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: Expanded Rosters. With the Rays trailing 12-2 in the 7th, the expanded roster gave Joe Maddon the opportunity to pull 6 starters and get them a little extra rest prior to the final two games of the series.
THE BAD: Jeff Niemann. For only the second time this season (ignoring his injury-shortened start), the Giraffe failed to work 5 innings, and both have come since his return from the DL. In his 3 starts since the DL-stint, he has given up 23 runs in 10 innings on 19 hits and 8 walks. When Niemann loses his mechanics, he loses them big time. One has to wonder if he needs to take a week or two off and just throw simulated games until he gets his groove back. Because this Niemann won’t be on the post-season roster.
THE TELLING: Andy Sonnanstine was added back to the roster after spending the past week on the Hudson Valley roster as part of the September roster expansion…The Rays magic number to clinch the Wild Card is 19 with 25 to play…If the Rays go just 12-13 in the final 25, the Red Sox would have to go 18-6 just to tie…David Price is 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA in 4 career starts against the Red Sox, but tonight will be his first career start in Fenway Park.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 83-54, 2.5 games behind the Yankees (2 in the lost column) and 6 games ahead of the White Sox in the Wild Card. After 137 games in 2008, the Rays were 84-53.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Rocco Baldelli homered in his first at bat back with the Rays on Sunday. Here is video of him talking about the blast. [The Heater]
- The 6 pinch-hitters used by Joe Maddon in the 7th inning tied a big league record. [St. Pete Times]
- The Pirates have designated Aki Iwamura for assignment…We expect this means he will be back in Japan next season. [Twitter]
- Evan Longoria’s web gem on Saturday gave him
the overall lead on the Web Gem leaderboard (thanks Mark). [Web Gem Leaderboard]
- Joe Maddon thinks MLB should go back to a balanced schedule…Facing the Red Sox and Yankees less would be nice, but keep in mind, a balanced schedule would mean more west coast trips with late nights. [MLB]
- Gary Shelton thinks you guys are too hard on the Rays. [St. Pete Times]
- When Joe Maddon was given his honorary doctorate last week, he presented the audience with some of his favorite inspiration quotes. Here is the selection. [Lehigh Valley Live]
- Rob Neyer speculates on which starting pitcher the Rays may trade this off-season…We still think the Rays will keep all 6 until at least the all-star break with one either in triple-A or the bullpen as insurance. [Sweetspot]
- Tommy Rancel takes a closer look at James Shields confusing season. [Bright House Network]
- Here is a visual comparison of the Rays and Yankees. [Hardball Times]
- Yankeeist argues against the Yankees signing Carl Crawford. [Yankeeist]
- It is probably a good thing LeGarrette Blount doesn’t play defense. If he did, there is a good chance that either he or Jerramy Stevens would kill the other within a week. [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
- DURHAM: Bobby Livingston gave up 3 runs in 6 innings. He did not strike out any batters…Fernando Perez (2004-7) went 2-5 with his 24th steal. He is hitting .223…Elliot Johnson was 2-6 and is now hitting .319…Joe Dillon (9) and Omar Luna (1) homered for the Bulls.
- MONTGOMERY: David Newmann (2007-4) started but was pulled after 2 scoreless innings…Henry Wrigley (2005-14) hit his 9th home run.
- CHARLOTTE: (regular season concluded, playoffs begin tonight)
- BOWLING GREEN: CJ Riefenhauser (2010-20) made his second start since being promoted and allowed just 1 run in 5 innings. He struck out 1 and walked none…Ty Morrison (2008-4) went 0-5…Dustin Biell (2007-5) was 4-5 with a double and his 6th home run.
- HUDSON VALLEY: (regular season concluded)
- PRINCETON: (regular season concluded)