The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

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THE GOOD: 7. Thanks to the Red Sox loss, the Rays magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now 7.

THE BAD: First-Pitch Strikes. You can always tell when it is going to be a long night for Matt Garza. On those nights, he struggles to with strike one. And of the 28 batters Garza faced, he threw strike one to on only 9 batters. That is not good…Joe Maddoning. In the first 5 innings, Matt Garza gave up 5 hits, 4 walks, 4 runs and threw 47 of 85 pitches out of the strikezone. The Rays got back in the game by tying it up in the 6th. Rather than realize that Garza just didn’t have it, Maddon went back to the well again. We have absolutely no idea why Maddon expected anything different. But it was no surprise when the first 3 batters reached in the 6th. All 3 would eventually score.

THE TELLING: The Yankees have now won 9 straight games in which Matt Garza was the opposing starter.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 89-60, 1.5 games behind the Yankees and 6.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 149 games in 2008, the Rays were 89-60.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • And why was Grant Balfour in the game to face Curtis Granderson? Because Joe Maddon thought Randy Choate was warming up. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Matt Garza talks about his latest implosion (Video). [The Heater]
  • Bud Selig once again pointed to the Rays as an example that “the system” is working. He also refused to say which side of the Bay the new Rays stadium should be built but does acknowledge that he does have a preference. [St. Pete Times]
  • Mark Simon shows that it is not unusual for the Yankees to get the better of Matt Garza. [ESPN]
  • John Romano says it is time to be concerned about the starting pitching. [St. Pete Times]
  • One of these days we should do a side-by-side comparison of Joe Maddon and Raheem Morris. They are more similar than you might you think. [Joe Bucs Fan]
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8 Comments

  1. Sarah says:

    I'm very concerned about Garza. I know pitching is a delicate art, but how can you have it and then lose it as abruptly as he's done?

    Also, it may seem churlish to complain about Longo when he's batting about 50 points above everyone else and drove in two runs yesterday. But has anyone else noticed he's become a singles hitter? I assume he's made some adjustments to get himself out of a slump, and that's great. And I love a well placed single -- beats many of the alternatives. But he's supposed to be our big 4 spot bat -- singles aren't enough.

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    • Amanda says:

      I'm very concerned about Garza, Niemann and Shields. Two pitchers does not a playoff rotation make. :( Hellickson would be a great third ... if they didn't jack with him for this season to be this year's version of the 2008 Price.

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      • Sarah says:

        I'm generally extremely supportive of the Rays efforts to "coddle" young starting pitchers. But I feel as though they've made some mistakes with Hellickson. To have him failing in relief while three of their starters are failing as starters doesn't make any sense. Was there no way to integrate him -- with lots of rest and a strict pitch count -- into the starting rotation and give Neimann more time to work out the kinks?

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  2. td says:

    Matt Garza was awful last night. He had little command, and was getting hit around. But you ask why he was sent out for his final inning... What did he do wrong? Bartlett boots the first batter of the inning, routine grounder that is perfectly placed on a hit and run, and another perfectly placed ground by Jeter. Bad luck...

    If Bartlett makes the opening play of the inning, Cervelli is more then likely out as well, making it 2 outs with no one on base and Jeter coming up in a 4-4 game.

    Having said that, Garza choked once again last night putting his team in another bad position.

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  3. Gus says:

    The Bad: Middle infield defense -- Zobrist, Bartlett and Garza all need to field their positions better, and those big innings may not get off the ground if they make those plays.

    Maddon should know once a bad play is made behind Garza, guy goes to pieces like a 12-year old.

    Yankees are ripe for the picking. Rays need the energy to do it.

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  4. Don says:

    You missed the best part...Maddon doesn't even know who is warming up in the bull pen...He thought a right hander (Balfour) was Choke....Its easy to do...they look alike...forget what arm they throw with...
    DO you think Maddon will be manager of the year again this year???? All the players like him...whats a few games lost here and there because the manager doesn't know whats going on....He's a good guy!

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