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: Magic Numbers. The Rays lost, and looked bad doing it. But the good news is, the Red Sox lost also, lowering the Rays’ magic number to 24 with 30 to play.
THE BAD: Jeff Niemann. Things looked promising for the first 5 innings. It looked as though maybe Niemann shed the rust that plagued him in his first start back from the DL. But then the 6th inning happened. Niemann faced 6 batters in the 6th and retired none of them. All 6 would eventually score…Over-Aggressive. Dan Johnson’s double in the 5th gave the Rays a 3-1 lead. But with 2 outs, we still have no idea why he decided to stretch the double into a triple, considering Johnson was rounding second just as Aaron Hill fielded the relay about 20 feet in front of Johnson (Ben Zobrist was going to score easily).
THE TELLING: Andy Sonnanstine was demoted to short-season Hudson Valley to make room for Brad Hawpe. Since the Renegades’ season ends Sunday, the Rays won’t have to wait 10 days to bring him back…Grant Balfour will throw a simulated game today…Stephen Vogt, Matt Moore, Joe Cruz and Zach Quate were named to the FSL post-season All-Star team…Elliot Johnson joins Dan Johnson and Jeremy Hellickson on the IL post-season All-Star team.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 81-51, 1 game behind the Yankees in the East and 7 games ahead of the Red Sox in the AL East. After 132 games in 2008, the Rays were 81-51.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon on what went wrong with Jeff Niemann (Video). [Sun Sports]
- Matt Bush will have surgery on a nerve in his throwing arm. The move will require 6 weeks of rehab. [St. Pete Times]
- A scout on Jeremy Hellickson: “Minnesota, or whatever team they get [in the playoffs], would much rather see the kid [in the bullpen] than the prospect of seeing him start in a short series.” [SI.com]
- Peter Gammons is at it again. This time saying
MLB screwed themselves when they put a team in St. Pete. [Shadow of the Stadium]
- Rocco Baldelli talks about his experience rooting for his little brother in their quest to reach the Little League World Series. [Woonsocket Call]
- The Rays hold the top spot in the Sporting News’ Power Rankings. [Sporting News]
- Can the Bucs win 7 game this season? [Joe Rays Fan]
- This Jason Bartlett bobblehead confused us for a moment. [USTA News]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Brian Baker picked up his 9th win with 5 shutout innings. He struck out 5 and walked none…Chris Richard hit his 18th home run of the year, a 3-run shot…Leslie Anderson went 1-3 and is now hitting .351 in 24 games with Durham.
- MONTGOMERY: Alex Cobb (2006-4) struck out 5 and walked 1 in 6 innings. He allowed 1 run on 2 hits.
- CHARLOTTE: In game 1, Matt Moore (2007-8) struck out 11 and walked none in 6 innings. He allowed just 2 unearned runs, lowering his ERA to 3.36…In game 2, Jake Thompson (2010-2) made his single-A debut, throwing 5 shutout innings, allowing 1 hit and 2 walks. He struck out 3…Stephen Vogt (2007-12) went 2-3 in game 1, raising his league-leading average to .336…Tim Beckham (2008-1) went 2-7 with a pair of doubles in the double-header.
- BOWLING GREEN: Yorman Mayora made his first start for Bowling Green and gave up 7 runs (5 earned) in 2.2 innings…Burt Reynolds hit a grand slam in his only plate appearance.
- HUDSON VALLEY: Omar Bencomo gave up 2 runs in 2 innings…Nick Schwaner (2010-30) had 1 of the Renegades 2 hits, a 2-run home run.
- PRINCETON: In game 1, Andrew Bellatti (2009-12) allowed 2 runs in 2.2 innings on 2 hits and 4 walks…In game 2, Victor Mateo pitched 5 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits. He struck out 6 and walked none.