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: The Offense. If you asked us before the game if we would take 4 runs in a game that both CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera would pitch, we would have taken that in a heartbeat. 9 hits and 4 walks is always a good night against those two…Grant Balfour. The Mad Australian had a little extra giddy-up on his fastball last night. His fastball was consistently 93-94, even hitting 95 once.
THE BAD: One Of Those Nights. As soon as the Rays took the lead, we just had a bad feeling about the dramatic tone that was being sent over the entire evening…BJ Upton. Earlier in the game, Bossman made a great slide into 3rd base on a basehit by Carl Crawford. He would score the go-ahead run later in the inning. But any “good” was erased by what happened in the 9th. With the score tied in the 9th, Upton got a leadoff single off of Mo Rivera. He then proceeded to get picked-off. Of course. We wish we could say we were surprised…James Shields. Well, it wasn’t a hanging changeup and the bases were empty. But “Big Game” James (ironic, huh?) did hang a slider and a fastball for back-to-back home runs that tied the game in the 6th. His 21 home runs allowed lead the AL…Joe Maddon. As the visiting team in a tie game, it is not unusual for a manager to save his closer in case his team takes a lead at some point in extra innings. Of course, the risk is losing the game with one of JoeMa’s biggest weapons never being used. And last night, Maddon went with Choate, Wheeler and Cormier in the 9th and not Rafael Soriano…Sean Rodriguez. Rodzilla missed last night’s game because there was a sprinkler mishap at his condo causing it to flood. Was there nobody else that could move the furniture or lay down some towels? Was anybody’s life in immediate danger? Couldn’t the Rays have sent over a couple of interns to help out? There will only be 18 opportunities to beat the Yankees during the regular season. And Rodriguez left the Rays short-handed during one…
THE TELLING: About a week ago we noted that several of the Rays appeared to have switched from striped stirrups to striped socks. In actuality, they are still wearing stirrups, but for some reason several players (e.g. Jason Bartlett) are wearing navy socks under the navy stirrups, giving the impression that they are solid socks…
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 54-35, 3 games behind the Yankees and 3.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 89 games in 2008, the Rays were 55-34.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Former Rays minor leaguer Jon Weber has retired. [Watching Durham Bulls Baseball]
- David Price spoke about his all-star experience, including hitting a lady in the neck with an errant warm-up throw. [Tampa Tribune]
- Derek Dietrich and Nick Barnese make this week’s “Prospect Hot Sheet.” [Baseball America]
- You know BJ Upton has hit a low point when even Jonah Keri says it is time to trade Bossman. [JonahKeri.com]
- David Laurila spoke with John Jaso about his career, his stats and his relationship with Fernando Perez. [Baseball Prospectus]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Virgil Vasquez picked up his first loss after giving up 5 runs in 5 innings including 3 home runs…Desmond Jennings went 0-4 with a strikeout…Joe Dillon was 2-3 and hit his 6th home run…Dioner Navarro was 0-4 with 2 Ks and is hitting .265 in triple-A.
- MONTGOMERY: Jake McGee struck out 8 and gave up just 2 runs in 6 innings on 5 hits and a walk…Cody Cipriano hit his 3rd home run…Leslie Anderson went 0-5 to drop his average to .304…Henry Wrigley was 2-5 with an RBI.
- CHARLOTTE: Frank de los Santos was pounded for 8 runs on 12 hits in 4.1 innings…Tim Beckham went 2-4 with a double and another walk.
- BOWLING GREEN: Alex Colome gave up 5 runs on 9 hits and a walk in 5 innings. He struck out 6…Cody Rogers was 0-3 with a walk. He also stole his 4th base.
- HUDSON VALLEY: Wilmer Almonte gave up just 1 run on 4 hits and a walk in 8 innings. He struck out 3.
- PRINCETON: Eliazer Suero struck out 9 and pitched 7 shutout innings with just 3 hits and no walks.