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: Wade Davis. You worry about a pitcher being rusty in their first start off the DL, especially if there was no rehab stint. Davis looked well-rested, hitting 95 with his fastball (92.4 mph avg). But as expected, he struggled with the touch on his breaking pitches, throwing only 9 of 19 for strikes and not getting any swinging strikes. Still, working into the 6th inning and giving up only 2 runs is a solid effort…Matt Joyce. He singled during the Rays 4-run rally in the second and his home run in the 6th may have been the final nail. It was just his 2nd home run in August after hitting 5 in July…Evan Longoria. As good as we have ever seen Dirtbag. Three more hits last night, including his 41st double and 19th home run. He now has 10 extra-base hits in the last 8 games, including 4 home runs. A lot of guys would be happy just to get 10 hits.
THE BAD: Something To Prove. Joe Maddon was ejected for the 15th time in his career. It was his 6th in 37 career games against his former team, the Angels. In other words, he is ejected once every 6 games versus LA, and once every 82 games (9 ejections in 736 games) against everybody else. That is not a random deviation.
THE TELLING: Dale Thayer was sent back to Durham to make room for Jeff Niemann who will start this afternoon…Joe Maddon’s ejection tied him with Larry Rothschild for the most ever by a (Devil) Rays manager (15)…According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays have a 95.3% chance of making the playoffs. That is greater than the Yankees (93.3%). The Red Sox are at 9.8%…If the Rays play .500 in their last 36, they will finish 96-66. The Red Sox would have to go 24-12 just to tie.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 78-48, tied with the Yankees for first in the East, and 6 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 126 games in 2008, the Rays were 77-49.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Wanna know why Evan Longoria grew a mullet. Watch this video. Apparently Longoria is supporting his buddy and fellow Long Beach State Dirtbag, Troy Tulowitzki. [MLB]
- The Dodgers still haven’t put Manny Ramirez on waivers, but Ken Rosenthal says the Rays
and “their touchy-feely manager” are his best options. [Fox Sports]
- Of course, none of that matters because apparently the White Sox will claim Manny Ramirez, and they have dibs. [MLB Trade Rumors]
- According to Peter Gammons, the Rays didn’t even put in a claim on Johnny Damon. [Twitter]
- John Romano writes that the leaked financial documents may actually help the Rays quest for a new stadium. [St. Pete Times]
- WDBB is back with their charts. Scroll down for those covering the Rays. [Watching Durham Bulls Baseball]
- Joe Maddon is a strange dude. He apologized to The Trop for whining about the catwalks. [Twitter]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Richard de los Santos improved to 14-5 with 6.2 shutout innings. He gave up just 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4…Jake McGee (2004-5) faced 4 batters, retired them all, striking out 3. Of the 33 batters he has faced, he has struck out 19, walked 1 and given up just 4 hits…Desmond Jennings (2006-10) went 0-2 with a pair of walks…Elliot Johnson had 2 more hits. This was his 6th multi-hit game in the last 9.
- MONTGOMERY: Alex Torres picked up his 10th win with 6 shutout innings. He struck out 7 and walked 4. His ERA is now 3.44 with 134 strikeouts in 130.2 innings…Nevin Ashley (2006-6) was 1-3 with a pair of walks.
- CHARLOTTE: (postponed)
- BOWLING GREEN: Albert Suarez dropped to 0-5 in 9 starts after giving up 3 runs (2 earned) in 5 innings. He struck out 1…Ty Morrison (2008-4) went 2-4 and drove in both runs.
- HUDSON VALLEY: (postponed)
- PRINCETON: Braulio Lara gave up just 2 unearned runs in 6 innings, striking out 5 and walking 3. His ERA is now 2.36 in 61 innings…Cesar Guillen hit his 3rd home run in 8 games.