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: Gutsy. Down 6-2 with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 8th, Joe Maddon had Jason Bartlett pinch-hit for Matt Joyce against a lefty. At this point, the Rays one true hope was a grand slam and JoeMa chose Bartlett over both Ben Zobrist and Carlos Pena. If Maddon is going to be unconventional, the criticisms are fair when he is wrong. But if we are going to do that we also have to tip our cap when Bartlett hits a grand slam and Maddonology works.
THE BAD: Pinball Baseball. We have long defended The Trop, but now we’re done. Just blow it up and let’s move on. The catwalks have always been one of those quirks that Rays fans knew to be not as bad as many outsiders believed. After all, how often do they actually affect a ball in play? And would we have taken the win if the roles were reversed? Absolutely. But it would have left a bad taste in our mouths. No game should ever be decided by the catwalks…Wade Davis. If not for Jason Bartlett’s grand slam we would have never been talking about the catwalks and all the blame would be placed firmly on the shoulders of Big Dub whose fastball was just not there yesterday. His fastball averaged only 89 mph and only 31 of 44 were thrown for strikes. Of those 31 strikes, exactly zero were swinging strikes. In fact, Davis had only 3 swinging strikes in 6 innings. For comparison, Jeremy Hellickson had 14 swinging strikes on Monday, 5 of those coming off his fastball.
THE TELLING: Andy Sonnanstine made a “rehab” start last night for single-A Charlotte (see below)…According to CoolStandings.com the Rays have an 88.0% shot at making the playoffs…The Red Sox and Yankees begin a 4-game series this weekend in the Bronx.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 67-41, one-half game behind the Yankees in the East and 5.5 games ahead of the Red Sox. After 108 games in 2008, the Rays were 64-44.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- It didn’t take long for the Rays to use yesterday’s game as the latest rallying cry for a new stadium, with Joe Maddon going that route in his post-game press conference. [The Heater]
- Joe Henderson’s opening line is almost word-for-word what we yelled immediately after the pop-up hit the catwalk. [Tampa Tribune]
- Joe Maddon praised Wade Davis for lasting six innings despite giving up 4 runs in the first…In reality, Davis had no choice. The Rays only long-reliever had worked 4 innings the previous day. [St. Pete Times]
- Jake McGee and Leslie Anderson were promoted to triple-A Durham. Look for both to be on the Rays roster in September (both are already on 40-man roster). [Rays Prospects]
- Buster Olney says that “rival executives” believe the Rays will look to trade either James Shields or Matt Garza this off-season…hmmm, where have we heard that idea before? [ESPN Insider]
- Jesse Spector puts the AL East race into a historical perspective. [NY Daily News]
- More photos from Bucs Training Camp. [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: (postponed)
- MONTGOMERY: Alex Cobb (2006-4) gave up just 1 earned run (1 unearned) in 6 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.68. He struck out 8 and walked 1…Rashad Eldridge was 3-5 with a double.
- CHARLOTTE: Andy Sonnanstine started just 1.1 innings and gave up 1 run, striking out 4 and walking 1…Nick Barnese (2007-3) relieved Sonnanstine and gave up 2 runs in 5.2 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 2…Tim Beckham (2008-1) was 1-4 with a double and a walk.
- BOWLING GREEN: Kirby Yates gave up 3 runs in 6 innings, striking out 3…Cody Rogers (2009-7) went 0-4 with a walk and stole his 7th base…Tyler Bortnick (2009-16) was 2-3 with a walk and he stole his 35th base.
- HUDSON VALLEY: James Patterson made his first start of the year and held Connecticut to 1 run in 4 innings.
- PRINCETON: (postponed)