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: DL Management. We like to tease them, but does any team work the DL as a roster spot as well as the Rays? Needing a roster spot for Carlos Pena and not wanting to risk Dan Johnson or Gabe Kapler on waivers or going with a short bullpen, Kapler walked into the trainers room and came out with a sprained ankle and a trip to the DL…David Price. King David went toe-to-toe with the guy many consider the best pitcher in the AL and held his own. He lasted only 6 innings, but held the Rangers to 2 runs and struck out 8. He did struggle with his control at times, but his fastball averaged 96 mph and he picked up 13 swinging strikes on that pitch alone…Top of the Lineup. With the Rays trailing 4-2 in the 8th, the top 5 guys in the lineup went a combined 4-5 in the inning and scored 4 runs to put the Rays ahead for good.

THE BAD: Luck o’ the Rays. The Rays seemed to get some lucky bounces last night. None luckier than Benjie Molina’s weight and warning track power. Twice Molina missed home runs late in the game by inches. The second came in the 8th and he ended up with a single and did not score…The Brayser. From Marc Topkin’s Twitter account we get the image above which is what the Rays will be wearing on the next roadtrip.

THE TELLING: Both Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann had successful bullpen sessions yesterday and are on track to return next week…The Rays are now 3-0 this season when Cliff Lee starts for the opposing team. The Wild Card winner will likely have to face the Rangers and Lee in the ALDS…If the Rays play .500 the rest of the way (22-22), they will finish 94-68. The Red Sox would have to play 11 over (27-16) just to tie.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 72-46, tied with the Yankees in the East and 5.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card (6 in the loss column). After 118 games in 2008, the Rays were 71-47.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • The Rays signed left-handed pitcher Bobby Livingston to a minor league deal. He last appeared in the majors with the Reds in 2007, making 10 starts. He posted a 5.27 ERA that season.
  • David Price talks about last night’s performance (Video). [The Heater]
  • The pitching injuries continue to mount

    on the farm as Virgil Vasquez is now battling knee problems. [Watching Durham Bulls Baseball]
  • The Bucs may decide to pick up a woobie veteran backup after all. [Joe Bucs Fan]
  • Rays Prospects reviews the Rays draft pick signings. [Rays Prospects]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Bobby Livingston started for the Bulls and gave up 5 runs in 3.1 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 1 but gave up 2 home runs…JJ Furmaniak hit his first home run and Chris Richard added his 14th…Rocco Baldelli went 1-3 with a single and a strikeout.
  • MONTGOMERY: Rayner Oliveros gave up 2 runs (1 earned) in just 3.1 innings…Emeel Salem (2007-6) was 2-5.
  • CHARLOTTE: Chris Andujar gave up 4 runs in 5 innings. He struck out 4…Chris Murrill (2009-35) went 3-5. He is hitting .246…Tim Beckham (2008-1) walked 4 times and struck out in his 5 plate appearances.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Alex Colome pitched 3 shutout innings in his first start since coming off the DL…Julio Cedeno homered and drove in 2 of the Hot Rods 3 runs.
  • HUDSON VALLEY: (no game scheduled)
  • PRINCETON: Braulio Lara struck out 7 and walked none in 6 innings. He gave up 1 run…Cesar Guillen (2) and Hector Guevara (2) homered for the Rays.

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26 Comments

  1. Tom says:

    A couple of random thoughts:

    I do not think I have ever seen a pitcher give up 6 earned runs and look so dominating.

    The 8th may have gone differently had Ian Kinsler been at 2nd base.

    Briefly considered starting a “Shut Up Kevin Kennedy” web-site when he would not stop harping on Lee’s pitch selection after Aybar’s bloop 2 run single.

    I was surprised Benoit did not start the 8th for the Rays.

    • Sarah says:

      I was surprised (about Benoit) also, but at the time the game was tied and I thought Maddon was thinking ahead to extra innings.

  2. Hal says:

    Am I the only one driven crazy by Kennedy’s never ending use of opposing players first or nick-names? He talks about them like their his buddies; hell, I’d swear that “Vlady” is his son.

    Why is Cliff Lee’s strike zone 6 inches wider than David Price’s? He was getting squeezed last night.

  3. Joe D. says:

    The two key ABs for me were Aybar’s AB in the 4th with the infield drawn in her just reached out and dumped the ball over the drawn in infield and infront of the OF. Then the in the bottom of 8th after the first pitch of the inning Cliff Lee had 6.1 IP but it was Crawford extended AB that wore out Lee and allowed the Rays to not only make it a one run game on the hit, but it seemed to make Lee hittable to the rest of the lineup.

    In the bad has to be the Rangers half of the 8th, Qualls gives up the lead off triple, Choate faces his Lefty in Hamilton, walks him, then Wheeler gives the run up for the double play but then gives up a triple to Cantu, and at that point we’re losing 4-2 with Cliff Lee locking its down and at only 74 pitches. Then 18.3k attendance…. Awful! This might have been the biggest regular season game of the year in all of baseball to this point and attendance was pathetic!

  4. Carey says:

    Considering Madden’s usually short leash with the younger pitchers – and the stress of the 6th inning – I was surprised to see Price in the 7th. I was shocked to NOT SEE someone warming up in the pen. Seriously? Madden had to know that the 7th was Price’s last inning and I would think, given the stress of the 6th and the 3-pitch, 4-minute bottom half, he’d at least have Price on a very short leash.

