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: Maddonology 101. Shaun Marcum is a right-hander, but Joe Maddon calls him a lefty in disguise. So JoeMa loaded his lineup with right-handed bats and even had Kelly Shoppach batting clean-up. The result? Righties went 9-13 versus Marcum and lefties went 1-7…Top O’ The Order To Ya. The Rays starting 1-6 hitters were a combined 12-23…Yep, Sauciness. Carlos Pena hit another home run, his 4th in 3 days. Think about how good this team could be if Pena was actually mashing on a consistent basis. Yep. This could get fun…Sean Rodriguez. With a 3-4 showing last night, Rodzilla now has a 10-game hitting streak. Over that span, he is 14-34 (.412) and has raised his average from .197 to .264. OK, maybe we’ll keep him…BJ Upton. Last night he was on base 3 more times. And as a leadoff hitter this season, he has been on base 12 times in 25 plate appearances (.480)…Evan Longoria. We don’t put Dirtbag in this category nearly often enough. It is as though we just expect him to be great (that’s not necessarily a bad thing). Last night he had 3 hits to raise his season average to .326. And his double-play to end the 5th inning (above) was a thing a of beauty…David Price. King David is now 5-0 with a 2.09 ERA in 6 career starts versus the Blue Jays. Last night he did have to fight through some jams. Price did not have a 1-2-3 all night and in the 4th he loaded the bases with 1 out. He got out of it with a strikeout and a broken bat grounder.
THE BAD: Scoring. The Blue Jays were averaging 5.2 runs per game prior to this series. Rays pitchers have allowed the Blue Jays to score 1 run in the first two games. How is this bad for the Rays? It is not. But it is for the Jays and that’s all we got today.
THE TELLING: Last night’s attendance was 15,886…David Price leads the AL in wins (9) and ERA (2.23). According to JB Long of Bay9News, Price is the youngest player to lead both categories this late in the season in 23 years (Bret Saberhagen, ’87). Any chance Joe Girardi will pick King David to start the all-star game over Phil Hughes? Yeah, we didn’t think so either…David Price is on pace to win 25 games…Carlos Pena’s home run was his 128th as a Ray, tying Aubrey Huff’s franchise record.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 39-20, 2 games ahead of the Yankees and 5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 59 games in 2008, the Rays were 35-24.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- David Price talks about last night’s start (video). [The Heater]
- Joe Smith writes about the adjustments that Sean Rodriguez has made working with Derek Shelton. [St. Pete Times]
- The man with the magical graphs, one of our favorites, Ricky Zanker made his debut (we think) with The Hardball Times. Take a look at the graph for Carlos Pena. Your eyes do not deceive you. All of his hits are either down the right field line or to the opposite field. [The Hardball Times]
- Yesterday we told you about Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis and their fishing trip. Here is a video excerpt…But what we want to know is: what is up with the guys hiding their faces? It is kinda creepin’ us out. Why are they wearing masks? Were they burned by acid or something? Did they tell their wives they were on a business trip? [FS Florida]
- If you are going to put together a tourism brochure for the Bay Area, it would help if you could at least get the name of the baseball team correct. [Tampa Tribune]
- It has already been deleted, but here is a strange one for you to ponder: “Is it possible that Joe Maddon brought a steroid culture with him to the Rays?” [Yahoo! Answers]
- One writer gave the Rays an A+ for their draft (thanks Connie). [Bleacher Report]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Jeremy Hellickson struck out 8, but was pulled after just 4.2 innings with 101 pitches. He gave up 3 runs, including a solo home run, on 7 hits and 2 walks…Matt Joyce was 2-3 with 2 walks…Desmond Jennings did not play.
- MONTGOMERY: Alex Cobb improved to 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA in 6 starts. He threw 6.2 shutout innings, striking out 6 and walking none. He gave up just 3 hits…Matt Sweeney went 2-3 with a double.
- CHARLOTTE: Shane Dyer gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in 6 innings in game 1…Chris Andujar improved to 5-1 with 5 innings and 2 runs allowed…Tim Beckham was 1-6 with 2 strikeouts in the double-header.
- BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein struck out 5 and walked 5 in 4.2 innings. He allowed 3 runs (1 earned) and just 1 hit in the first game…Alex Colome was touched for 4 runs in 6 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 2 during game 2.