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: Little Help From The Jays. With runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out and trailing by 1 in the 9th. Dioner Navarro came to the plate to face Shaun Marcum. Marcum is tougher on lefties, but one would have to think that even a left-handed Carlos Pena or Hank Blalock would have been a better option than a right-handed Navarro. So when Joe Maddon did not pinch-hit, the Jays had to know a squeeze play was coming. They should have had 6 fielders within 20 feet of the plate. Even if Navi swings away, there is little chance Navarro hits it past a drawn-in infield. Instead, Navi laid down an ugly, but effective bunt scoring Sean Rodriguez to tie the game…Carl Crawford. Great game. 2 hits, 5 RBI including a grand slam. But if you read the headlines this morning you would think CC won the game. Yes, his home run was ultimately the winning margin. But there were 3 or 4 hits at bats in the 9th inning more important including Dioner Navarro’s squeeze and Reid Brignac’s double…Dirtbag’s D. With a runner on first and no outs in the 8th inning of a 1-run game, Evan Longoria made a diving stop to his left and started a 5-4-3 double-play from his knees to keep the Rays alive.
THE BAD: Another Blown Call. This time it was Sean Rodriguez rounding third and scoring the tying run in the 6th only to be called out for missing the bag. Replays seemed to indicate that Rodriguez touched the bag. And even if the replay wasn’t conclusive, an umpire can’t make that call unless he is 100% certain…Navarro Is Spanish For Tortoise. The Rays had runners on second and third with no outs in the 5th. BJ Upton hit a medium-depth flyball to right field. Navarro tagged up and was thrown out by at least 15 feet. The right fielder could have walked the ball to the plate.
THE TELLING: Jeff Niemann brought out the lineup card before the game. We can only imagine this was so none of the coaches would suffer from a premature ejectulation…A decision will be made on whether to DL Jason Bartlett prior to Friday’s game…Willy Aybar, Ben Zobrist and Dioner Navarro batted right-handed versus the righty Shaun Marcum. In addition, Carlos Pena was not in the starting lineup. Lefties are only hitting .166 versus Marcum, while righties are hitting .280.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 36-18, 2.5 games ahead of the Yankees and 5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 54 games in 2008, the Rays were 32-22.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The umpires were adamant after the game in defending their call that Sean Rodriguez missed third base, erasing the first tying run. [The Heater]
- Carl Crawford talks about the win (video). [The Heater]
- Marc Topkin looks at who the Rays might call up if Jason Bartlett goes on the DL. [St. Pete Times]
- Matt Bush has been activated from the DL and will resume play with Charlotte.
- Henry Schulman thinks Pat Burrell could be called up by the Giants as soon as this weekend. [San Francisco Chronicle]
- Jeremy Hellickson was named the IL pitcher of the week…again. [Rays Prospects]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Richard de los Santos pitched 7 shutout innings. He struck out 5 and walked 2…Dan Johnson hit his 15th home run. He now has a league-leading 1.052 OPS…Matt Joyce was 1-4 with a walk…Kelly Shoppach caught and went 2-4…Desmond Jennings was 2-4 and Fernando Perez stole his 16th base.
- MONTGOMERY: Jeremy Hall threw 8 shutout innings with just 2 hits and 3 walks. He has not allowed a run in his last 3 starts (23 innings)…Drew Anderson was 3-5 with his first home run of the year…Matt Sweeney went 1-3 and is 11-49 (.224) since being promoted.
- CHARLOTTE: Frank de los Santos allowed just 1 unearned run in 6 innings…Tim Beckham was 1-5 with 2 strikeouts…Leslie Anderson went 1-4.
- BOWLING GREEN: Alex Colome gave up 6 runs (5 earned) in 4 innings. Of the 6 hits, 4 were home runs.