and in with four-seamers, and that's EXACTLY what has happened. He's so focused on hammering the outer pitches to RCF that he can't or won't or hasn't yet figured out how to turn on the inside pitch.

      If you watched MLBN just prior to the Rays/Yankee game in NYC last week that they televised Thursday night, Harold did a Diamond Demo with Upton at Spankee Stadium, where they did this drill all centered around Upton driving the ball to RCF. That seemed to be his primary focus for this season.

      Bottom line, I think he's thinking too much up there. As a ML hitter, to be successful, you can't have ONE approach up there that isn't flexible. He has to be able to see ball and hit ball in zone regardless of where it is pitched.

      One final thing, when Carl was mic'd up the other day on Rays Live, you could hear him talking to some player off camera about thinking too much, and how Carl just sees the ball and hits it, etc. I'll bet money I know who that player was.

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      • Jim says:

        I think you are spot on, Thad. I saw that same piece on MLBN, and even on inside pitches, he appears to be swinging with the intent to drive the ball the opposite way.

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  6. Amanda says:

    Amen, Cork. The best way to stop a rumor/lie is to not draw more attention to it. Which reminds me, there's a public service commercial running on TV rigiht now, saying that the Internet makes people smarter, and wouldn't it be great if everyone was given the Internet? This just proves that commercial is 100 percent bullcrap.

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  7. Don says:

    Why does Maddon have to set me off saying stupid stuff....
    Do you mean he can see Uptons face better on TV than he can when he's standing 3 feet from him...give me a break....Upton is out of the line up because he STINKS...end of story!

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  8. Amanda says:

    Could BJ's problems be because he's got a new baby at home and he's exhausted?

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    • Sarah says:

      Except...he wasn't exactly tearing it up before the baby. And presumably he can catch up on sleep when the team is on the road -- no crying infant in the hotel room!

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