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

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: John Jaso. Recently, any time the Rays would get the bases loaded with no outs, our initial reaction has been “oh crap.” But JJ Dyn-O-Mite came through in the 6th. After being down 0-2 in the count, he battled back to a full count and then delivered a game-tying 2-run single…Maddonology. Last week, Maddon wouldn’t intentionally walk David Ortiz with first base open and Big Papi made the Rays pay with a big home run. Last night, with first base open, Maddon did go with the free pass. After a walk, Grant Balfour and Randy Choate teamed to strikeout the next two batters to get out of the 1-out, bases loaded jam and keep the game tied…Bullpen. Matt Garza put the Rays in a hole, but the bullpen picked up the slack. Six relievers combined for 6 innings and gave up just 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks. The only baserunner in the final 2.2ip was a broken bat single in the 9th. And how awesome is the lights out combo of Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano? We thought last winter that the Rays biggest need was a flame-throwing relief pitcher and World B. Friedman gave us two. This may be hyperbole, but when the Rays are playing well, they remind us a lot of the 1996 Yankees with Benoit and Soriano in the roles of Mariano Rivera and John Wetteland…CC’s Golden Glove. We didn’t think Carl Crawford was a gold glover last year, especially under MLB’s rules of not distinguishing amongst the three outfield spots. But they might as well give Crawford the 2010 award right now. He had another spectacular diving catch that kept the Red Sox 4-run 3rd from being any worse than it already was.

THE BAD: Matt Garza. Let’s hope The Garza Complex got that out of his system. The Rays are not going to win many games when their starter allows 9 baserunners in the first 3 innings, especially against the Red Sox and Yankees…Suicidal Squeeze. After tying the game in the 6th, the Rays still had a runner on 3rd with no outs. Ben Zobrist’s squeeze attempt ended with the runner thrown out at home…Willy Aybar. He was 1-4, but left 6 runners on base, including 4 runners in scoring position.

THE TELLING: Sean Rodriguez has started 23 of the last 27 games…Several of the Rays with the high-cuffed pants are no longer wearing stirrups and instead appear to have opted for striped socks…Former Rays (or Rays prospects) in the all-star game include Ty Wigginton (Bal), Evan Meek (Pit) and Josh Hamilton (Tex). Delmon Young is in the running for the final spot on AL roster…

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 49-33, 2 games behind the Yankees in the East and one-half game ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 82 games in 2008, the Rays were 50-32.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays have re-signed Brian Shouse to a minor league deal. [Twitter]
  • Randy Choate talks about how well the bullpen is performing (Video). [The Heater]
  • The Rays future home could be dependent on the future of the passenger rail in the Bay Area. [St. Pete Times]
  • Jordi Scrubbings interviewed the genius behind the Charlotte Stone Crabs’ recent YouTube videos. [Bus Leagues Baseball]
  • Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria will both receive a $50K bonus for their all-star selections. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Rayhawk Review argues that Rafael Soriano should be an all-star. [Rayhawk Review]
  • The News & Observer has a feature piece on Justin Ruggiano and his quest to reach the big leagues permanently. [The News & Observer]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Jeremy Hellickson threw 6 shutout innings, giving up 5 hits and 4 walks. He struck out 3. improving to 11-2 with a 2.21 ERA…Dan Johnson hit 2 home runs and drove in 4. He is now hitting .306 with 22 home runs…Justin Ruggiano went 3-5 with a double…Desmond Jennings was 1-5.
  • MONTGOMERY: Heath Rollins made his first start since being demoted to Montgomery and gave up 4 runs (2 earned) in 4.2 innings…Emeel Salem was 3-3 with a double and a home run…Leslie Anderson had 3 hits including 2 doubles.
  • CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz threw 7 shutout innings in the conclusion of the suspended game from Sunday…Frank de los Santos gave up 3 runs in 7 innings in the regularly scheduled game…Tim Beckham was 2-6 with 3 walks in the 2 games combined.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Alex Colome gave up 7 runs (6 earned) in 6 innings…Cody Rogers was 4-5 with 2 home runs in his first game of the year…Brett Nommensen was 3-5 and has 7 hits in the last 3 games.
  • HUDSON VALLEY: Wilmer Almonte gave up 4 runs (2 earned) in 4 innings.
  • PRINCETON: Eliazer Suero pitched 5 shutout innings with 3 strikeouts and 2 walks.

Tags

 
 

16 Comments

  1. Blake says:

    It really seemed that Bartlett was safe at home on the squeeze play to me. I think the ump just made a bad call.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      He was. And maybe of the Rays lose I throw a bigger stink about it. But with some of the horrendous calls recently, I didn’t think that one was too terrible. The throw did beat Bartlett, so it is not like Bartlett deserved to be safe. And it wasn’t so obvious that I knew for certain he was safe watching it live.

