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: Wade Davis. Big Dub dominated the Rangers for 5 innings. But of his 94 pitches, none were bigger than the 0-2 fastball and the 1-2 slider to Vlad Guererro with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 5th. The fastball stood Vlad up. And the slider was picture-perfect. Couldn’t go in the dirt with runner on third, but got it far enough away that Vlad couldn’t hit it…Tiger-Cycle. Carlos Pena is officially awake and saucy. In one 4 AB stretch over the last 2 games, he hit for the cycle…Evan Longoria. You can tell his quad is still bothering him as he cringes every time he runs. But his bat is finally coming around. Two doubles and a home run yesterday. It is an old cliche, but the Rays’ offense is night-and-day depending on how well Pena and Longoria are doing…Sweet Glovin’ Matty Joyce. While Nelson Cruz has struggled in RF for the Rangers, Matt Joyce looked perfectly comfortable in the shadows. And none of his plays were bigger than the diving grab he made with no outs in the 5th and a runner on first. That killed what could have been a huge rally.
THE BAD: Nelson Cruz. Of course you don’t want Josh Hamilton or Vlad Guerrero beating you, but this Nelson Cruz fella is really starting to annoy us. His solo HR in the 5th was his third home run of the series.
THE TELLING: In 4 games, Joe Maddon has used 15 different starters in his lineup. Amazing considering there are only 14 on the roster (Rocco Baldelli started game 1). That’s just JoeMa being JoeMa…Carl Crawford grounded into just his 3rd double-play of the year. Sure he is fast, but CC is left-handed, hits a lot of groundballs and usually hits the ball hard. So only 3 GIDPs is pretty awesome.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rangers and Rays are tied 2-2 in the best-of-5 ALDS. Game 5 is Tuesday at 8:07pm.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Yesterday we linked to a piece that reported Rafael Soriano flipped out on a reporter for getting Soriano’s name wrong. Turns out that Soriano and the reporter were just “joking around.” [Bright House Sports]
- Carlos Pena talks about evening the series (Video). [The Heater]
- Carl Crawford got into a heated conversation with the homeplate umpire when the umpire told CC to get back in the batters box. [St. Pete Times]
- Carl Crawford on re-signing with the Rays this winter: “You always keep that little ounce of hope.” [Twitter]
- Jon Heyman says the Rays are hoping to re-sign Carlos Pena this winter. [MLB Trade Rumors]
- Did you miss the Bucs huge win yesterday? Joe has the highlights. [Joe Bucs Fans]
- Gary Shelton writes about how Evan Longoria’s play has put his leadership on display. [St. Pete Times]
- Josh Hamilton has struggled against Rays pitches. [St. Pete Times]