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: Big Innings. One feature of the Rays early in the season when they were winning everyday was the consistency of big innings and last night they had two of them. During this recent stretch of poor play, the Rays have continued to draw walks. Getting on base is great. But the walks are wasted if they aren’t followed by a string of hits and last night the Rays were able to string together hits for what seemed like the first time in a long time…Ben Zobrist. Zorilla is no center fielder, so let’s not use him as evidence for getting rid of BJ Upton. But in Upton’s absence last night, Zobrist got on base twice as the leadoff hitter, stole a base and even played some solid defense…Matt Garza. He had 104 pitches after 7, so it was a little surprising to see him come out to start the 8th. If we ignore those 2 batters, Garza held the Sox to 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks in 7 strong innings. He is now 9-5 with a 4.08 ERA on the year.
THE BAD: Zero Confidence. That’s what we have in Randy Choate right now. The Rays lone bad moment last night came when Joe Maddon left Matt Garza in to start the 8th and then brought Choate in to face David Ortiz who promptly hit a 2-run double.
THE TELLING: Jason Bartlett’s home run was his first non-solo home run since 2006, snapping a stretch of 21 straight 1-run home runs.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 45-32, 2 games behind the Yankees and 1 game behind the Wild Card leading Red Sox. After 77 games in 2008, the Rays were 46-31.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Even though Carl Crawford’s arm is still not 100% and teams will continue to take advantage of it, Joe Maddon says Crawford will continue to play LF because he doesn’t like to DH. [St. Pete Times]
- The Angels are interested in Hank Blalock. [MLB Trade Rumors]
- Three Bulls will be on the IL All-Star team. [Rays Prospects]
- Why isn’t Jeremy Hellickson on the IL all-star team. [Watching Durham Bulls Baseball]
- Joe Maddon thinks Jeff Niemann should be considered for the all-star game. [Tampa Tribune]
- Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution suggests the Braves target BJ Upton in a trade. [AJC]
- Ryan Torello points out that during interleague play the Rays batted .237 with a .346 OBP and a .365 SLG. He also notes that (prior to last night) in Rays wins this season, Evan Longoria is batting .358. In losses, he is hitting .203. [Twitter]
- RotoProfessor examines whether or not Wade Davis can turn his season around. [RotoProfessor]
- Here is a relatively new Rays blog that had slipped below our radar until now. This Chick Loves The Rays posts her dream Rays lineup. [The Chick Loves The Rays]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Jeremy Hellickson lasted only 5 innings after throwing 95 pitches. He gave up 3 runs on 9 hits. He struck out 4 and walked none…Dioner Navarro went 1-3 with a walk…Desmond Jennings did not start, but made an appearance as a pinch-runner…Dan Johnson was 2-4 with a 2 RBI and a walk.
- MONTGOMERY: (postponed)
- CHARLOTTE: Frank de los Santos held Palm Beach to 1 run in 7 innings on 7 hits and a walk. He struck out 2…Tim Beckham went 0-5 with 2 strikeouts. He is hitting .211.
- BOWLING GREEN: Alex Colome pitched 6.2 shutout innings with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks…Robi Estrada drove in both runs with a double.
- HUDSON VALLEY: Wilmer Almonte gave up 5 runs in 5 innings. He struck out 2 and walked 2…Derek Dietrich was 1-4 with an RBI.
- PRINCETON: Eliazar Suero made his second start and gave up 2 runs in 3 innings, striking out 4…Bryan Fogle went 3-5 with a pair of doubles.