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: Matt Garza. He gave up 5 hits to the first 10 batters he faced and 3 of those baserunners would score (thanks in part to some shoddy D). But Garza settled down to not allow a hit to the final 19 batters he faced. What was encouraging was that he didn’t seem to have his best stuff, but he was still getting outs. Only 6 of his 106 pitches were swinging strikes. Even more astonishing was that he only got 2 swinging strikes on his 68 fastballs, a pitch that he usually lives and dies by…Carl Crawford. He never did develop the amount of power that many thought he would generate with the Rays, but last night he did match his career-high with his 18th home run of the year.

THE BAD: Defense. Hey, we expect this team to struggle offensively from time-to-time. But they should always play good defense. Last night, they looked like a team that just doesn’t have their head in the game and could care less about winning the division…Offense. Is it a coincidence that the Rays are 1-4 in their last 5 games, all of which did not have Evan Longoria in the mix? This team isn’t going to go far with a progression of .200 hitters after Carl Crawford in the lineup.

THE TELLING: The Rays have now lost 4 of 5 just after Joe Maddon said they were playing the best he has seen all year…Evan Longoria missed his 7th straight game. Ben Zobrist started at 3B for the first time this season…Wade Davis will start Sunday which means there is still no scheduled starter for Saturday which we assume will be Andy Sonnanstine or Jeremy HellicksonJoaquin Benoit was back with the Rays after missing 2 games to be home for the birth of his child…The Rays magic number to win the division is still 3 (they hold the tie-breaker over the Yankees)…

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 94-65, tied with the Yankees in the AL East. After 159 games in 2008, the Rays were 96-63. The Rays need to win their final 3 games to match their 2008 record of 97-65. The Rays are also 1 games ahead of the Twins for best record in the AL and hold the tie-breaker.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Now it is looking like Evan Longoria may not play again until the playoffs. This is starting to eerily remind us of Carl Crawford in 2008. And the way Joe Maddon is trotting different guys out at 3B each night, it sure seems like guys are auditioning for the postseason. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Is there a chance James Shields isn’t in the postseason rotation? We would be shocked. [St. Pete Times]
  • Rafael Soriano has hired Scott Boras as his agent. This is a big deal if you thought Soriano had a chance to be re-signed before the switch. For us? We say the chances of re-signing Soriano just went from “not likely” to ” stop asking stupid questions.” [The Heater]
  • Rays first round draft pick Justin O’Connor talks about his transition to catcher. [MLB]
  • An interesting look at demand for Rays tickets over the last couple of weeks. [The Huffington Post]
  • The executive that was going to court to get his AL Championship ring back from a pawn show now has his ring back. [Bay News 9]
  • Did ticket giveaway prove St. Pete is OK for Rays?“…As one commenter noted, sure, as long as the Rays give away all their tickets. [10 News]
  • Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio declared that today is “Rays Day,” whatever that means. [Rays Report]
  • Her Rays has a couple of pics of the rookie hazing. [Her Rays!]
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18 Comments

  1. Edward says:

    two words: FIRE SHELTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. Don says:

    Hard to continue to watch a sinking ship....no hitting now add poor(choke type) fielding and decisions....
    But I can remind the Rays a few things about SPORTS;

    1) Don't count on things like "easy schedules" to help you win, you have do win on you own..
    2) Don't take the game for granted..ie Maddons lineup last Sun...Now he says he "expects" ANY players he puts out there to win.....Sorry Joe.... don't work that way..
    3) Open your mouth too early..Hey Longo/Price worrying about attendence and not doing the teams business...winning
    4) Celebrating too early..what is a playoff berth as opposed to winning the division...IF they would have taken care of business THIS week instead of celebrating ...the Division championship would have been theirs...Right Now..

    Yankees ARE the type of team that gets an oppening in the door...to stick it to the Rays...Ball in your court Rays...Put up or SHUT UP!

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  3. Isn't Pam Iorio the same mayor who bet the Clearwater mayor that the Yankees would beat the Phillies in the World Series? WTF?

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  4. Gatorbuc15 says:

    If you hate Scott Boras please raise your hand.

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  5. Tone says:

    I did not like Carl's lazy trot to get the kid a triple. He pissed me off with that. To me, that sums up the last week of their play. Half assed!

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    • Don says:

      CC was pissed off because Maddon and his master mind staff TOLD him to move in closer to the infield....He KNEW if he was playing in his normal position he would have caught the ball...Another type of move by Maddon you don't hear about!

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    • MJ says:

      I thought the same thing Tone, partially in an effort to be fair to B.J. I have a feeling more people would have brought that up if it were B.J.

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  6. Yes Jordi, Pam is that Tampa Mayor.

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  7. lou Sosh says:

    This team and its manager could care less about winning the division. What a shame

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    • Beth says:

      Yeah, but the Yankees don't seem to care much, either. So it may be a question of which team fails to throw away the last three games.

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      • Gus says:

        For the life of me, I can't understand the lack of urgency from either team. You watch Longo move around after they clinched, and it seems as if there is no way that he couldn't at least DH. It is inexplicable.

        I believe that the AL East wild card team is not getting home from Minnesota alive. It better be the Yankees.

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        • Sarah says:

          If you read some of the NY press, they seem to have the idea that because the Yankees have beaten the Twins in previous postseason encounters, they'll have an easy time of it this go 'round. I don't see the logic of that. The Yankees apparently also have done poorly against Cliff Lee, and believe they are better off avoiding him.

          But I'd think that: a. home field advantage, and b. the bragging rights of winning the division would still carry some weight for someone.

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