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: Matt Garza continues to roll, holding the A’s to 1 run in 7.2 innings. It was the the 5th time in his last 8 starts that Garza allowed 0 or 1 run. His ERA since the All-Star break is 2.66…Evan Longoria. Dirtbag is doing what great players are supposed to do. He has picked this team up and is carrying them to October. His 2-run double in the 6th broke a 1-1 tie. It was his 8th extra-base hit in the last 6 games.

THE BAD: Ben Zobrist. Another 0-4 including a strikeout with one out and a runner on base and an inning-ending double-play in the 4th. He is hitting just .175 in the second-half (.308 OBP).

THE TELLING: As expected, Jeremy Hellickson was sent back to the minors (single-A Charlotte). He was replaced by Dale Thayer. Hellickson will work out of the bullpen in anticipation of returning to the Rays next week…Wade Davis will start tomorrow and Jeff Niemann will start Wednesday…Jake McGee picked up his first career save for the Durham Bulls. McGee is likely to be a September addition to the bullpen and many consider him a closer-in-waiting…The Durham Bulls clinched the South Division title this weekend…According to the Rays have a 93.3% chance of making the playoffs. The Red Sox are at 10.5%.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 76-48, 1 game behind the Yankees and 5.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card (6 games in the loss column). After 124 games in 2008, the Rays were 76-48.


  • Manny Ramirez came off the DL on Saturday. This is important because he can only be traded if he is exposed to waivers. And he can only be exposed to waivers if he is on the active roster…Marc Topkin examines the Rays interest in Manny. [St. Pete Times]
  • Evan Longoria discusses yesterday’s game (Video). [The Heater]
  • Former Rays manager Lou Piniella retired after 23 seasons as a manager. [Chicago Tribune]
  • In happier news, Vin Scully will return next year to the Dodgers broadcast booth. We have said this before, but other than being able to see the Rays anywhere we are, the best part of the baseball TV packages is that Vin Scully tells us a bedtime story every night. [Bright House Sports]
  • The Rays spent the 7th most ($21.1 million) on draft signing bonuses in the last 3 years…Of course, having the top pick one year and 4 of the top 70 picks another year will tend to increase the amount a team will spend. [St. Pete Times]
  • Just how bad was the Bucs attendance on Saturday? [Joe Bucs Fan]
  • Here is a look at Evan Longoria’s MVP hopes. [Baseball Prospectus]
  • Matt Moore is a strikeout machine and he comes in at #6 in last week’s “Prospect Hot Sheet.” [Baseball America]
  • Susan Slusser writes that the A’s will have the money this winter to pursue Carl Crawford or Carlos Pena. [San Francisco Chronicle]
  • We have no idea what the Mayors’ salaries have to do with the Rays or the Tampa-St. Pete rivalry, but Sue Carlton thinks it is relevant. [St. Pete Times]
  • Several teammates took Matt Garza to The Venue after his no-hitter. [Tampa Bay Times]
  • Whit Watson takes a look at the Rays double-A affiliate, the Montgomery Biscuits (Video). [FS Florida]


  • Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Bobby Livingston made his second start since being picked up by the Rays. He gave up 6 runs (5 earned) in 5 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 1…Jake McGee (2004-5) picked up his first save for the Bulls with a 1-2-3 9th inning…Brian Shouse continues to struggle, giving up 2 runs in 2 innings while walking 4.Rocco Baldelli (2000-1) doubled and hit his 2nd home run with the Bulls…Dioner Navarro went 3-4 to raise his average to .291…Desmond Jennings (2006-10) went 0-4 but did steal his 34th base.
  • MONTGOMERY: Paul Phillips made his first start of the year after 37 relief appearances. He pitched 5 shutout innings, giving up just 1 hit and no walks. He struck out 4…Nevin Ashley went 4-4 with a walk and his 6th home run. He drove in 5.
  • CHARLOTTE: Frank de los Santos picked up his 10th win, holding Palm Beach to 1 run in 7 innings. He struck out 4…Tim Beckham (2008-1) went 1-4 with a walk…Matt Hall (2008-10) hit his 3rd home run.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Alex Colome worked just 3 innings for the second straight start since coming off the DL. He allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 4…Julio Cedeno had 3 hits and drove in 4. He also stole his 4th base…Ty Morrison (2008-4) was 3-6, scored 3 times and stole 2 bases, his 45th and 46th.
  • HUDSON VALLEY: James Patterson (2010-18) gave up 4 runs in 3.1 innings, striking out 3 and walking 3…Derek Dietrich (2010-2) in his first action in a month, went 2-5 with a pair of doubles.
  • PRINCETON: Victor Mateo gave up 5 runs in 2 innings raising his ERA to 5.45.





    Right now, I'm thinking it's a 3-team race between the Rangers, White Sox, and Rays. I'm not sure any of these teams would put in a waiver claim on Manny, risking his salary. All will be looking for a post-waiver trade.

    If the Rangers get him, that's good for the Rays. Imagine for a moment, either Vlad or Manny playing outfield against the Rays at Tropicana Field in the playoffs. Only one of those guys can DH, the other becomes a defensive liability.

    Keep an eye out for tweets that mention "Manny clears waivers." That will be when the real jockeying begins. Of course, I still put the chances of the Rays getting Manny at less than 50%... but, it's much higher than it was a week ago.

  2. Gus says:

    Zobrist needs to get out of the field for a few days. Watching him run after balls hit into the gap like he's 70 years old shows that his back stiffness has not subsided from a few weeks ago. I also think his trouble with ground balls (not just Friday, but limited range generally in August at 2B) has to be associated with his back issues. Should have disabled him a few weeks back.

    I wonder if Pena's foot is limiting him also, as there were several plays he always makes that he didn't make this weekend. But his bat is a critical factor in the overall line-up. Offense looks much better with him back in the middle.

    Overall, some frustrating defense for the team that is usually awesome in the field.

  3. Gatorbuc15 says:

    The A's believe that they can persue Crawford or Pena this offseason just because they'll have bigger than usual payroll? I gotta say that I don't see that happening. If the Rays aren't able to get either of them back, espescially Crawford, then they will probably wind up on the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Dodgers, or another team with a lot more money than the A's. To me, Oakland, in all probability, will not get either of them.

    Sorry A's.


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