The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is niceand lean and the The Telling is ripe.

Rays 5, Twins 4

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.

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22 Comments

  1. John S says:

    Fun game to watch.

    Except Delmon Young playing like an all-star

    • Mike says:

      Delmon has always had the talent. I hope he continues to get better and has a great career. If he ever grows up and works hard he could be one of the great players. Seeing that cannon in action again reminded me why at the time I was not happy with the Garza/Bartlett trade.

      • Don says:

        Actually the Young for Garza/Bartlett trade is not looking so lopsided as time goes on…Young is a solid hitter we could have used in Rt. field the last two years…
        Bartlett seems to be headed south and won’t be here next year….Garza you don’t know… he can go in either direction!

  2. How long before BJ Upton has a great game *against* the Rays and you’re adding that to the “Bad?”

  3. Kelley says:

    I feel bad for BJ and I’m ready to give him another chance. Everybody loved him a few weeks ago when he had his brief hot streak. Let’s not give up on him yet. I think he’s learned his lesson.

  4. pudieron89 says:

    Choate didn’t pitch badly, the HP umpire sucked all night and Choate was painting the bottom of the strike zone but not getting calls. As a result he had to throw it higher and that gave up the hit…not saying he’s blameless in all of this but let’s not call a double and a fly ball a “meltdown” when he’s making great pitches but not getting the calls. That extreme hyperbole.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      But hyperbole is the greatest thing ever!

      And yes, maybe I’m being a bit harsh on Choate, I just don’t like that he gives in sometimes (even if umpire is forcing him). He just doesn’t have the stuff to ever throw a pitch out over the middle of the plate.

      • Hal says:

        You’ve been on a Choate witch-hunt as of late – he’s actually been really good. That umpire last night was as bad at calling balls and strikes as any I’ve seen all season. He was horrible both ways. Choate will get killed if he pitches over the middle, but that’s not his game.

        • Cork Gaines says:

          Then maybe we should blame Maddon for having Choate in the game at all. If you have a pitcher that lives by picking at the edge of the strikezone, should he be in the game with an umpire that is squeezing the zone?

          • pudieron89 says:

            He doesn’t live on location in general, but specifically hitting that low part of the strikezone to get strikeouts or ground balls. Come on Cork, you know what a LOOGY is and what their role is, he’s not a finesse pitcher, but he is effective in his role. The point is, he was putting it where he’s supposed to, but the ump wasn’t calling it and the Twins hitters saw this and didn’t swing until Choate had to elevate it.

            Either way, no pitcher is going to be happy with that tight of a zone, so why not put out your lefty specialist against the best left-handed bats in the Twins’ lineup? This is not on Maddon or Choate, it’s just the game of baseball and its luck-driven parameters.

      • pudieron89 says:

        I agree with Hal. Last night if he didn’t elevate his sinker he would have given up the walks anyways, he had to pitch to the ump’s [shitty] zone. The result is what you could have expected, but better to put the balls in play with a chance of the hitters getting out than simply walking all of them on good pitches that aren’t gonna get called.

  5. Justin says:

    keep bj on the bench!

  6. Joe D. says:

    I’m with professor, when Choate comes in the game to face a lefty I don’t feel that much different than when Maddon used to bring in Shawn Camp to get a ground ball in ’07.

    Even when BJ is healthy, I think he needs to earn back his playing time.

  7. Jim says:

    Good game last night. I was thinking late in the game, “even if we lose this, at least it was a competitive game”, unlike some of the stinkers we have been putting up lately. To come back and win that game was huge, hopefully it will get the team rolling before the all-star break.

    Also, (full disclosure: I am an Upton apologist) I love Zobrist, but I think we saw two plays early in the game where Upton makes the play and Zobrist didn’t. That fly to the wall I think Upton tracks down and the single to center he hoses the runner at home. I know he has his brainfarts and looks lost most of the time, but with his great defense (I know UZR says otherwise), I would take him out in CF even if he hits .240 -.260.

  8. Bossman will be fine. Upton in the starting lineup day in and day out still gives the Rays the best chance to win.

    • Justin says:

      I couldn’t disagree more. If you can’t count on a player to give it everything, how does that help a team win?

      I want the starting lineup to feature players who are trying, because such effort will more likely than not result in success.

      BJ is a lost cause. Ask yourself, with offense and defense in mind, who do you want: BJ or Zobrist? Easy.

    • Don says:

      I know its a small sample size… but if you don’t think the Rays looked better and played better the last two games with Zo playing CF and contributing at the plate you are “baseball blind”…How about sitting Upton until this lineup loses…
      What the chances of Maddon seeing that one?

      Also, I have been signing this song for 2/3 years…
      WILLIE AYBAR IS OUR BEST DH…Why can’t anyone on the Rays coaching staff see that….Please someone help them!

      • pudieron89 says:

        You and Justin are complete idiots. Zobrist does not even compare to Upton in terms of CF defense. And why would one have to be in over the other? If you remember correctly, they have both been starters consistently through the season. Did you want to bench Zorilla early in the season when he wasn’t hitting for power and not the greatest average? Just the stupidest, reactionary garbage that gets posted on this site…unbelievable.

        • Jason W says:

          whether Upton comes back or not, I think you keep Zobrist i the leadoff spot, he has been hitting great there. Put Upton down in the lower part of the order, no more 6 spot for him, try 8 or 9. And lets say you do bring Upton back, where does that leave Joyce, DH? He needs consistent ABs before I say he is a bust. But I do agree on Upton having better D(when he is trying), sometimes it looks like Zobrist is lost in CF.

  9. Joe D. says:

    Don, you actually reminded me of a point I wanted to bring up on here as far as DH.
    Staats or Anderson brought up Brignac’s numbers as a PH, and they were limited (like in there 20 AB range) and then I believe briggy came through w/ a hit again last night as a PH, that got me thinking, if he’s good as a PH days he’s not in the line up, it would lead me to believe that he’s the type of hitter that could DH,obviously he’d be an atypical DH, but it certainly takes some one comfortable coming off the bench to DH (see Pat Burrell as the counter example) and I know that if Briggy’s not on the field it’s usually because of a lefty in the line up, and his PH appearances are match up based, just seems to me it might be worth the experiment, especially since Maddon’s shown he’s not afraid to lose the DH to play defense, w/ Jaso catching.

  10. Don says:

    Joe, Brig. really doesn’t need to label himself as a DH at this stage of his career…he needs to be an everyday fulltime player..
    He has to get over that “tag” of only hitting Rt Hand pitchers..
    then he will make it in the Bigs

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