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: David Price. It wasn’t King David at his best as he walked 4 batters and last only 5 innings. But with a fastball reaching 100mph, Price struck out 9 and showed that (at times) he can be as dominating as anybody in baseball right now…Matt Joyce. In his first game back in Detoit, Little Cat homered to lead off the 3rd and even the score at 1-1…John Jaso. JJ led off and picked up 2 singles and a double. He helped set up the go-ahead run with a single that moved Jason Bartlett to third and he drove in a run and scored a run in the important 2-run 9th that gave the Rays some breathing room…Chad Qualls. Joe Maddon loves a reliever that can work across multiple innings. And with JP Howell out this season, JoeMa’s ability to do that has been limited. But yesterday, Qualls came in to a 2-run game in the 6th and recorded 5 outs without giving up a run and kept the Tigers in check…Evan Longoria. We’ll never get tired of watching Dirtbag play defense.
THE BAD: Testing the Depth. Following the game, Wade Davis was placed on the DL (replaced by Jeremy Hellickson), joining Jeff Niemann who went on the DL prior to the game (replaced by Mike Ekstrom). Even though Joe Maddon called the moves “precautionary,” this is VERY concerning. Watching Davis’ last start in which his fastball was only in the upper-80s, we have a feeling he will be on the shelf for a while. In the meantime, the Rays will have both Hellickson and Andy Sonnanstine in the rotation. Obviously both were impressive in their last outings, but there is a reason The Duke is in the bullpen and the Rays will want to limit Hellboy’s workload down the stretch. Precautionary? Maybe. Or it could be the spin-doctoring of what could turn out to be the Rays’ nightmare scenario.
THE TELLING: David Price became the first player in franchise history to win 15 games in a season…Carl Crawford batted third. It was exactly two years to the day since the last time CC started a game and wasn’t batting second. In that 2008 game he also batted third…2nd round pick Derek Dietrich has not played since August 1st (injured finger).
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 68-44, 1.5 games behind the Yankees (2 in the loss column) and 4.5 games ahead of the Red Sox (5 in the loss column). After 112 games in 2008, the Rays were 67-45.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Rays Prospects takes a look at how this year’s draft picks have fared so far. [Hitters ; Pitchers]
- Brandon Morrow’s 1-hit, 17-strikeout performance against the Rays was one of the top pitching performances of the last 20 years. [Baseball Prospectus]
- A musical tribute to Brandon Morrow’s performance against the Rays. [Deadspin]
- Raheem Morris may have been in over his head as head coach last year, but that didn’t stop him from also running the defense late in the year, even when Jim Bates was still around. [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: (no game scheduled)
- MONTGOMERY: Alex Torres gave up 3 runs in 6 innings on 8 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 4. The big blows were 2 solo home runs. His ERA is now 3.38…Nevin Ashley (2006-6) went 2-3 with a walk. He is hitting .264 with a .338 OBP.
- CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz (2007-30) struck out 6 and walked 1 in 5 innings, giving up 4 runs (3 earned). His ERA is 3.25…Stephen Vogt (2007-12) went 2-4 with a walk and his 7th home run…Rocco Baldelli (2000-1) went 2-5 with a double and 2 RBI…Tim Beckham (2008-1) was 1-5 and his 21st error.
- BOWLING GREEN: Jason McEachern (2008-13) dropped to 4-10 after giving up 2 runs in 5 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 1…Bowling Green managed just 1 hit.
- HUDSON VALLEY: Miguel Sierra struck out 7 and walked just 1 in 5.1 innings. He gave up 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits.
- PRINCETON: Jacob Partridge (2009-18) gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in 3 innings. He struck out 1 and walked 2…Bryan Fogle (2010-32) was 1-4 with a 3-run double.