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: David Price. King David picked up his 17th win, a Rays record (ties the franchise record) and lowered his ERA to 2.87. With CC Sabathia getting pounded by the Orioles at home, Price might have just snuck back into the CY Young race. And he did it in dominating fashion, hitting 100 with one of his fastballs and averaging 97.3 for his 46 4-seemers. And knowing he had a dominant fastball, he didn’t mess around. Of his 95 pitches, 79 were fastballs…Power. This Rays offense can be downright pathetic when everybody goes cold at the same time. But they can also be world-beaters when the offense is clicking. Last night they clicked to the tune of 5 home runs. The biggest was Ben Zobrist’s 2-run blast in the 3rd that tied the game and seemed to help the Rays relax…Carl Crawford. For the 8th time this season (most in MLB) CC had 4 hits. And for the first time in his career, he had 3 doubles in 1 game.
THE BAD: Early Price. If David Price has a flaw, it is his first inning struggles where he has a 3.81 ERA (only the 7th inning is higher). He also has 19 walks in his 26 first-innings. And last night was no exception as both Red Sox runs came in the first (1 earned).
THE TELLING: Mike Ekstrom has been recalled from Durham…According to CoolStandings.com the Rays have a 97.8% chance of making the playoffs. The Red Sox are at 1.1%…If the Rays go just 12-12 in the final 24 games, they will finish 96-66. To tie, the White Sox would have to go 19-5…The Rays magic number to clinch the Wild Card is 18 with 24 to go.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 84-54, 1.5 games behind the Yankees (1 in the loss column) and 7 games ahead of the White Sox in the Wild Card. After 138 games in 2008, the Rays were 85-53.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- David Price on his 17th win (Video). [The Heater]
- Jim Hickey on David Price: “He’s really, really good, but he can be really, really better. I’m not exaggerating.” Ed Price writes about how Price is just “scratching the surface.” [Fanhouse]
- If you thought Joe Maddon was done with his wild roadtrip clothing ideas, you’d be wrong. Marc Topkin introduces the “Loudmouth Pants Rowland Roadtrip.” [The Heater]
- Gordon Edes on the Red Sox: “Sox manager Terry Francona, ever the realist, symbolically pulled the plug on the 2010 season…” Francona will not pitch Clay Buccholz on 3 days rest as originally planned.[ESPN Boston]
- Jeff Niemann will make his next start. Wait until you read how
apologetic Joe Maddon was for Niemann’s last outing: “Honestly, I was so involved [Monday night] that I didn’t realize they scored 11 runs with two outs yesterday. He was one pitch away from getting out of a lot of stuff.” [MLB]
- Jim Hickey says he noticed several flaws in Jeff Niemann’s mechanics that are correctable. [St. Pete Times]
- That Foul-ball lady from last week? She made her way to the “Early Show.” [Big League Stew]
- MLB Trade Rumors calls Willy Aybar a non-tender candidate following the season. [MLB Trade Rumors]
- Elliot Johnson was named the Durham Bulls’ MVP. [Watching Durham Bulls Baseball]
- Rocco Baldelli won’t be hanging up the cleats after the season. [New York Times]
- The Durham Bulls begin the first-round of the IL playoffs tonight. Rays Prospects offers a preview. [Rays Prospects]
- Stephen Vogt was named the FSL player of the week.[Rays Prospects]
- You can keep up with BJ Upton’s BRayser on Facebook. [Facebook]
- Have you tried the Morning Cup O’ Joe yet? [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: (first-round of the playoffs begin tonight)
- MONTGOMERY: (season concluded)
- CHARLOTTE: The Stone Crabs fell in game 1 despite Matt Moore (2007-8) striking out 10 in 6.1 innings. He did give up 2 runs on 1 hit and 6 walks….Tim Beckham (2008-1) was 1-4.
- BOWLING GREEN: (season concluded)
- HUDSON VALLEY: (season concluded)
- PRINCETON: (season concluded)