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

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THE GOOD: Kelly Shoppach. This might be the first time all season that Shoppach made an appearance in “The Good.” He came into the game with as many home runs this season as Dioner Navarro (1). And exited the game with 3, including a huge go-ahead grand slam in the 5-run 4th inning…Evan Longoria has had a rough second-half, hitting just .235 with 2 home runs since the break. But yesterday he started the 5-run 4th inning with a double and led off the 5th inning with another double. He would eventually score the Rays 6th run.

THE BAD: Andy Sonnanstine. James Shields may lead the AL in home runs allowed (28), but Sonny gives them up just as often, about once every 24 batters. Yesterday it was a big 3-run blast that put the Rays down early…Baserunning. We love the aggressive baserunning style of Joe Maddon, but it has to be smart and it can’t be reckless. In the 3rd inning, on a 1-out single with runners on first and second, Gabe Kapler screwed up by thinking the ball would be caught and BJ Upton screwed up by not seeing where Kapler was and both runners ended up at third base. The Rays failed to score.

THE TELLING: Carlos Pena will DH today for Charlotte and is expected to rejoin the Rays tomorrow…In 5.2 triple-A innings as a reliever, Jake McGee has struck out 11 of the 19 batters he has faced, walked none and allowed just 2 hits.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 70-46, 2 games behind the Yankees and 4 games in front of the Red Sox (5 in the loss column). After 116 games in 2008, the Rays were 70-46.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Kelly Shoppach talks about his first big game with the Rays (Video). [The Heater]
  • Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann are expected to return to the rotation as early as the upcoming series against the Angels a week from tomorrow. [St. Pete Times]
  • Jeremy Hellickson will move to the bullpen once Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann return from the DL. There is still a chance that he will make an occasional spot-start down the stretch. [Tampa Tribune]
  • A fan was removed from the game on a stretcher after being hit by a bat. [USA Today]
  • Derek Shelton doesn’t mind the criticism and says the Rays struggles are just typical slumps every team goes through. [Tampa Tribune]
  • A lower-level Rays minor leaguer has been suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance. [Baseball America]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: In the first game Brian Shouse making his first appearance with Durham worked 2 innings and gave up 4 runs on 6 hits and a walk…Jake McGee (2004-5) pitched 2 innings in the nightcap striking out 4 and allowing just 1 hit…Desmond Jennings (2006-10) went 4-9 with his 32 steal in the double-header.
  • MONTGOMERY: Alex Torres gave up 4 runs in 4.2 innings with 6 walks…Matt Spring (2004-4) went 2-4 and hit his first home run.
  • CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz (2007-30) picked up his 11th win with 5 shutout, 1-hit innings. He struck out 4 and walked 1 and lowered his ERA to 3.12…Tim Beckham (2008-1) was 0-5 with a strikeout. He is hitting .249…Stephen Vogt (2007-12) went 3-5 with a double, raising his league-leading average to .342…Mike Sheridan (2008-5) hit his 3rd home run.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Wilking Rodriguez gave up just 1 run in 4.1 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 1. It was his first start in over a month…Tyler Bortnick (2009-16) was 2-6 with his 8th home run. He is hitting .307.
  • HUDSON VALLEY: Miguel Sierra started but worked just 2 innings, giving up 2 runs…Phillip Wunderlich (2010-12) was 3-4 with 2 doubles raising his average to .333.
  • PRINCETON: Victor Mateo made his 2nd start and gave up 6 runs in 4.2 innings including a 2-run home run…Scott Lawson (2010-29) hit his 4th home run and Ruben Contreras added his 4th.

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10 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    Got to question your putting Sonnanstine in the “bad.” He had one shaky inning that did indeed cost 3 runs. Otherwise he was solid. It’s partly a question of expectations, isn’t it? If the Rays depended on Sonny as part of their core of starters, this performance might rate an “eh.” But he’s really their 7th starter (after Hellickson) and yet he’s stepped in to put together two quality starts. I, for one, expected him to get shelled both times out. He hasn’t.

  2. Don says:

    A .200 hitter hits 2 home runs (1 a GS), Rays get 15 hits, Sonn. wins a games…hey, whose surprised?….its magical..
    Maddon did it, BJ’s a genius….

  3. Rob says:

    Yeah, comparing Sonny to Shields in that way isn’t particularly appropriate, since Sonny isn’t signed to a long term contract, nor was he the opening day starter.

  4. Joe D. says:

    I was at the game yesterday. I thought that Sonny was rough up till the 3 run HR, after that he seemed settle in. Bur really he was one HR that clanked off of the foul pole from pitching a 3 hit, 5-innings of shutout baseball.

    For me Good was Upton a BB, 2 hits going 1st to 3rd on JB’s ground out, Aybar 3 hits was good. Bad was after Upton is on 3rd with only one away CC couldn’t make contact to get Upton in, until the 5 run innin, it looked like it was going to “one of those days”.

    Down right Pathetic, was that the seats around me(lower bowl behind the plate) that were empty until the 5-8th inning, and were filled in by people that were only there for Train, good that those seats sold out, bad that they were by people that didn’t give half a shit baseball.

    • Don says:

      Hey Joey..sorry everyone doesn’t share your enthusiasm for baseball….if people come to a baseball game and pay for a ticket what do you care if they came for hot dogs or concerts…the idea is to get people in the house…spending money…ask the owners!

      • Joe D. says:

        You’re right, point is seats sold. But when out comes to long term vitality of baseball on the west side of the bay, if it takes a band with a #1 hit single to sell out a baseball game, that’s not a good sign.

        Also of note people left the concert after “soul sister”, Pat Monahan of Train seemed to take exception to this by calling them out, and saying “usually people stay ’til the band has played their last song, but wether you want to hear it or not we’re going to play one more” before going into “Drops of Jupiter”.

        So is what I’m saying here is you had people at a baseball game that showed up in the 8th, came for a concert, and left before the final song of the concert, pathetic…

        • Beth says:

          I don’t agree with you at all. Any team can bring hard core baseball lovers to the stadium. Teams with great attendance manage to find ways to bring the casual fan, or to convince non-fans that an evening at the ballpark is a cool thing to try.

          Look at the bright side: you had the section to yourself for most of the game, but the ticket revenue will still help the Rays sign one of their free agents next year!

  5. Joe D. says:

    Prof, tomorrow is signing day, any word on Sale?

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