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: David Price. King David didn’t pick up his franchise-record 15th win, but he did bring the nasty stuff. He was regularly hitting 96 and topped out at 98, all while painting corners. Of his 119 pitches, 83 were strikes.

THE BAD: Scott Who? The Tampa Bay Rays, making mediocre pitchers look like Greg Maddux since 1998. This time it was Scott Baker who came into the game with a 5.00 ERA. All he did was hold the Rays to no runs on 3 hits and 1 walk in 8 innings…Dan Johnson Is Not That Important. A normal bullpen has 7 guys. Last night, the Rays had 4 (Andy Sonnanstine is on the DL, Rafael Soriano and Joaquin Benoit were unavailable). Of the 4 available, one had an ERA close to 8.00 (Qualls), another had an ERA over 5.00 (Choate) and a third hadn’t pitched in 2 weeks (Cormier). The fourth was Dan Wheeler. A big league team is not going to win a lot of games with only those 4 arms in the bullpen. And they sure as hell aren’t winning a game that goes 13 innings. Any second-thoughts on demoting Jeremy Hellickson for Dan Johnson instead of a relief pitcher?…Trusting Cormier? If you knock on the Devil’s door long enough, eventually somebody is going to answer. Lance Cormier, who hadn’t pitched in 15 days, looked, well, well-rested in the 10th, 11th and 12th innings. But how many times was Maddon going to go back to that same well? With both Rafael Soriano and Joaquin Benoit unavailable and Cormier having thrown a 30-pitch bullpen session prior to the game, it seemed that the Rays’ fate was sealed once the game went into extra innings and Cormier eventually gave up the go-ahead run in his 4th inning of work.

THE TELLING: Happy 29th Birthday to Carl Crawford…Last night’s crowd was 19,172…The start of the game was delayed 16 minutes when lightning knocked out some of the lights.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 67-40, tied with the Yankees for first-place in the AL East and 6.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 107 games in 2008, the Rays were 63-44.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Carlos Pena may be well enough to pinch-hit today but will have to play with pain the rest of the year. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Wade Davis was named the AL Rookie of the Month. Rafael Soriano was named the “top delivery man” (whatever that means). [The Heater]
  • Moonlight Graham takes a look at Pat Burrell’s resurgence. Is it the NL pitching? Or is it because he is playing left field again? Either way, his numbers (.282, 7HR, .372 OBP in 44 games) make us want to throw up. [Ghost of Moonlight Graham]
  • Dave Scheiber writes about BJ Upton’s success. [FoxSportsFlorida]
  • Not unexpected, but Adam Dunn was placed on waivers. No word yet on who claimed him, but there were 28 teams in front of the Rays, so it is highly doubtful he got that far. [MLB Trade Rumors]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM:
  • MONTGOMERY: Alex Torres gave up 2 runs in 5 innings, striking out 5 and walking just 1…Leslie Anderson did not play.
  • CHARLOTTE: Shane Dyer (2008-6) picked up his 5th win with 10 Ks in 6 innings, giving up just 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks. His ERA is 3.36…Rocco Baldelli (2000-1) went 2-4 with a double on “Rocco Baldelli Mustache Night…Tim Beckham (2008-1) had a double in 4 at bats.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Jason Mceachern (2008-13) worked 7 inning, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks…Cody Rogers (2009-7) was 2-3 with a walk…Ty Morrison (2008-4) hit his 6th home run and also stole his 40th base.
  • HUDSON VALLEY: In the first game, Miguel Sierra gave up just 2 runs in 4.1 innings, striking out 3 and walking 1…In the nightcap, Ken Kelly made his first start of the season, giving up 2 runs (1 earned) in 4 innings.
  • PRINCETON: (no game scheduled)

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19 Comments

  1. d-money says:

    While I agree it was not the ideal bullpen situation. The bullpen is pretty far down on the list of reasons why they lost that game last night.

  2. robert says:

    BJ Upton was up in the ninth, man on, tied game, two outs. Strike 3 looking….

    • John S says:

      No… because most of the time he looks clueless at the plate and takes the worst pitches and honestly when he gets to 2 strikes.. you know what is coming

      • Sublime says:

        Zzzz:

        Ignore John, I think in one of his channelside rants BJ must have picked up his chick or something… The “TEAM” can get no hit, believe it like clockwork John S will chime in with his BJ sucks rant. Typical Scapegoat mentality, sad.

        I guess he Forgot about Longo in the 10th having a runner on 2nd and 1st base, opportunity to win the game and he flies out. That seems to escape his memory, convenient.

