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: James Shields. James the Greater continues to be one of the most dominant pitchers in the AL with another solid 8 inning performance. And he got stronger as the game went along, retiring the final 16 batters he faced.
THE BAD: Bob Davidson. That pitch above was the one that set Carl Crawford off and eventually led to his ejection. You could have made the strikezone twice as wide and it still wouldn’t have been a strike. But that was just the latest of many pitches last night that helped Jon Lester look like 1991 Tom Glavine who was the master of expanding the zone. If you want a light-side to the story, it is that this is the closest we have ever seen to a real-life reenactment of Billy Crystal flipping out as an NBA ref in “Forget Paris.” Crawford says he was ejected because Davidson told him he was “invading [his] space.” We still have no idea why Joe Maddon was ejected since he was ejected before he even had a chance to say anything…BJ Upton. Once one of the fastest bats and owner of the quickest wrists in baseball, Bossman is a shell of his former self. He has injured his shoulder at least 6 times and we have to wonder if it will ever be the same or if he is just afraid to injure it again. In May, Upton is 12-74 (.162) with 29 strikeouts and 6 walks…Dioner Navarro. Navi has the slowest bat ever. He should name it “Casey Fossum.”
THE TELLING: Joe Maddon will continue to use Willy Aybar and John Jaso in the 5th spot for the time being…Kelly Shoppach could begin a rehab assignment as soon as Monday.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays still have an MLB-best record of 32-14, 5 games ahead of the Yankees in the East and 6 games ahead of the Blue Jays in the Wild Card. After 46 games in 2008 the Rays were 27-19.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Carl Crawford speaks after the game about the ejection (video). [The Heater]
- Marc Topkin has quotes from the crew chief of last night’s game on the ejections. [The Heater]
- Wade Davis tells Marc Topkin that he was “probably a little upset” at how long it took David Ortiz to get around the bases after his Monday night home run. [St. Pete Times]
- Sean Rodriguez and Jason Bartlett had to call 911 after Rodriguez was stung by a stingray. [St. Pete Times]
- Eddie Morlan, the third player the Rays received in the Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett trade with the Twins, has been released. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- Sure it is early, but in ESPN.com’s Cy Young predictor, David Price is first, followed by Rafael Soriano (2nd), Matt Garza (3rd) and James Shields (5th). That’s crazy. [ESPN]
- “If you only go six innings, you’re going to get made fun of,” said Price, who reveals that he got “crushed” by his teammates after a recent six-inning, 97-pitch appearance against Cleveland…And if you go five?…”Don’t come to the field the next day,” Price said. [ESPN]
- Evan Longoria makes WhatIfSports “All-Budget Lineup.” [WhatIfSports]
- Brian Joura of Fangraphs predicts Jeremy Hellickson will be promoted soon (Ed. note: he won’t be). [Fangraphs]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Heath Phillips gave up 2 runs in 5 innings…Dan Johnson hit his 14th home run and added a double…Desmond Jennings was 1-5 with an RBI.
- MONTGOMERY: (no game scheduled)
- CHARLOTTE: (postponed)
- BOWLING GREEN: Jason McEachern pitched 5 shutout innings with 7 strikeouts and 3 walks.