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: Clinchability. The Rays can clinch a playoff spot tonight. A win this afternoon followed by a Red Sox loss tonight would punch the Rays postseason ticket. In the meantime, the Rays’ magic number to clinch the division is now 6…Matt Garza. Maybe it was the new haircut. Or maybe he can just “turn it on” whenever he wants. Or maybe it was just the Mariners, the worst offense in the big leagues. Whatever it was, it was nice to see Garza rebound from his recent poor starts to give the Rays 7 strong innings, allowing just 1 run, striking out 5, walking none and needing only 92 pitches to do it…Sweet Swingin’ Matty Joyce. The back-to-back 2-strike doubles by John Jaso and Ben Zobrist to start the game were huge, but when Matt Joyce capped the scoring in the first with a 2-run home run, the game was over.
THE BAD: Carlos Pena. El Gato went 0-4 and is now hitting .198, the lowest batting average in the big leagues among qualifying hitters. If there is an upside, he is hitting his way right back into the Rays 2011 budget, for those of you that want him back.
THE TELLING: Dan Johnson started at third base…The Rays now have a 91.9% chance of winning the division according to CoolStandings.com.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 93-61, 1.5 games ahead of the Yankees in the East and 7 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 154 games in 2008, the Rays were 92-62.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon: “We are playing as well as we have in a while” (Video). [Sun Sports]
- With Evan Longoria out until at least mid-week, Joe Maddon said Dan Johnson (versus RHP) and Sean Rodriguez (versus LHP) will likely get the starts at third base until then. [St. Pete Times]
- Roger Mooney looks at who might make the Rays postseason roster. [Tampa Tribune]
- The Bucs look to move to 3-0 today. Be sure to check out JoeBucsFan.com for all the info you need. In the meantime, despite being 2-0, CoolStandings.com says the Bucs only have a 30.0% chance of making the playoffs.