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: Recovery. There was the flyball that BJ Upton lost and played into a triple. But Carl Crawford’s running grab two batters later kept the Yankees from turning it into a big inning. And there was James Shields not fielding one bunt and then throwing the ball away when the very next batter also bunted. That left the Yankees with 2nd and 3rd with no outs. He recovered to get Mark Teixeira on a groundball followed by strikeouts of both Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano to get out of the inning without any further damage. Both of those innings should have been crooked numbers for the Yankees but ended up with just 1 in each…Settling In. After BJ Upton lost the flyball and James Shields walked the next batter, he settled down and retired 12 in a row before a Mark Teixeira single in the 8th. In that span, the score went from 4-4 to 8-4…Sauciness Returns. Ben Zobrist hit his first home run of the year. BJ Upton hit his first home run since April 19 and Carlos Pena hit a pair. Those were his first home runs since April 28. What are the Rays going to do now if they actually start scoring runs again?
THE BAD: Excuses. Apparently a $200 million roster doesn’t come with a bench. The rallying cry of the Yankees and their fans right now is “wait ’til we’re healthy!” Injuries are a part of baseball. They are not an excuse. When your catcher is 38-years old, it is not “unlucky” that he goes on the DL. When Nick Johnson, who averages 66 games missed a season, goes on the DL, that is not “unlucky.” The Yankees are old. Injuries are a part of the equation, not an excuse. On the other hand, when a roster is composed mostly of 25-28-year olds, it is not “lucky” when they stay relatively healthy. That is normal…The Master Is Sometimes The Servant. James Shields’ changeup is one of the best pitches in baseball. But sometimes with great power comes great responsibility. And when Shields hangs the changeup, it is no longer a changeup. It becomes an 83-mph batting practice fastball. And that’s what happened when Shields gave up a 2-run home run in the second…Baseball Pet Peeves. We generally disapprove of the use of the term “sweep” during a 2-game series. But for the Yankees we’ll make an exception.
THE TELLING: Last year, the Rays didn’t win their 30th game until June 10, the 61st game of the year…The Rays are now 9-0 on the road in the AL East including 6-0 against the Yankees and Red Sox.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are an MLB-best 30-11. Their 5 game lead in the East is the largest in any division which is pretty amazing considering the Yankees have the 3rd best record in baseball. After 41 games in 2008, the Rays were 24-17.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Michael Van Sickler of the St. Pete Times spoke with Ryan Neubauer, the founder of a group that wants to bring the Rays to Tampa. According to Neubauer, the group plans to go public with their plan later this year and financing for the stadium will not include any public funding. [St. Pete Times]
- Rays Prospects reports that Andrew Bellatti, has entered a “not guilty” plea in his vehicular manslaughter case. [Rays Prospects]
- Dock of the Rays spoke with a baseball injury expert about JP Howell’s injury. [Dock of the Rays]
- Jeff Passan wonders if the Rays can win 125 games (including playoffs)…Easy Jeff. At this point we will take 95 and a trip to the playoffs. [Yahoo! Sports]
- Tyler Kepner writes about what makes the Rays so strong. [New York Times]
- Hey check it out! Another national piece on the Rays that doesn’t focus on attendance. That’s two in one day! [USA Today]
- The Rays are still on top of the Yahoo! Power Rankings. [Yahoo! Sports]
- Here is a graphical look at what Yankees fans are saying today (via RaysUpdates). [Twitpic]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: The Bulls managed just 2 hits…Desmond Jennings was 0-4.
- MONTGOMERY: Jeremy Hall picked up his first win with 7 shutout innings. He struck out 3…Matt Sweeney had a single and a walk.
- CHARLOTTE: Tim Beckham was 2-5 with 2 RBI. He now has 4 hits in the past 2 games…Henry Wrigley went 5-5 and hit his 8th home run. He is hitting .340…Matt Joyce hit a home run and was 2-5.
- BOWLING GREEN: Jason McEachern struck out 7, but gave up 4 runs in 6 innings…Christopher Murrill was 3-3 with 2 walks and is now hitting .341. He also stole his 13th and 14th bases.
Bonus graphic via Gui Romano…