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

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: David Price. There was a time when David Price couldn’t hit 96 with one pitch. But last night, his 100th pitch was 96 mph. That was just the most obvious example of how Price got stronger as the night moved along. It started with 2 walks in the first, in which 10 of his 19 pitches were out of the zone. But in the next 7 innings, he threw only 20 balls…Ralph Soriano. He didn’t have the good stuff to start the 9th. Of his first 11 pitches, only 1 was greater than 93 mph. The 11th pitch was smacked for a 1-out triple. But then MFIKY found an extra gear. The next 10 pitches were 94-96 as he fought back to retire the last 2 batters and seal the win.

THE BAD: New Faces. Joe Maddon decided to go with his triple-A lineup, by throwing Dioner Navarro, Brad Hawpe and Desmond Jennings straight into the mix. It was a rough night, as the trio went a combined 1-10 with 6 strikeouts, leaving 9 runners on base. Brad Hawpe went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts, including a curious situation in which Joe Maddon left Hawpe in with 2 outs in the 8th and the bases loaded against a lefty.

THE TELLING: Grant Balfour was activated from the DL…According to the Rays have a 98.3% shot at the playoffs. The Red Sox are at 2.7%.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 82-51, 1 game behind the Yankees and 7 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 133 games in 2008, the Rays were 82-51.


  • Joe Maddon on why the game-ending flyball was able to be caught by Carl Crawford: “I thought it was going to hit a catwalk…and because I think the building and I have made up since my last outburst…and for that reason alone, the ball avoided something.” [Sun Sports]
  • Matt Moore is the first minor leaguer to strikeout 200 batters in a season since Francisco Liriano in 2005. [MiLB]
  • Seth Livingstone points to the Rays bullpen as a huge reason for their success this season. [USA Today]
  • The businessman that wanted to move the Rays to Orlando, now is trying to lure the Tampa Yankees to a proposed stadium in Orlando. [Shadow of the Stadium]
  • WDBB has a link to Dan Johnson being interviewed following the announcement that he was named the IL MVP. [Watching Durham Bulls Baseball]
  • One fan explains why the Rays new tiered pricing (and other factors) are hurting attendance. [Technorati]
  • Here is a Fox13 report on Ben Zobrist teaching baseball to some local youngsters. [My Fox Tampa Bay]


  • Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Bobby Livingston gave up 2 runs in 7.1 innings. He struck out 4….Elliot Johnson went 2-4 with a double to raise his average to .316.
  • MONTGOMERY: Josh Satow (2008-25) made his first start of the year and gave up 4 runs in 3 innings.
  • CHARLOTTE: Joe Cruz (2007-30) picked up his 13th win with 6 shutout innings. He struck out 10 and walked 2. His ERA is now 2.85…Tim Beckham (2008-1) went 2-4 with an RBI.
  • BOWLING GREEN: CJ Riefenhauser (2010-20) made his first start since being promoted and pitched 4 shutout innings, allowing 1 hit and a walk, striking out 3…Mark Thomas (2006-22) went 2-4 with 2 RBI…Ty Morrison (2008-4) had a single and 2 walks. He also stole 2 bases and now has 55 on the year.
  • HUDSON VALLEY: James Patterson (2010-18) struck out 4 and walked none in 6 innings. He gave up 1 run on 3 hits.
  • PRINCETON: (season over)




  1. Kelley says:

    You're up early this morning, Prof. I never get to read the Hangover before I take my kids to school. This is great! I agree, I was excited that we were about to see Rocco get a chance to hit, and then he goes and sits back down and Hawpe comes up. I did not get that.

    But I'm still excited about Desmond Jennings, even if he didn't have a good night last night.

  2. Kelley says:

    One more thing... Did you notice how Longo and maybe some others violently untucked their shirts last night when they were high fiving at the end of the game?
    I love that MFIKY does that and shows some emotion after he gets the last out. He's calm when he needs to be calm and then excited when it's time to get excited.

  3. Tone says:

    I too like the whole untucking the shirt thing, but I do not like Hawpe getting that last at-bat. Another example of how they do not treat these games as important. Had the Jays scored in the 9th then Maddon would have looked like a fool(he still does in my mind). Anyone could have hit at that point and been a better option. Was it supposed to build confidence in him? To me having 4k's as opposed to 3 is more of blow in that regard. Just do not get it. I am in Japan so I do not get to see post game. Was there any explanation for that move?(I know Maddon's explanations are bullshit anyway) I am curious as to what his rational was for that awful move. I do love winning though, 2-1 games give me heartburn.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Not sure if you saw, but Rocco came out to the on-deck circle as Rodriguez was batting. Maddon said he did that just hoping they would not intentionally walk Rodriguez. I never heard a clear explanation as to why he stayed with Hawpe, but apparently that was the plan from the get-go. But you are absolutely right, we would have had a field day if the Jays tied the game.

  4. James says:

    How was Sean Rodriguez not part of the GBT? He was a double short of the cycle, reached base 4 times, had a great defensive play, and drove in half of the runs the Rays scored.

  5. Beth says:

    Well, I guess Hawpe has shown he fits right in! Sorry, don't mean to be bitter after a win, and one where, as the Prof notes, the pitching deserves a lot of credit. But they stranded too many runners last night for my comfort. Yeah, they got the win, but I think it took a few years off my life. Why is it that the Yankees final scores are always, like, 9 - 4, whereas our games are alwasy 3-2?

  6. Joe D. says:

    I didn't understand the non move by maddon with Hawpe at first, but the thing that tickled me off was the broadcast, they didn't show talk about what was going on in the Jays bullpen.

    I felt that at that point Maddon liked his matchup with Downs, no matter who was hitting, lefty/righty matchup be damned, and if he brings in Rocco, Gaston brings in his righty. However the broadcast never showed or spoke of what was going on in the Jays 'pen.

    Anyone else think Navi catching, helped Price pitching?

  7. Gus says:

    Hawpe taking at bats from Dan Johnson is like Pat Burrell taking Rocco's #5. Bad karma.

    On the DJ squibber, Navarro was closer to the 3b dugout than the baseline, and those extra feet mattered when he was (allegedly) tagged out. After not scoring on a 2-out double, I was thinking we pinch run for Navi in the oft-chance he reaches base again, no matter what the inning. Slide man. (And he was never tagged).

  8. Dew says:

    Maddon not letting Rocco hit in the bottom of the 8th was stupid stupid stupid.

  9. Don says:

    Maddman is trying his best to screw this thing up (playoffs)
    But with players like Price, Longo and Sorr...even he is having a hard time doing it.....can't wait for the next lineup....any new minor leagues coming up to take the place of the guys who got us here.....This Hawp guy is a beauty....Go Joe Go!


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