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: Carl Crawford. Yes Carl Crawford. Normally, we would have destroyed Crawford for tagging up and getting thrown out at third to end the game. But we had zero problem with CC trying to force a play with 2 outs in the 10th. With Mo Rivera on the mound, you have to try and do something. Anything. And while the standard rule is never make the last out at third base, we like the idea of CC forcing a throw which in theory could have been kicked away. To us, that seems more likely than getting a 2-out basehit…The Bullpen. After Matt Garza and Jake McGee put the Rays in a 6-0 hole, Chad Qualls, Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano shut down the Yankees and allowed the Rays to erase the 5-run deficit and take a 7-6 lead…Postseason. If these teams do meet in October, we are in for an epic showdown. It will be Rocky vs Ivan Drago all over again.
THE BAD: Matt Garza. At what point do we start to get concerned about the “September Soreness”? And at what point does “September Soreness” turn into “October Costing-Rays-Postseason-Gamesiness”?…Joe Maddon. This is nitpicking a bit, because we understand why. But one thing we cringe at with Maddon is that he will give up on a game a little earlier than we would like. In this case, it was using Jake McGee in the 5th. And even worse was sticking with McGee in the 6th even though only 4 of his 13 pitches were strikes in the 5th. Certainly we would rather see JoeMa do his experimenting and confidence building in blowouts, but if the game was indeed a blowout, why not save McGee for the 8th or 9th inning when there is less of a chance of coming back.
THE TELLING: Durham lost game 1 of the Governor’s Cup Finals. Game 2 is tonight in Columbus…Carlos Pena was dropped to 7th in the lineup…Willy Aybar set a team record with his 15th pinch hit of the season, a home run.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 87-57, one-half game behind the Yankees (tied in the loss column) and 6.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 144 games in 2008, the Rays were, yep, 87-57.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Matt Garza talks about his latest poor outing (Video). [The Heater]
- Versus will broadcast the triple-A championship game on September 21 which will include the champion of the International League. The Bulls are currently down 1-0 in the Governor’s Cup Finals. [Durham Bulls]
- Matt Garza says he felt fine, saying he just tried too hard. [St. Pete Times]
- Jon Paul Morosi on the AL Cy Young Award:
“I can’t tell you who should win the American League Cy Young Award…But I saw him pitch on Monday.” [Fox Sports]
- It is behind the Insider wall, but Buster Olney breaks down how David Price dominated the Yankees. [ESPN Insider]
- Ken Rosenthal points out that the Rays are 11th in batting average but they are not a bad hitting team. He notes that the Rays lead the league in slugging in September and are second overall in runs scored. [Fox Sports]
- Ugh. TheSportsHernia, a writer at The Big Lead (normally a great writer) compares the 2010 Rays to the 1997 Marlins. [The Big Lead]
- And look! More attendance problems in Cincinnati. Nobody is saying they don’t deserve a team, but at least people are starting to notice it is not a problem limited to the Rays. [Big League Stew]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Columbus 18, DURHAM 5 (Columbus leads series 1-0, best-of-5): Richard de los Santos started and gave up 5 runs in just 2 innings. Darin Downs and Brian Shouse then combined to give up 10 runs in the next 3 innings and the rout was on…Justin Ruggiano provided most of the offense, but it was too little, too late. He hit a grand slam, but the score at the time was 17-1.