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: Carl Crawford. Plain and simple. As of July 9, 2010, he is the greatest Tampa Bay Ray that ever lived and one of the best players in baseball. Last night he went 2-4 with 2 long home runs and 4 runs batted in. The Real Superman is now hitting .321/.378/.516 and is on pace for 20 home runs, all of which would be a career highs…Wade Davis. It is easy to think that Big Dub’s job is in a fragile state these days, so he needed a strong performance entering the break. And for the 2nd time in 2 starts, Davis worked at least 7 innings and held the opposition to 2 runs. He is still walking too many batters (4 last night), but he is showing signs that the Rays may not need Jeremy Hellickson after all…Carlos Pena. Joe Maddon saw something he liked in Thursday night’s matchup and had Pena back in the cleanup spot. Pena responded with his first home run in 12 games…Dan Wheeler. Apparently giving Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano another night off, Joe Maddon turned to Dan Wheeler with 1 out in the 8th and the tying run at the plate. Wheeler came through getting the next two batters en route to a 5-out save.
THE BAD: Carl Crawford. We hate Carl Crawford right now. Before the season, we assumed it would be easy to see him walk away. Not now. Now it is going to suck. But what can the Rays do? Would he be worth $15 million in 2011? Yes. What about 2012? Yes. Heck, he might even be worth $15 million in 2013. But Crawford is going to want a 6 or 7-year deal. Do you want to pay Crawford $15 million in 2014, 2015 and 2016? No. No, you don’t.
THE TELLING: Dan Wheeler recorded his first save since last September…Ben Zobrist once again led off, going 2-3 and scoring twice. Look for Zorilla to lead off against right-handers for the time being with BJ Upton the likely choice against lefties.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 52-33, 2 games behind the Yankees and 3 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card race. After 85 games in 2008, the Rays were 53-32.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Carl Crawford talks about his two big home runs (Video). [The Heater]
- Cliff Lee might be close to joining the Yankees. [Big League Stew]
- Joe Girardi said David Price is an “extremely strong” candidate to be the starting pitcher for the AL squad in the All-Star game. That would give the Rays three starters in the mid-summer classic. [Twitter]
- Matt Bush, the former #1 pick turned pitcher, hasn’t pitched in over a month. According to the Stone Crabs, he is not injured, he is just working on his arm strength and the Rays are proceeding very cautiously.
- Joe Maddon on Dan Johnson, who leads triple-A with 23 home runs: “He’s ready; he’s able to play here if opportunity knocks.” [Tampa Tribune]
- Here is a cool story about a trespasser at The Trop. [Rays Renegade]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Richard de los Santos allowed 3 runs (1 earned) in 5.2 innings on 6 hits and 3 walks. He struck out 2…Elliot Johnson went 4-5 with his 6th home run and Justin Ruggiano was 3-5 with his 9th home run…Desmond Jennings went 2-4 with a walk. He is hitting .293.
- MONTGOMERY: Alex Torres lasted just 1.1 innings after giving up 4 hits and walking 4. Five runs scored…Henry Wrigley hit his 3rd home run in 2 games and 4th in 11 games since being promoted…Leslie Anderson was 2-4 and is hitting .292.
- CHARLOTTE: Nick Barnese is rolling. He hasn’t allowed more than 1 earned run in his last 5 starts and last night was his best of the bunch. He threw 7 shutout innings, with 7 strikeouts and no walks. His ERA is now 3.01 with a record of 7-4…Greg Sexton went 3-3 to raise his average to .310.
- BOWLING GREEN: (no game scheduled)
- HUDSON VALLEY: Robert Dickman made his first start of the season and gave up 2 runs in 3.2 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 1…Derek Dietrich went 2-4 with a double.
- PRINCETON: Andrew Bellatti gave up 2 runs in 5.1 innings, striking out 3 and walking 2…Jeff Malm hit his first home run.