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: Briggy Baseball. First it was Dan Johnson against the Red Sox. Now it was Reid Brignac with the walk-off home run against the Yankees. Who says mid-market teams can’t have depth?…David Price. King David may not have moved ahead of CC Sabathia in the Cy Young race, but he proved he belongs in the conversation. Price matched Sabathia’s 8 shutout innings, giving up just 3 hits using almost nothing but fastballs. In fact, 98 of his 113 pitches were fastballs. Everybody knows what is coming and they still can’t hit it…Kelly Shoppach. OK. it was just Jorge Posada. But throwing out Posada trying to steal to end the 5th, was a big play. How often do we get to compliment Shoppy for his D?…Brett Gardner. Gardner may have saved the Rays in the 10th when he was picked off and thrown out at third to end the inning. Just a bonehead play…Joe Maddon. A lot of managers will shift against pull hitters. JoeMa is the only one that will do it against a right-hander (that we know of). Last night he used the shift against Marcus Thames. In one at bat, Sean Rodriguez fielded a groundball to the left of second base and threw out Thames.

THE BAD: Carl Crawford. CC was ejected in the 9th inning for arguing a called 3rd strike. He should know better. And yes, his spot in the lineup did come up again in the 11th inning. Oh wait. Nevermind. More importantly, was this the first sign that he might be feeling a little pressure heading into the postseason and playing on the big stage just prior to free agency? Seeing CC get that upset is indeed rare…Power Outage. The Rays 3-6 hitters (Crawford, Longoria, Zobrist, Pena) went a combined 0-15 with 8 strikeouts…No rematch. Certainly Joe Maddon would prefer the Yankees not see David Price twice this close to the playoffs. But unfortunately we won’t likely see a Price-Sabathia rematch next week as Price is scheduled to go on Sunday against the Angels. Maddon could use Andy Sonnanstine or Jeremy Hellickson in the Angels series, pushing Price back to Monday. But that would be 6 days of rest instead of the customary 4.

THE TELLING: The Rays optioned Mike Ekstrom to Durham for the Governor’s Cup Finals…The Rays are now 7-5 versus the Yankees this season. If they win the season series, it would be just the second time in franchise history. And it would also give the Rays a winning record versus all 4 AL East rivals this year.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 87-56, one-half game ahead of the Yankees and 7.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card (8 in the loss column). After 143 games in 2008, the Rays were 86-57.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Joe Maddon talks about David Price’s performance and Carl Crawford’s ejection (Video). [Sun Sports]
  • Reid Brignac talks about his walk-off home run (Video). [The Heater]
  • Carl Crawford on being ejected:I didn’t want to get kicked out of the game right there,” Crawford said. “But games like this when your emotions run so high and you want to win so bad and you want to do good so bad, that stuff happens and it just takes a toll on you.” [St. Pete Times]
  • Dave Scheiber talked to JP Howell about how his rehab is going. He will begin light throwing next week. [Sun Sports]
  • Roger Mooney writes about Ben Zobrist getting hot at the right time. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Why aren’t the talking heads in Bristol bitching about the attendance in San Diego? [Shadow of the Stadium]
  • Jon Heyman calls Joaquin Benoit one of the top “pleasant surprises” of the 2010 season. Unfortunately, Carlos Pena and Jason Bartlett make the “unpleasant” list. [SI.com]
  • Gabe Lacques asks if this series with the Yankees really matters? [USA Today]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • DURHAM: Governor’s Cup Finals begin tomorrow
  • Tampa 9, CHARLOTTE 0 (Tampa wins series 3-1): The Stone Crabs lost the FSL championship with Joe Cruz giving up 7 runs in 4.1 innings. The big blow was a 3-run home run Tampa’s 5-run 5th inning.

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20 Comments

  1. Tone says:

    Yeah, got to give Joe his props for that shift on Thames. He looked really good with that move. What is wrong with Pena this year? He is always streaky but this year he has just been bad. Longo is streaky too, not as bad, but he has not looked good since he won that player of the week award a little while ago. I hope they both don’t do that slumpin’ shit in the playoffs like they did in the world series.

  2. Aaron says:

    I’m still riding the high of the win. But seriously, besides the bad of the ejection, I think it was crucial to us winning last nights game, it might have been by design to. ;)

    And BTW I was watching MLB Network last night around 12:30pm and Peter Gammons took ANOTHER pot shot at the Rays attendance on live national TV while calling them a small-market team. I ended up ranting on a few forums because of it.

    Oh and FIRST! :D

  3. Aaron says:

    What do you know, Sportscenter did it also this morning.

  4. Greg says:

    Since the Yanks ended up losing, ESPN’s home page (at 8AM this morning) has nothing about it. I only saw video of Kruk taking a shot at Rays attendance. The Boston-New York homerism is embarrassing. Good thing Hallion’s umpiring didn’t ruin a great game.

  5. Stephanie says:

    If the Rays win the season series against the Yanks doesn’t that also mean they win the East if the season ends in a tie?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      That is correct. So it is kinda like Rays are up 1.5 games. And Rays will probably win 2nd (record v AL East) and 3rd (2nd half record) tiebreakers. So only way Yankees win a tie is if they win 5 of last 6 vs Rays and win season series. And if that happens a tie is unlikely.

  6. Amanda says:

    Like I said in Joe’s post, the Braves had 18k in attendence. At least our crowd shots looked like the Rays had a decent attendence. Especially Briggy’s shot into the full right field stands. If Tampa-St. Pete is outdrawing Atlanta by 8,000, then I wonder if there really is much of an attendence problem.

    • Beth says:

      Also, the crowd was totally into it, and had far more Rays fans than Yankees fans. A few years back, Red Sox and Yankees games usually sold out, and Rays fans were hard to find. I believe that Sox and Yankees fans now come less often (don’t want to see their teams play if there’s actually a chance they might lose?), so attendance at these games drop, but there’s more of a home town crowd.

      • Myrna says:

        I was at the game last night…truly one of the most exciting games I’ve ever attended. I would say 70% Rays fans. We drowned out them Yankmee fans and went home so happy with that walkoff win! Sick of hearing about the attendance. When the series was on the weekend, it was sold out. If you can come out and support our team, please do it! We have a very, very special team.

      • Amanda says:

        “don’t want to see their teams play if there’s actually a chance they might lose?)”

        That was always my theory. Those are the fans that say are true blue, thick-and-thin, etc. Of course, most of those Johnny-Come-Lately Yankee and Red Sox fans have only known “thick.” I guess they go back to being non-baseball fans when their team isn’t 15 games up on everyone.

  7. Gus says:

    The Rays have some kind of depth. If 40 man rosters were around for the playoffs, they’d be unbeatable.

    The Yankees, by contrast, have lots of pear-shaped players.

  8. Rumpy says:

    Prof, I said that same words to my buddy’s re Crawford. He should know better. We are in a pennant race and he pops off over a borderline strike three call that was too close to take. Although it did give a chance for Reid to hit a monster HR, he needs keep a cool head and think big picture. With that said…. AWESOME WIN BABY. I’ll see all you die-hard Rays fans at the Trop tomorrow!!!

  9. Don says:

    BEST think that happened in the game was Crawford “going off”…..CC is a wonderful player…one of the best in the league if not THE best…BUT
    Carl has a very layed back approach to his business (playing baseball) He could be the REAL leader on the team IF he were more vocal/aggressive….Last night….right or wrong..he came out with the attitude that the call was bull s_it…and he wasn’t going to take it any more….I think the players want/need that from a player they respect and know that he is the MAN…Kill Carl Kill… (think of Burrell)..get pissed off….the Rays need YOU…with an attitude!

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