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. With one out in the 1st and the Rays trailing 3-0, CC got himself in a rundown between 3rd and home. Only 2 throws later, Crawford was scooting past the catcher after he dropped the ball, scoring the Rays first run. Later, he would hit his 11th home run, giving the Rays the lead. Don’t look now, but guess who is leading the Rays in slugging (.521) and OPS (.901)? Yep. Superman…Jason Bartlett. He hasn’t delivered too many big hits this season, but he came through in the 10th inning with a walk-off base hit to score Carl Crawford…Future Stars. In yesterday’s MLB Futures Game, Desmond Jennings went 0-3 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch. He stole a base and scored 3 times. Jeremy Hellickson started for the US, picking up the win after giving up 1 run in 2 innings. He struck out 1. Alex Torres pitched 1 scoreless inning for the World squad.
THE BAD: Jeff Niemann. He had a rough first inning that put the Rays in an early 3-0 hole. But after a 1-out visit from pitching coach Jim Hickey, Niemann settled down and retired 14 of the next 17 batters. But then he apparently tweaked his back and had to be pulled after throwing only 70 pitches…Joe Maddon? Jeff Niemann was replaced by Dan Wheeler who promptly allowed the first 4 batters he faced to reach base and blowing the 2-run lead. We have to wonder if Wheeler had enough time to warm up. If Niemann was indeed hurt, Wheeler should be allotted as many warm-up pitches as needed to start the 6th. It was difficult to tell on TV, but it did not appear that Wheeler took extra warm-up pitchers. So why didn’t Maddon make it clear to the umpire that this was an injury substitution? And why didn’t Wheeler insist on taking extra warm-up pitches?
THE TELLING: Carl Crawford DH’d on Sunday admitting his shoulder is still sore…Joe Maddon will start the second half with James Shields, Jeff Niemann and David Price getting the 3 games against the Yankees coming out of the break…The Rays will give $5,000 to A Boys and Girls Club in Clearwater that had several items stolen over the 4th of July weekend…If David Price starts the All-Star game, he would be the youngest starter since 1988 (Dwight Gooden).
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 54-34, 2 games behind the Yankees and 3 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 88 games in 2008, the Rays were 55-33.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Several people sent this to us over the weekend…The Rays have expressed interest in Jayson Werth of the Phillies. [NY Post]
- Marc Topkin writes about Evan Longoria’s road the big leagues and now back home in California as an all-star starter. [St. Pete Times]
- Jerry Crasnick writes about the bright futures of Jeremy Hellickson and Desmond Jennings. [ESPN]
- Tyler Kepner writes about Desmond Jennings for the New York Times. [NYTimes]
- JB Long has 4 keys to the Rays success in the second-half. [Bright House Sports]
- David Price is leading ESPN.com’s Cy Young Award predictor. Rafael Soriano is 6th and the top 7 are all in the AL East. [ESPN]
- Tyler Bortnick and Kyle Lobstein were named the organizational players of the month. [Rays Prospects]
- What is more surprising: That former Rays first-round pick and one-time opening day starter Dewon Brazelton is still pitching, or that his career may finally end because of an arm injury? [Kansas City Star]
- A business group wants to “umpire the debate over the Tampa Bay Rays’ future in the area.” [Tampa Tribune]
- Ever wanted to taze Phillies fans? Here is your chance. [TAUNTR]
- Scott Kazmir had a rough night on Saturday. [LA Times]
- The guys in the bullpen have started a tradition using the Rays logo. [Rays Renegade]
- Evan Longoria would be the only starter from the Rays in the All-Star game if WAR was the only criteria. [NY Times]
- Jeff Houck looks at what might happen to the eateries near Tropicana Field should the Rays move. [Tampa Tribune]
- Rays Renegade has a bunch of photos from the Vanilla Ice concert. [Rays Renegade]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: On Friday, Virgil Vasquez improved to 4-0 (6 starts) with 6.2 shutout innings. His ERA is now 3.55…Dan Johnson hit his 24th home run and Desmond Jennings had 2 hits and a walk…On Saturday, Joe Dillon had 2 doubles, a walk and scored 3 of the Bulls’ 5 runs…Yesterday, Carlos Hernandez gave up 4 runs in 6.1 innings. His ERA is now 4.09…Justin Ruggiano hit his 10th home run.
- MONTGOMERY: David Newmann pitched 5 shutout innings of Saturday’s first game…Matt Gorgen picked up his 17th save with 2 shutout innings and 4 strikeouts…Henry Wrigley hit his 4th home run in 3 games and 5th in 13 games since being promoted…In the nightcap, Jeremy Hall gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in 6 innings and Leslie Anderson was 3-6…Matt Sweeney was 0-3 with 2 walks in the double-header…Montgomery did not play on Sunday.
- CHARLOTTE: On Friday, Joe Cruz struck out 7 and walked 3 in 7 shutout innings. His ERA is now 3.34…On Saturday, Frank de los Santos struck out 8 and walked none in 7 innings. He gave up 2 runs…Tim Beckham was 2-5 with 2 Ks…Matt Fields hit his first home run since being demoted…On Sunday, Matt Moore gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, including 3 home runs. His ERA is now 4.75…Tim Beckham was 0-4…Jake Jefferies went 3-4 and drove in 2.
- BOWLING GREEN: On Saturday, Alex Colome struck out 6 in 6 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and no walks…Cody Rogers was 3-4 for his 3rd 3-hit game in his first 5 games of the year. He is now 11-22 (.500)…On Sunday, Kyle Lobstein struck out 7 in 6 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk.
- HUDSON VALLEY: On Friday, the Rays 10th round pick in this year’s draft, Robby Price, went 2-2 with 4 walks…On Saturday, Derek Dietrich, this year’s 2nd round pick, went 4-5…On Sunday, this year’s 12th round pick, Phil Wunderlich, went 3-6 with 2 doubles.
- PRINCETON: On Friday, last year’s 3rd round pick, Todd Glaesmann, hit his first HR of the year.