    I’m thinking 4 pitchers to get us through the 7th, then Benoit and Soriano. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy and a nice 2-0 win.

    Ooops.

    And how the hell does Qualls not make the bad. Dude, he’s trying to bunt. And you f-ing walk him? Seriously. That was some serious garbage.

    The guys got Madden and Qualls off the hook last night. Thank God!

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Qualls was 1 pitch from “The Bad.” I felt that double-play after doing his best Rick Ankiel impersonation saved his butt.

    • Gus says:

      Qualls has a mechanical issue with his landing leg that they need to get worked out in a hurry. I thought he was the right guy there, but he did not execute his pitches. He and the Tigers Randy Velverde both had moments last night where you thought they’d never throw another strike.

      Cork: Is there a stat that measures “dominating saves” or “perfect saves”. I’m thinking half of Soriano’s saves have been 1-2-3s. Those kind of saves give teams so much confidence and were so lacking from past Rays teams. (I don’t think Molina had a hit in the 9th as you suggest).

      • Cork Gaines says:

        No specific stats. Posnanski developed a stat called CLOSER+ which rates saves by how tough they are (ie runners on base is tougher).

        And you are correct. The second wall-ball was in the 8th not the 9th. Thx.

        • Gus says:

          Looks like in 19 appearances he only faced faced 3 batters and got 1.0 innings pitched (could have a douple play in there, so not necessarily 1-2-3). But those are 19 “perfect saves” in my book and those are worth something extra over the long course of the season, as opposed to Troy Percival’s stressful “Picassos”.

          • Joe D. says:

            And prior to the Percivalian Era, we had the Al Reyes “Monet” saves 4 batters faced, 36 pitches, they were a little fuzzy, but they usually looked good at the end.

  5. Thad says:

    Is it too much to ask that the national media just accept that Price is a dominating (yet still developing) 5 to 6 to sometimes 7 inning pitcher right now and quit comparing him to the ultra-efficient Lee? The chatter about his inefficiency last night was nauseating.

    None moreso than BBTN (which I’ve sworn off before and may have to again), specifically Kruk who darn near berated Price for not being as efficient as Lee last night. Several times throughout the day, Kruk went on and on about how inefficient Price is. Now, Kruk has made derogatory comments about the Rays all year (payroll, handling of Crawford/Pena contracts, management, etc.), so there’s something under the surface there that indicates he just doesn’t like the Rays.

    But enough is enough. The kid is 24 and has gotten better each of the past three years and is at the top of the league in many categories.

    Now, is Price inefficient? Yes, absolutely. And prob hasn’t gotten any more efficient all year. But right now he is what he is. He may even benefit a bit from being a “little” wild. He can’t locate quite as well as some of the elites and has gotten burned by being too hittable in the past. IMO, he’s a damn good 6 inning guy right now that should only should get better in future years.

    I just think the comparisons to Lee (while understandable because they were facing each other) are really a bit much at this point considering where each pitcher is at in their careers. I can promise you that Lee, as good as he is, would love to be able to crank it up to 98 when he needs it to get a big punchout.

    • Beth says:

      Thad, I heard the same griping and agree with you entirely. I didn’t understand the basis of the comparison, first of all — Lee and Price are both successful lefties, but other than that, why should Lee be the yardstick against which Price is measured? It’s not like Price announced this game would be some kind of “smackdown” and now he needs to be put in his place. Also, Kruk seemed to be blaming Price for the fact that he pitched to a much narrower strike zone than did Lee. Did you catch that part?

    • Carey says:

      Wow. You mean there are serious baseball fans out there that still watch that garbage on ESPN.

      Dude. MLB Tonight. Bright House 1141 (in Pinellas).

      Will never watch those stooges again. Really, for the avid baseball fan, there really is no comparison. And for those who play fantasy baseball, MLB Tonight is like crack.

      • Tom says:

        MLB Network Bright House 159 (in Pinellas) is also good.

      • Connie says:

        LOVE mlb network. Those guys really give credit to where it’s due. I thought it was funny they basically showed the entire Rays game last night.

      • Beth says:

        I had just turned to them to catch the final score of the Yankees game! honest!

      • Thad says:

        Dude, I hear ya. MLBN is a fixture on my DVR (DirecTV 213). It’s typically all I watch, but occasionally I like to hear another perspective. Like I said, I’ve all but written off BB Tonight on ESPN. It’s really lame compared to MLBN. MLBN is much more balanced and thoughtful and doesn’t appear to have hidden agendas or inherent bias no matter which crew is working. It’s a much better product IMO.

  6. Don says:

    Better keep the talk about the Rays being 3-0 aga. Lee to a minimum this year…He might hear you…and you don’t want that….. if we meet them later..
    I hope Maddon also bought everyone bubble, red noses for their trip ……then everyone will look like wineole Joe….

  7. Beth says:

    If the Rays have a miserable West Coast trip I’m going to blame those hideous jackets. What were they thinking?

  8. Indiana Rays Boy says:

    The BRaysers…WTH!!! These road trip gimmicks are pathetic. This is not high school, it is major league baseball. Every time he comes up with road trip themes, they wind up having losing streaks. If you want team spirit, watch little league baseball.

  9. Carey says:

    Oh, this jacket’s terrible. I bet you get a free burger at Dairy Queen with this.

    Oh, but it looks good on you.

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