The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is niceand lean and the The Telling is ripe.
THE GOOD: Late Rallies. There is nothing more fun than a late rally in baseball. And thanks to a game-tying double by Evan Longoria in the 9th that scored Carl Crawford all the way from first and a go-ahead single by Willy Aybar in the 10th, the Rays won their first-ever game in Target Field…Most of the Bullpen. Randy Choate might be in the midst of one of his epic meltdown phases. But the rest of the ‘pen was strong, throwing 3 perfect innings and keeping the Rays in the game.
THE BAD: Former Rays. What is it about former Rays that elevate their game to new heights against Tampa Bay? We have seen it in previous years from players like Aubrey Huff, whose career has been lengthened by a few years just based on his numbers versus the Rays. But this year has seen an all-new level. There was Edwin Jackson’s no-hitter. And last night it was Delmon Young suddenly thinking he is a power-hitter with a game-tying home run in the 7th. He also threw out a runner at home to end an inning and added an RBI single. Delmon had moments with the Rays, but we don’t ever remember complete games.
THE TELLING: The Rays have now won 2 in a row for the first time since June 8 and 9 versus the Blue Jays…BJ Upton did not start for the 3rd straight game again citing a sore leg muscle. Ben Zobrist once again ledofff and played center.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 46-32, 2 games behind the Yankees and a half-game behind the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 78 games in 2008, the Rays were 47-31.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Carl Crawford compares this win to how the Rays were playing earlier in the year (VIDEO). [The Heater]
- The Rays rank 6th (out of 144 professional franchises) in ESPN the Magazine’s “Ultimate Standings.” The rankings consider several factors including “Bang for the Buck” which has the Rays ranked second overall. Interestingly, the Rays rank only 106th in “Stadium Experience” and 58th in “Ownership” a category described as “honesty and loyalty to core players and local community.” [ESPN]
- Here is a fun video of Pat Burrell playing “defense” (h/t Jason Collette). [MLB]
- Elijah Dukes has signed with the Independent Atlantic League’s Newark Bears. [MLB Trade Rumors]
- Pop Life has a list of songs to describe BJ Upton. Our fave? Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.” [Pop Life]
- A young lady pissed on the hallowed grounds of Fenway Park Wednesday night During the Rays game. Since then, the Rays have won two in a row. Coincidence? (thanks Rob). [Deadspin]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Carlos Hernandez didn’t give up a run, but was pulled after 4.2 innings with 99 pitches having allowed 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 6…Fernando Perez went 2-4 with his 19th stolen base…Dioner Navarro hit his first home run since being demote…Angel Chavez (6) and Justin Ruggiano (7) also homered…Desmond Jennings did not start but was used as a late-inning defensive replacement.
- MONTGOMERY: Jake McGee looked strong again, throwing 5 shutout innings, striking out 8 and walking 3. He gave up just 3 hits…In game 2, Alex Cobb pitched 5.1 scoreless innings with 5 Ks, giving up just 2 hits. He now has a 1.67 ERA in 10 starts…Matt Sweeney was 0-5 with 2 strikeouts in the double-header and is now hitting .203.
- CHARLOTTE: Shane Dyer gave up 4 runs in 6.1 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 2…Tim Beckham went 1-4 with a strikeout.
- BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein dropped to 5-4 after getting pounded for 6 runs in 5 innings on 7 hits and 4 walks…Chris Murrill went 2-5.
- HUDSON VALLEY: Miguel Sierra made his 3rd start and gave up 2 runs in 5 innings. He struck out 3…Jacob Thompson, the Rays 2nd round pick this year, made his professional debut. He pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief, striking out 2 and allowing just one hit.
- PRINCETON: Jacob Partridge gave up 2 runs in 5.1 innings.