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: Andy Sonnanstine. After tossing 4.2 scoreless innings Friday and then after Lance Cormier nearly blew a 4-run 11th inning lead, The Duke came in with the tying run on third and no outs. He promptly struck out the next two batters (including a pitcher) and got Dan Uggla to fly out to right to end the game…Vuvuzelas. Or whatever those things were, may have been annoying, but they helped the Rays in the end. The noise may have led to a miscommunication of a lineup change and when Brian Barden led off the 9th with a walk, he was called out for batting out of order…Joe Maddon. JoeMa does some strange things and we usually only comment when they don’t work. So we need to tip our cap to his moves last night. First he brought Rafael Soriano in with no outs in the 8th with the tying run on third and no outs. Sure he blew his first save of the year (thanks to an Evan Longoria throwing error), but he didn’t give up a hit and gave Maddon 2 scoreless innings. Then Maddon went to James Shields in the 10th. Yes James Shields, who pitched a scoreless 10th. And of course, Maddon proved he has a huge pair of Vuvuzelas when he turned to Andy Sonnanstine with the tying run on third in the 11th.
THE BAD: Lance Cormier. After being spotted a 4-run lead in the top-half of the 11th, Cormier was called upon to close out the game in a “don’t screw this up role.” He almost did, allowing all 5 batters he faced to reach base…Wheeler/Choate. What Cormier did in the 11th, Dan Wheeler and Choate had already accomplished in the 8th. A 3-run lead was quickly erased when those two couldn’t retire any of the 4 batters they faced.
THE TELLING: Joe Maddon continues to platoon BJ Upton and John Jaso at the leadoff spot.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 42-26, tied with the Yankees in the East and 1 game ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 68 games in 2008, the Rays were 40-28.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- David Price was warming up with Wade Davis prior to Saturday’s game when Price caught one throw with his groin. He is not expected to miss his next start. [St. Pete Times]
- Marc Topkin had BJ Upton and Justin Upton answer a few questions about each other. [St. Pete Times]
- Tom D’Angelo spoke with Matt Garza about his father, who recently returned from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan, and what Father’s Day means to him. [Palm Beach Post]
- Dave Scheiber wrote a nice father’s day piece on Derek Shelton and his father. [FoxSportsFlorida]
- Here is one interpretation of the Delmon Young-Matt Garza-Jason Bartlett trade. [Fake Bill Smith]
- Here is an interview with Hudson Valley’s 32-year old manager and former Devil Ray, Jared Sandberg. [Times Herald-Record]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]