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: Wade Davis. Nice strong start from Big Dub. The 7.1 innings was his longest outing of the year and only the second time he has worked into the 8th inning this season.
THE BAD: Where are the Bats? Sometimes good teams get no-hit. It’s rare, but it happens. What good teams don’t do is get 7 hits in a 3-game series against a last place team. In total, the Rays went 7-81 (.086) in route to losing their 5th straight series. Some of the blame can be placed on luck as every time the Rays hit the ball hard, it seemed to be drawn right to a player’s glove. Still, luck can’t explain it all. This team just cannot hit right now. We are not ready to blame Derek Shelton. For one thing, the influence of the hitting coach at the big league level is overrated. And for all the struggles, the offense is still 4th in the AL in OPS. That being said, the Rays need to find more consistency from the bats..BJ Upton. If you missed it yesterday, Upton nonchalantly jogged after a ball as it rolled to the wall turning a routine double into a triple. That led to some stern words from Evan Longoria to which Upton reacted by absolutely losing his sh*t in the dugout and having to be restrained by Willy Aybar. He followed that up by getting picked off of first base for the 7 millionth time in his career. And with all the energy he exerted in the field and on the basepaths, Upton’s try for a walk-off 2-run home run in the bottom of the 9th came up a few feet short. Or maybe Upton just has warning track power after all.
THE TELLING: All players in the starting lineup went with the high-cuffed pants and striped stirrups…Dioner Navarro is expected to make his debut with Durham tonight.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 44-31, 3 games behind the Yankees in the East and 1 game behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 75 games in 2008, the Rays were also 44-31.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon says it is “60-40” that Carl Crawford will be able to DH in Boston tomorrow. But CC’s return to the outfield is less clear after he aggravated his shoulder sliding on Friday night…also Gabe Kapler is expected to be activated from the DL tomorrow and Marc Topkin wonders if the Rays will let Hank Blalock go rather than demote Matt Joyce. [St. Pete Times]
- Evan Longoria on yesterday’s incident: “It’s just a couple of guys that are frustrated with the way they are playing…it’s already buried” (VIDEO). [The Heater]
- The St. Pete Times has a timeline of BJ Upton’s brainfarts…And to be clear, we have never thought Upton was “lazy.” We just think he occasionally loses focus in critical situations. [St. Pete Times]
- Marc Topkin says it is still too early to judge the Edwin Jackson–Matt Joyce trade. [St. Pete Times]
- Michael Kruse writes about the tricky situation the Rays find themselves in with the stadium situation. It’s a good read, and not just because we were interviewed for the story. [St. Pete Times]
- Will Kline, the Rays second-round pick in 2007 missed all of the 2008 and 2009 seasons. And now he won’t play in 2010 either after suffering a torn rotator cuff. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- Rise of the Rays comes to the defense of BJ Upton. [Rise of the Rays]
- Ken Rosenthal speculates that Carl Crawford could sign with the Rangers this winter. [Fox Sports]
- Durham manager Charlie Montoyo will join Jeremy Hellickson and Desmond Jennings at the Futures Game during the all-star break. Montoyo was named as a member of the coaching staff. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- Pitcher Josh Satow and 3B Henry Wrigley have been promoted to double-A Montgomery.
- The News & Observer spoke with Dan Johnson and manager Charlie Montoyo about the slugger’s chances at making it back to the big leagues. [News&Observer]
- Rays Prospects is accepting votes for the Rays minor league mid-season all-stars. [Rays Prospects]
- The Times Herald-Record interviewed Rays roving instructor Matt Quatraro. [Times Herald-Record]
- Here is a good read on an usher at The Trop that has been going to baseball games for over 60 years and just witnessed his first no-hitter. [JordiScrubbings.com]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Heath Phillips worked 6 innings and gave up 2 runs (1 earned), striking out 5 and walking 2…Desmond Jennings went 2-5 with a double and his 18th stolen base…Fernando Perez was 2-4 and hit his 3rd home run.
- MONTGOMERY: Alex Torres struck out 6, but lasted only 4 innings as his pitch count reached 89. He allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks…Leslie Anderson went 2-4 and is now 22-75 (.293) since being promoted to double-A…Matt Sweeney was 1-4 with a double. He is hitting 25-119 (.210) since being promoted.
- CHARLOTTE: Matt Moore struck out 11 in 6 innings, walking just 2. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits…Reid Fronk had 2 of the Stone Crabs’ 3 hits…Tim Beckham was 0-3 with a strikeout.
- BOWLING GREEN: Wilking Rodriguez gave up 6 runs, but all 6 were unearned. He gave up 7 hits, walked 1, hit 2 batters and threw a wild pitch in just 4 innings…Tyler Bortnick went 2-3 with a double and his 6th home run.
- HUDSON VALLEY: Omar Bencomo made his second start and allowed 3 runs in 4.2 innings. He struck out 3…Derek Dietrich was 1-4 with a double.
- PRINCETON: Enny Romero struck out 7 and gave up 1 run on just 2 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings…Bryan Fogle hit his first home run of the year.