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: The Perfect Storm. The entire country finally got to see Crawford’s all-around skills including a HR and a couple of spectacular catches in leftfield. It was also a relief that Crawford’s final at bat in a Rays uniform wasn’t a called third-strike that was 6 inches off the plate. The Rays rally meant CC’s 9th inning HR, and more importantly, at least one more game with The Perfect Storm in a Rays uni…Back of the Bullpen. One of the biggest strengths of the Rays has been the back of the bullpen relievers, Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano. With the Rays unable to hit a beachball in the first two games, one of Joe Maddon’s best weapons was rendered useless. That was not the case yesterday as Benoit and Soriano combined for 2.2 innings and 1 meaningless 9th inning solo home run…Carlos Pena. Hey, look who decided to join the party. Even bigger than the 2-run HR in the 9th was the RBI-single in the 8th that tied the game at 2-2.
THE BAD: Evan Longoria. After an 0-4, Dirtbag is now 2 for his last 33 (.061) in postseason games. Coming back from down 0-2 would be a heck of a lot easier if Longoria would actually contribute something. Anything…Neutralized Speed. As they say, you can’t steal first base. But it is still disheartening to see that the Rays have only 1 stolen base in the first 3 games of this series. If speed does kill, the Rays need to start running. Of course, to run, the Rays need to start getting on base.
THE TELLING: The headline says “John Jaso saves Tampa Bay Rays’ season,” and John Romano breaks down the at bat pitch-by-pitch. Don’t get us wrong, the go-ahead RBI-single with 2-outs in the 8th was big. But it wasn’t even the biggest at bat in that inning. Carlos Pena’s RBI-single, against the shift that tied the game, is the at bat that woke the team up. You could see the looks on the faces change at that moment. It was that moment when the Rays woke up. And if the Rays go on to win this series, we will look back at the Pena at bat as the one that saved the Rays season.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays trail the Rangers 2-1 in the best-of-5 series. Game 4 is today at 1:00pm.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Rafael Soriano nearly killed a reporter after the reporter called him “Raul” following game 2. [Bright House Sports]
- Joe Maddon offers his thoughts on whether the ALDS should go to best-of-7. [Fanhouse]