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: Joe Maddon. With the Rays trailing by 2, Carlos Pena struck out looking for the second out even though he attempted to call time before the pitch. Joe Maddon then came out of the dugout and conducted one of the best, most entertaining manager arguments we have ever seen. After arguing with home plate umpire Angel Hernandez and dropping several F-bombs, he was ejected. JoeMa then turned and ran towards third base ump Joe West. Maddon was pointing at West and yelling “this is your f*cking fault!” West was genuinely confused and Maddon kept yelling “yeah, this is your f*cking fault!” Maddon was blaming West because of comments West had made earlier in the season about speeding up the game. And JoeMa picked this moment to let West exactly how he felt about those comments. Classic. And amazingly, after the ejection, 8 of the next 12 pitches were balls, several of which were very close. That loaded the bases before Sean Rodriguez cleared them with a go-ahead double…Sean Rodriguez. He finally did something big. He’s finally a real Ray! Arod’d.
THE BAD: Rafael Soriano. He got the job done in the bottom of the 9th, but not before he made our heart stop momentarily. With a runner on base and 2 outs, Vernon Wells missed a game-tying home run by about 2 feet when his linedrive hit off the top of the wall. The Jays would score one, but no more…Reid Brignac. Not his best game as a pro. The runner that scored in the 9th reached base via his throwing error. That followed a missed double-play in which he was ruled too far from the bag on the turn and 3 strikeouts at the plate…Stress. This was easily the most stressful game of the year to date. It was so stressful I shit a squirrel. And now I’ve got this shit-covered squirrel running around the house. I think I’ll name it Pat the Squirrel.
THE TELLING: With Jason Bartlett out, Joe Maddon’s “surprise” leadoff hitter was BJ Upton. We like it, but that’s not much of a surprise…Of Matt Joyce’s 58 plate appearances this season, only 4 have come against left-handed pitchers. In other words, he will never be more than a platoon player with the Rays…PECOTA gives the Rays an 84.1% chance of making the playoffs. CoolStandings.com says it is 77.7%.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 35-18 and lead the Yankees by 2.5 games in the East and the Blue Jays by 4.5 in the Wild Card. After 53 games in 2008, the Rays were 32-21.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Here is video of Joe Maddon’s ejection. [Pro Rumors]
- Joe Maddon called last night’s game a “big win” and said about the ejection that he was making a stand “for all teams” (video). [The Heater]
- Joe West defended Angel Hernandez’ decision after the game. [The Heater]
- Joe Maddon said there is now a “50-50” chance that Jason Bartlett ends up on the DL due to his sore hamstring. [The Heater]
- Evan Longoria still has a comfortable lead at third base in the AL All-Star voting. Carl Crawford fell to third among outfielders and Pat Burrell fell to fifth among DHs. [MLB]
- Hank Blalock will start working out in the outfield. He has never played the outfield at any level. [St. Pete Times]
- John Romano writes about the upcoming draft in which the Rays have 6 of the top 100 picks. [St. Pete Times]
- Tony Fabrizio calls the upcoming draft “important.” Andrew Friedman says this year’s draft “is probably void of depth with really significant-type prospects. [Rays Report]
- Tom Buehring of Bay News 9 had a sit-down with Andrew Friedman about the early part of the season (video). [Bay News 9]
- The Rays have partnered with the Sagicor Life Insurance company to start the “Rays Kids Spirits” program to support children at All Childrens Hospital. [PR Newswire]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Aneury Rodriguez allowed 5 hits and walked 4 while striking out 4. Four of those runners scored…Matt Joyce was 1-4 with a walk…Kelly Shoppach went 1-4…Desmond Jennings once again batted 7th. This time he was 0-3 with his 12th stolen base…Justin Ruggiano had 2 hits and stole 4 bases.
- MONTGOMERY: David Newmann struck out 8 and walked just 1 in 5 innings. He did give up 10 hits and 4 runs.
- CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz gave up 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings. He struck out 5…Tim Beckham went 1-4 with a walk…Leslie Anderson hit his 3rd home run in 18 games.
- BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein allowed just 1 run on 2 hits and 2 walks in 6-plus innings. He struck out 5. The first hit off of Lobstein did not come until the lead off hitter in the 7th. Only two batters reached base (walk, error) in the first 6 innings…Ryan Wiegand homered twice and drove in 5 runs. It was his 5th 2-hit game in the past 10.