        Even chimed in about BJ not being able to speak “well” and sounds ignorant, really? Would he really be doing all of these commercials if he really sounded that “ignorant”. Check the video of the interview after he hit the homerun, does this sound like an “ignorant” man? Interview with BJ and his brother Justin on the MLB network, check the tape.

        If you don’t like the man, fine, don’t turn every time the Rays lose as a BJ f-up.

  3. Joe D. says:

    Whenever you have that much invested in a game (13 innings, and your best starter) you want to win, obviously. However, thankfully, the Rays blow the ‘pen, and maybe a Matt Garza, and still lose.

    Knowing that the ‘pen was used to take 2 of 3 from the yanks, sweep the Tigers and take the first 2 from the Twins, last night is a loss I can live with.

  4. Dew says:

    I guess you didn’t see Dan Johnson knock in the game tying run in the bottom of the 9th. Then get lifted for Kapler to run for him. Geez. Give the kid some time.

  5. Matt says:

    I knew the Rays were gonna lose once they left cormier in that inning. He’s not a long man joe, put someone else in!

  6. Cork Gaines says:

    Did Dan Johnson win the game last night? I don’t remember that happening when I watched the game. And Dan Johnson isn’t going to be a difference-maker down the stretch. On the other hand, leaving the bullpen short-handed will cost the Rays games and it did last night.

    • Stephanie says:

      Cork, I agree about the short-handed bullpen. This is especially true since Maddon likes to run through his ‘pen. But they only lost by one run. I will be the first to agree that Cormier isn’t a great pitcher, but he only gave up one run over four innings. You can’t win if you can’t score. A lot of bullpens lose that game. The Rays tied it in the 9th off the Twins closer. Soriano gave up a run the other night and Guerrier (who is actually a pretty good arm despite some recent struggles) gave up three. It happens.

    • Dew says:

      I hope Dan Johnson makes you and Joe eat all the negative comments. :-)

  7. Stephanie says:

    The bullpen did very well, including Cormier. Lance has not had a good season but I don’t think we should dump on him for last night. Perhaps Maddon could have handled the bullpen more efficiently, but the loss is squarely on the offense.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Absolutely. Most of thus loss is on the offense. The bullpen is just that once the game went into extra innings I didn’t see much hope because the offense was struggling and there was only 1 reliever left.

      And yes, no blame for Cormier*. In fact, I probably should have him in the “good.” he was put in an impossible position and did more than any of us could have expected.

      *maybe a little blame. With a short bullpen and knowing he is the long reliever, why was he throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session before the game? What if Price was knocked out in the 3rd inning? Certainly Cormier, Hickey and Maddon had to know there was at least a chance Cormier would be needed for multiple innings.

      • Stephanie says:

        Cormier was obviously ready and able to pitch last night. I don’t think we can blame the bullpen session.

        I agree with your point: The Rays ran out of pitchers and had to leave Cormier out there no matter what. But when your team doesn’t score you are going to get to that point eventually. I’m not a huge fan of how Maddon manages his ‘pen, but this one is on the offense.

    • Matt says:

      Agreed. Cormier did pitch decent. 4 innings, 3 hits, and 1 run but putting in a new pitcher was long overdue. And I know that Benoit and Soriano were “unavailable”, but Maddon should’ve been thinking, okay I might have to use one of these guys later

  8. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if JP Howell didn’t get hurt. I blame him.

  9. Gus says:

    I think Joe thought the Commish would call a tie if he ran out of pitchers.

    That was the best Cormier has pitched all season, and if Brignac makes the play on Mauer, they may still be playing.

    They miss Pena, and Longo needs a day off.

    • Beth says:

      Agreed. I realize Longoria has built up a lot of good will among Rays fans, and it’s well deserved, but we can’t ignore the fact that he’s been slumping badly. His production with runners on base is mediocre and he’s striking out too much. He has carried the team at times this year, but in recent weeks he’s been absent (but still great on D of course).

  10. Rayofhope says:

    My biggest issue is this teams inability to move runners over. Early in the game we had guys in scoring position and Joe has them swinging away instead of bunting them over toi allow a sac fly to score them. The game should have been tied at 1 earlier but BJ did not move the runner over. One day Joe will learn that during a game where hits are scarce, you need to play small ball and use the team speed to manufacture runs. I am also getting tired of guys getting on and not trying to steal second base in a close game. If you have two down and a guy at first lets put a little pressure on the other team for a change.

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