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. While it looked like CC was pressing against the Yankees last week, he finally had a typical all-around great game in a big game. Two hits, including his 16th home run and he stole 2 bases…Rain Delay Depth. With a 2-hour rain delay, both starting pitchers were pulled in the 3rd inning. While the Yankees had to go with a guy who hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2008, the Rays were able to counter with Jeremy Hellickson who gave Joe Maddon 3.1 strong innings. Hellboy did give up 2 runs (1 can be blamed on Navarro, see below) but he also struck out 5 and got 9 swinging strikes of his 54 pitches (16.7%). That is very good. And he showed how dominating his changeup can be by getting 5 swinging strikes on that pitch alone (out of 16 changeups).
THE BAD: Dioner Navarro. Navi is the Rays best defensive catcher. But if he has a fault behind the plate it is that he sometimes falls asleep or gets lazy. In the 6th with the score 3-1 and Derek Jeter on first base, Jeremy Hellickson threw a 58-foot curveball and Navi made a half-arsed attempt to block it. The pitch got away, Jeter advanced to second and would eventually score on a single.
THE TELLING: The Rays magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now 5…Carlos Pena and BJ Upton were not in the lineup…Tonight is David Price versus CC Sabathia, round 2.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 90-61, 1.5 games behind the Yankees and 6.5 games ahead of the Red Sox. After 151 games in 2008, the Rays were 90-61.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Don’t forget to check out our “Postgame Shot of Joe” for immediate reaction to that night’s game. [Postgame Shot of Joe]
- Jeremy Hellickson talks about his rain delay relief work (Video). [The Heater]
- Joe Maddon said BJ Upton needed some rest and Carlos Pena needed to “try to rearrange how he’s thinking.” [St. Pete Times]
- John Romano wonders if Carlos Pena’s spot on the bench will become more permanent. [St. Pete Times]
- The Wall Street Journal on “DJ Kitty”: “You’re so much better than this, Rays”. We couldn’t agree more. Is DJ Kitty cute? Sure. Does DJ Kitty want us to get loud and rally the Rays to victory? Um, no. Now, maybe if it was “DJ Doberman” or even “DJ Jonny Gomes” we might get excited. But not for a kitty. Even the Rally Monkey is laughing at the Rays. [Wall Street Journal]
- The sheriff’s deputy we told you about earlier this week, who was kicked out of The Trop for refusing to turn his shirt inside-out, has been banned from The Trop for life. [Tampa Tribune]
- Jon Heyman, a baseball exec. and 2 agents take a stab at how much Carl Crawford will make in free agency. The guesses range from $96 for 6 years to 126M for 7 years. We don’t see Crawford getting more than $105M for 7 years. [SI.com]
- Tim Kurkjian writes about how David Price transformerd into a legit Ace. [ESPN]
- ESPN.com finally found a Rays blogger for their Sweetspot Network. [The Ray Area]
- Former Devil Ray Jose Canseco and his twin brother are going to host a home run derby. [Rays Rev]