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: Dirtbag’s Golden Glove. We will never get tired of watching Evan Longoria play defense. Yesterday it was a diving stop on a groundball followed by a perfect throw to second from his knees to start an inning-ending double play.
THE BAD: No-Hittability. The Rays didn’t get a hit until the 6th inning off a guy that came into the game with an ERA north of 6.00. What do you think the over/under should be on number of games this year in which the Rays fail to get a hit in the first 5 innings? We’ll go with 7.5…Too Much Flexibility. We love the Rays defensive flexibility. And we love that Joe Maddon maximizes that flexibility. But we do wonder if maybe the team is too flexible at times. For example, Willy Aybar is what, the 4th string second baseman? So when Aybar is playing second base in the 8th inning of a one-run game, we wonder exactly how Joe Maddon ended up there.
THE TELLING: The Rays have lost 6 of their last 8…Jason Bartlett is expected to return to the lineup on Friday…Kelly Shoppach began his rehab assignment and went 1-3 with 2 strikeouts for Durham…According to PECOTA, the Rays have a 91.4% chance of making the playoffs.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 34-18, 2.5 games ahead of the Yankees in the East and 3.5 ahead of the Blue Jays in the Wild Card. After 52 games in 2008, the Rays were 31-21.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- From Marc Topkin: Matt Joyce was activated from the DL and optioned to Durham where he will play for the foreseeable future….Tonight’s leadoff hitter “could be a surprise” (our guess is Evan Longoria)…Jeremy Hellickson won his second IL pitcher of the week award. [St. Pete Times]
- Evan Longoria on batting 3rd: “I do feel most comfortable there, and I’ve told Joe that…I feel a little more comfortable there, and I like hitting in the first inning; that’s the biggest thing.”
- Dioner Navarro on his job future: “I can’t control that… I can only control what I can do. I know the starters like to throw the ball to me.” [Tampa Tribune]
- Matt Garza talks about yesterday’s performance (video). [The Heater]
- The Rays are still on top of Phil Rogers’ power rankings. [Chicago Tribune]
- Wow. Pittsburgh fans are coming down hard on Aki Iwamura. So hard, they are now writing songs about Aki. Not very flattering songs. [93.7 FM]
- If you ever wanted to hear/see Aubrey Huff singing, well, don’t say we never did anything for ya. [Video]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Heath Phillips allowed just 1 run in 5.2 innings, striking out 2 and walking 1…Desmond Jennings batted 7th and went 3-4 with a double…Kelly Shoppach was 1-3 with a pair of RBI and 2 strikeouts.
- MONTGOMERY: Alex Torres started and was pulled after just 2.2 innings without allowing a run. He struck out 4 and walked 2…Chris Nowak hit his 3rd and 4th home runs of the year, driving in 5.
- CHARLOTTE: (no game scheduled)
- BOWLING GREEN: Wilking Rodriguez allowed 4 runs in 5 innings on 5 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 6…Kyle Spraker hit his first home run of the year and drove in 3.