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: Jeff Niemann. The Giraffe uncharacteristically struggled with his pitch count, having to be pulled after 6 innings with 107 pitches. Still, he improved to 7-2 after giving up just 1 unearned run, lowering his ERA to 2.65…Carl Crawford. He was only 1-4, but the 1 was a huge solo home run in the 8th inning to give the Rays a 2-run cushion and some breathing room. He is now 24 for his last 54 (.444)…Joe Maddon. With 2 outs in the 9th and 1 run in already and the tying run on third. JoeMa chose to intentionally walk David Ortiz with Kevin Youkilis out of the game. Rafael Soriano got the next batter to ground out to end the game. We think Maddon has officially learned his lesson with David Ortiz.
THE BAD: Rafael Soriano. MFIKY came on and recorded his 4th save in the last 4 days and 5th in 7 days. That is indeed good even if he walked his first 2 batters since mid-May, a span of 18 appearances. But this is bad because we can’t imagine Soriano will be available tonight. Let’s hope he isn’t needed…Evan Longoria’s BJ Moment. With just 1 out in the 6th and the bases loaded in a 1-run game, Longo was picked off third base. Making it worse, Carlos Pena would walk, but the Rays failed to score in the inning.
THE TELLING: BJ Upton led off versus the left-hander and went 0-4…The Rays have now won three in a row against the Red Sox, 4 in a row overall and 6 of 7…According to PECOTA, the Rays have a 68.5% shot at the playoffs.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 50-33, 2 games behind the Yankees and 1.5 games ahead of the Red Sox. After 83 games in 2008, the Rays were 51-32.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- BJ Upton says he doesn’t want to be traded. [St. Pete Times]
- Mariano Rivera will not participate in the all-star game citing the need for rest. Might that open up a spot for Rafael Soriano? [ESPN]
- John Jaso talks about pitching around David Ortiz (Video). [The Heater]
- MLB Trade Rumors explores BJ Upton’s trade value and some of the teams that could be interested. [MLB Trade Rumors]
- Include Jorge Ortiz among those that think the Rays will be just fine without BJ Upton. [USA Today]
- Joe Bucs Fan doesn’t see the Bucs signing many free agents until there is a new CBA. [Joe Bucs Fan]
- According to Accuscore, the Rays had a 53.9% shot at making the playoffs. [Yahoo! Sports]
- Here is Rays Prospects’ mid-season minor league all-star team. [Rays Prospects]
- Charlotte starting pitcher Joe Cruz was named the FSL pitcher of the week.
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Carlos Hernandez got rocked for 9 runs in 5.2 innings. Four of the runs came via 2 home runs off of the bat of one batter…Dioner Navarro was 0-2 with 2 walks…Desmond Jennings went 1-4 with an RBI.
- MONTGOMERY: Jake McGee allowed his first run in 3 games, going 6 innings with 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 8 and now has 62 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 49.2 innings…Leslie Anderson was 3-3 and has 6 hits in his last 2 games…Matt Sweeney was 0-3 and is now 1-19 in the last 6 games.
- CHARLOTTE: Chris Andujar was pounded for 7 runs, but only 1 was earned. He lasted only 2.2 innings, giving up 5 hits and walking 5…Tim Beckham was 1-4 with a walk. He also committed his 11th error.
- BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein struck out 8 and walked 3 in 6.1 innings. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits…Brett Nommensen was 3-5 and hit his 3rd home run in 4 games.
- HUDSON VALLEY: Miguela Sierra allowed 3 runs in 4 innings on 6 hits and 2 walks…Derek Dietrich was 0-5 with 2 strikeouts. He is hitting .183…Nick Schwaner hit his 3rd home run in the first 14 games.
- PRINCETON: Jacob Partridge last just 3 innings in his third start, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 4.