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: Follow MFIKY, He Knows The Way. Rafael Soriano came in a shut down the Angels 1-2-3 in the 9th for his 38th save. But even more impressive was how he did it. 9 pitches. 3 strikeouts. He is the first pitcher to accomplish that feat this season…Bossman. BJ Upton stepped up to the plate against the guy that was his best friend on the Rays, Scott Kazmir. Upton didn’t waste any time, hitting the first pitch of the game for a home run…James the Better. Two runs and 8 hits got his pitch count up there (103) and he had to be pulled after 6 innings. But he did have his good stuff at times striking out 10 and walking just 1. His changeup spent a little too much time in the strikezone (20 of 25) but he did get 4 swinging strikes on the change. And that is what he needs to be successful…Chasing 95. The Rays now need only go 18-19 in their final 37 games to reach 95 wins. In the Wild Card era, every AL team that has won at least 95 games, went on to the playoffs.
THE BAD: Letting Kazmir Off The Hook. Once again the bats went cold. After getting 3 runs off of Scott Kazmir in the first, the Rays let the Angels off the hook, allowing Kaz to work into the 6th inning. In the Rays last 25 plate appearances, the Rays went 1-21 with 4 walks.
THE TELLING: The Rays magic number is 32 with 37 left to play…Mike Ekstrom was sent back to the minors to make room for Wade Davis who will start tonight…Evan Longoria was named AL Co-Player of the Week, sharing the award with Robinson Cano….For the first time this season, Joe Maddon used the same lineup for the 3rd consecutive game…Look for Manny Ramirez to be placed on waivers today by the Dodgers.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 77-48, tied with the Yankees for first place in the AL East. They are 5.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card (6 in the loss column). After 125 games in 2008, the Rays were 77-48.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Johnny Damon was claimed off waivers by the Red Sox, blocking the Rays from making a claim. But Damon does have a no-trade clause to Boston and is still deciding whether to accept the move. [The Heater]
- The best question to arise from the leaked MLB financial documents is: Why should teams receive revenue sharing and turn a profit? Shouldn’t that money go back into the team or returned? [The Biz of Baseball]
- Stacy Long has some of the names that will represent the Rays in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL is usually reserved for players that Rays think have a shot at the big leagues but aren’t a “sure thing.” Interesting to see Leslie Anderson’s name. Does this mean he will not be a September call-up by the Rays? [Biscuit Crumbs]
- NESN weighs in on a potential Manny Ramirez-to-the-Rays trade. [NESN]
- Might the Bucs actually trade Michael Clayton for Albert Haynesworth? [Joe Bucs Fan]
- Stephen Nohlgren argues that moving out of the Tampa Bay area is a longshot for the Rays. [St. Pete Times]
- The BRayser has been seen in the wild before. [Her Rays Baseball]
- Marc Topkin writes about Evan Longoria’s recent hot streak. [St. Pete Times]
- The Durham Bulls are 20-7 since losing Jeremy Hellickson to the big leagues. [Watching Durham Bulls Baseball]
- Arash Markazi writes about Joe Maddon and his Angels roots. [ESPN]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Aneury Rodriguez struck out 3 and walked 3, allowing 3 runs in 5.2 innings…Rocco Baldelli (2000-1) went 2-4 with a double and 2 runs batted in…Elliot Johnson was 3-5 to raise his average to .319…Leslie Anderson went 1-5 with 2 RBI.
- MONTGOMERY: Jeremy Hall gave up 5 runs (3 earned) in 3.2 innings. He struck out none and walked 5…Matt Spring (2004-4) hit just his 2nd home run, but this one was a grand slam.
- CHARLOTTE: Shane Dyer (2008-6) came off the DL and made his first start in 2 weeks. He threw 4 shutout innings, giving up 3 hits and a walk. He struck out 4…Tim Beckham (2008-1) went 1-4 with a triple and an RBI.
- BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein (2008-2) gave up 3 runs in 5 innings. He struck out 4.
- HUDSON VALLEY: Zach Rosscup (2009-28) struck out 10 in just 5.2 innings. He did allow 2 runs in 5.2 innings…Junior Rodriguez hit his first home run, a solo shot. He drove in 2.
- PRINCETON: Eliazer Romero worked 5.2 innings and gave up just 1 run, striking out 3. He lowered his ERA to 2.10…Bryan Fogle (2010-32) hit his 5th home run, a go-ahead solo shot in the 12th.