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: 2000 Yankees. If you are worried that the Rays won’t be able to “turn it on” once the playoffs start, your one shining hope is the 2000 Yankees. That squad had 9-game lead in mid-September and were a lock for the playoffs. They then lost 13 of their final 15 games including their last 7. But once the playoffs started, they were fine and went on to win the World Series.
THE BAD: Near Triple. The Royals scored their first run on what should have been the third triple-play in Rays history. After turning a 1-4-3 double-play, the runner on third broke for home and appeared to miss the plate, but was called safe…143. That is the number of starts in Bruce Chen’s 12-year, 10-team career before last night. And in those 143 starts, Chen had never thrown a shutout, until last night. Welcome to Tampa Bay, where even Bruce Chen can look like Tom Glavine in his prime…Any Game James? We have long been under the assumption that James Shields is a sure-thing for the postseason rotation. After all, Joe Maddon is always fiercely loyal to his veterans. But does anybody have any faith that the Rays can win a game with Shields on the mound?…The Perfect Storm. Lost amongst all the hoopla of the past week is that Carl Crawford has probably played his last regular season game with the Rays at the Trop.
THE TELLING: Evan Longoria said during a pre-game interview that he was going to DH last night, but was overruled by Joe Maddon…The first two games of the ALDS at the Trop have been sold out…Andy Sonnanstine is tonight’s starter, and David Price is expected to pitch a couple of innings…The Yankees and Red Sox were rained out last night and will play a double-header today starting at 4:10pm.
WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 94-66, a half-game behind the Yankees in the East. After 160 games in 2008, the Rays were 96-64.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Marc Topkin reports that the Rays will likely go with 11 pitchers on the ALDS roster. That jives with our last postseason roster projection and means 5 bats on the bench. [St. Pete Times]
- Rob Neyer says we shouldn’t be worried about James Shields as he has just been unlucky. [ESPN]
- Gary Shelton argues for keeping James Shields out of the postseason rotation. [St. Pete Times]
- Rise of the Rays wonders if James Shields has pitched his last game with the Rays. [Rise of the Rays]