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: David Price. We will never get tired of praising the starting pitchers. This time it was King David who allowed just one unearned run in 7.2 innings and was still touching 95 on the gun in the 8th inning…The Svelte Catcher. First there was Dioner Navarro throwing out a base stealer in a 1-0 game in the 6th inning. Then with a runner on second and no outs in the 8th, he fielded a bunt and avoided a collision with Davis Price and still got the runner at first. It was easily his best game behind the plate this season. On top of that, he had 2 walks. That happened just 2 times in 2009…Sean Rodriguez. It just seemed like Rodzilla needed a big hit to get out of his funk. Let’s hope the 2-run double in the 7th does the trick. We saw what this kid can do in the spring. He is a big league hitter. It’s just a matter of time.
THE BAD: Never F*** With A Winning Streak. Evan Longoria got a craptastic haircut. He then proceeded to commit an error giving the A’s their only run and also saw the end to his 12-game hitting streak. We think he owes us some stirrups as an apology. And if he doesn’t do something different today, we will start calling him “Joe Dirtbag.” (via Billy Norris)
THE TELLING: The Rays +86 run differential is good. Their +93 run differential in the last 23 games is better…Ben Zobrist did not start and Evan Longoria batted third in his place…The Rays are just the 4th team to start 13-1 on the road. The 1984 Tigers started 17-0 before being swept in Seattle…No TV today for the Rays.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 22-7, 1.5 games ahead of the Yankees and 5 games ahead of the Blue Jays in the Wild Card. After 29 games in 2008, the Rays were 16-13.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Here is Evan Longoria talking about his new “haircut.” [Tampa Tribune]
- The national media is starting to warm up to the Rays. [USA Today]
- Tom Verducci wrote a flattering article about the Rays pitching. [SI.com]
- Unfortunately he confused James Shields for Scot Shields (and even spelled Scot’s name wrong). How does this still happen? Scot Shields isn’t even a pimple on James the Greater’s fanny. [Dock of the Rays]
- It’s behind the insider wall, but Jason Churchill and Keith Law re-drafted the 2004 draft. They have the Rays taking either Adam Lind or Yovanni Gallardo in place of Jeff Niemann (thanks Thad). [ESPN]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Richard de los Santos picked up his first win with 6.2 innings and 3 runs allowed…Joe Dillon was 3-4 with his 8th double and 5th home run…Jose Lobaton hit his second home run in 2 days. The key to Dioner Navarro’s future is not John Jaso. It is Lobaton. The Rays will only move Navarro if they are confident Lobaton can serve as the emergency catcher.
- MONTGOMERY: Rayner Oliveros gave up 6 runs in 4 innings and the Biscuits managed just 1 run on 3 hits.
- CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz gave up 5 runs (4 earned) in just 4 innings…Tim Beckham was 0-4 with 3 strikeouts and is 0 for his last 12 and just 9-68 (.132) on the season…Matt Sweeney was 2-4 with a double.
- BOWLING GREEN: Jason McEachern picked up his first win, allowing just 1 run in 6 innings…Chris Murrill and Ty Morrison were both 3-4.