      But yes, the ump did miss it.

  2. Amanda says:

    I’m not sure it’s hyperbole to suggest that Benoit/Soriano is up there with the best one-two combinations in recent memory. They’re the only two players on the team right now that I can confindently breathe a sigh of relief when they enter the game, because I know they’re going to do their jobs. I don’t have to cover my eyes because I know they’re going to go K, K, K, K, single, K, F8 almost every time.

    I also think Sonny has a perfect niche carved out for himself on the team. It’s nice to have a decent long reliever who, 9 times out of 10, will not make a bad situation too much worse. If I was Garza, I’d be thanking his butt for stopping the bleeding until the offense could catch up.

  3. I had no problem with the squeeze play last night. I do have a problem with the execution. What makes that play so effective is the defensive teams insistance on keeping the runner on 1st. If they decide not to, it’s up to the 1st base runner and the batter to make the adjustment.

    Last night, when Youk crashed the plate… Jaso needed to steal 2nd with Zobrist taking the pitch. That would’ve put 2 runners in scoring position with no outs and Zobrist at the plate. The replay showed Jaso hesitating as Youk crashed.

    I also don’t think that the play itself was overmanaging. Maddon knew he had the Red Sox just where he wanted them. That one run could mean the difference between a win and a loss.

    • Connie says:

      If they had not bunted and still had not gotten the run in, everyone would be asking why they hadn’t squeezed. Problem is they haven’t been getting the runner in from third with less than 2 outs while NOT using the squeeze, so I thought it was a good call to try that play.

      • Michael says:

        I also have no problem with the squeeze call. I have no doubt Zobrist would have popped up to an infielder in that situation if he were allowed to swing away — it seems like that’s all he does any more in spots like that. That’s also the first time I can recall that play being foiled all year, and it still took a risky charge by a Gold Glove first baseman and a blown call by the umpire to foil it.

        As far as Kennedy’s idea that they need to adjust by taking off for 2nd and Zobrist taking that pitch, I’m not convinced. Seems too easy for the Rays to make another out on the basepaths rather than just going with what has worked so many times already this year. Tip your hat to Youkilis for making a fine play and curse the ump for yet another crappy call.

        Also, where the heck is Don? I can’t believe he hasn’t shown up with a long list of complaints yet. It must kill him when the Rays win.

      • Cork Gaines says:

        Just to clarify, I didn’t have a problem with the bunt attempt. Just the execution as somebody stated. It was just not a very good bunt.

        I think we have been a little spoiled by the success rate of the squeeze. Still, 80-90% success is still damn good even if it doesn’t work every time.

  4. Sarah says:

    I think the real problem is that the Rays have no real clean up hitter. Well, they do – the Carlos Pena of 2007-9. But the Carlos Pena of 2010, not so much. Aybar is a terrible choice, Sean Rod perhaps a bit better at least at the moment, but overall I don’t think he’s known for his power. There’s really no obvious #4 guy at the moment — no one has been hitting homeruns.

  5. Alex says:

    If Zobrist (.288), Carwford (.320) and possibly Longoria (.297) (pending no double play) couldn’t get a man in from third with no outs then this team has more to worry about than scoring one run against the Sox

  6. Don says:

    Oh Michael…you missing my wisdom already and its only noon…sorry some of us have to work…but now I can start to get ready for tonights game…. the Bud is getting cold…As far as me “wanting” the Rays to lose… I’ll bet you I go to more
    games in one season (or month) than you have been to in your life…what do I do..go to see them lose?
    But I will never let a player dog it and not say something…as per: Burrell, Navi, Upton, Pena, Sorrenstine among others..
    Plus I constantly pick apart bad Mgt. decisions before they become “popular” on sites like this… but you know that already!
    As for last night Garza is getting worse..heading for the tank possible….Hitting getting better with current line…meaning Upton get lost…Cliff Lee deal?? Can’t believe it…

  7. Nick says:

    Does anyone know what Sori has written in his ballcap? You got a slight peek at it as he took off his cap and stared at it after the first out of the ninth. Anyone know?

    • Beth says:

      He studies it before each batter. I’ve also wondered. I figure either it’s:
      1. some inspirational words, or
      2. detailed notes about how to pitch to each hitter, written really, really small

    • Don says:

      Its a list of people he has “hated” in his life..after he gets reminded he takes it out on the batter..
      Also, Garza has a list of the top 10 Ipod songs… for after the innings over or he gets taken out after 3!

  8. Nick says:

    Lol…

    Ortiz- fast ball in
    youkillis- Change up, down/away

Leave a Comment