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: All The Giraffe Does Is Win. Jeff Niemann tied a franchise record with his 7th straight win and has not last at home in his last 16 starts. That is the longest streak in the majors (thanks JB). Last night, Niemann took a no-hitter into the 6th and finished with a complete game, 2-hit shutout. It was his 3rd career shutout…Bossman. Say hello to the Rays new leadoff hitter. At least against lefties. Last night he was on base 4 times in 5 plate appearances and at one point had reached base 9 straight times. On the season, he has been on base 10 out 20 plate appearances as a leadoff hitter…Carlos Pena. Is the sauciness back for reals this time? Two home runs for El Gato, including a grand slam. The slam earned Pena a curtain call. Does anybody remember the last time a player got a curtain call at the Trop? We don’t. It was Pena’s 2nd multi-HR game of the season and his 11th with the Rays.
THE BAD: Keeping Pace. Both the Red Sox and Yankees won last night. Not only are the two best teams in baseball in the AL East (according to record), but the East also has 4 of the top 9.
THE TELLING: Attendance was 12,937…Pat Burrell is 5-12 in 4 games with the Giants…John Jaso is likely to remain the leadoff hitter versus right-handers according to Marc Topkin.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 38-20, 2 games ahead of the Yankees and 4 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 58 games in 2008, the Rays were 35-23.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jacob Thomspon, the Rays second-round pick, says he is ready to sign. [The Heater]
- LeVon Washington, the Rays #1 pick a year ago, was drafted by the Indians in the second round and may have agreed to a $1.55 million deal. That would be about $500K more than the Rays offered a year ago (other sources dispute that an agreement has been reached). [Twitter]
- No Rich Herrera last night, tonight or tomorrow. He has switch places with Durham Bulls play-by-play guy Neil Solondz. [Rays Prospects]
- Check out the second graph on this link. Great look at how the Rays offense compares to the run production of the last 2 years. [Watching Durham Bulls Baseball]
- Rays are still #1 in ESPN.com’s power rankings. [ESPN]
- Matt Garza as Zoltar. [TAUNTR]
- The Rays were not among Keith Law’s “winners” of day 1 of the draft. [ESPN]
- Here is the complete list of players drafted by the Rays in the first 30 rounds. [Rays Prospects]
- Follow along on Rays Prospects’ draft signing board as they will update with all of the Rays draft pick signings in the coming weeks. [Rays Prospects]
- Chris Nowak was named the SL hitter of the week. [Rays Prospects]
- Shane Dyer was named the FSL pitcher of the week.
- Three Hot Rods were named to the ML All-Star team. [Rays Prospects]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Carlos Hernandez struck out 8 and allowed just 1 hits and 2 walks in 6 shutout innings. He improved to 5-3 with a 2.90 ERA… Desmond Jennings batted second and went 3-5 with a triple…Ryan Shealy and Chris Richard homered for the Bulls…Matt Joyce was 1-4 with a walk.
- MONTGOMERY: Jake McGee allowed just 1 unearned run in 4.2 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 4, but did not allow a hit…Chris Nowak went 3-4 with a double.
- CHARLOTTE: Matt Moore picked up his first win in 12 starts this season by holding Clearwater to 1 run in 6.1 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 3…Tim Beckham was 1-3 with a double and a walk. He has 5 hits in the last 3 games, but is still hitting just .218.
- BOWLING GREEN: (postponed)