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: Johnny Damon Lives! After tying the game in the 9th, the balloon quickly deflated when the Twins took the lead in the top of the 10th. But after Sam Fuld (of course) singled, Johnny saves! A 2-run trot-off home run to save the day…Matt Joyce. As bad as the offense has been this season, the Rays had yet to be shutout. But in the 9th, with Joe Nathan on the mound, it looked like we were headed that way. But Felipe Lopez doubled and Ben Zobrist walked. That set the stage for Matt Joyce’s game-tying double…James Shields. We don’t need Shields to be dominant. We just want him to be James Shields. And last night was very Shieldsian (the good kind): 7 innings, 2 runs, 4 Ks, 2 walks. If he can give the Rays 7 innings and 2 runs every time out, the Rays will win a lot of his starts…Dan Johnson. Remember how Casey Kotchman is supposed to be the glove to Johnson’s bat? Well Johnson turned in ESPN’s “Web Gem” of the night when he made a sliding grab, ending up in the Rays dugout.

THE BAD: Matt Joyce. In a tied game in which Joyce was on base with the Rays first hit, Joyce managed to get picked off second base for the second out. Somehow this was BJ Upton’s fault, we just haven’t figured out how yet.  We did think about leaving this out just to mess with you Upton apologists. But in all seriousness, this was ten times worse than BJ’s from earlier this season. At least BJ was trying to make something happen. Foolishly, but at least he was aggressive. We have no idea what Joyce was doing.

THE TELLING: Johnny Damon became the first player to hit a walk-off HR with 5 different teams…Rays came within 2 outs of their second game this season with no hits through 5 innings…Attendance was 100,420 (we might have added a zero)…All the Rays will wear no. 42 today in honor of Jackie RobinsonDavid Price was pretty adamant that he did not hit Kevin Youkilis with a pitch earlier this week.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • We have known this for a while, but now Major League Baseball has made the 2011 draft order official. The Rays have 12 of the top 89 picks. And if we consider that the Rays don’t pick until no. 24, the Rays will have 12 picks in a 66-pick stretch, or about 1 selection every 5.5 picks. Marc Topkin breaks down how the Rays acquired all the picks. [TampaBay.com]
  • Want to save a few bucks going to a Rays game? Here are some tips. [Patch]
  • 2010 draft pick Justin O’Connor talks about participating in extended spring training. [TheStarPress.com]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • DURHAM 4, Norfolk 0: Huge start for Alex Cobb who struck out 10 and walked none in 6 shutout innings. He gave up 3 hits, all singles…Mike Ekstrom and Brandon Gomes combined for 3 shutout innings of relief, striking out 5 and walking none…CF Desmond Jennings went 1-4…C Robinson Chirinos did not play.
  • Tennessee 11, MONTGOMERY 2: Chris Archer gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4. He now has 7 Ks and 6 walks in 8.2 innings this season…SS Tim Beckham was 0-3 and C Stephen Vogt doubled in 4 at bats.
  • St. Lucie 6, CHARLOTTE 3: Chris Andujar gave up 4 runs (2 earned) in 4.2 innings with 2 strikeouts and 4 walks…2B Tyler Bortnick was 1-5 and RF Bret Nommensen had a single and a walk.
  • BOWLING GREEN 4, Fort Wayne 1: Braulio Lara struck out 6 and walked 2 in 5 innings, giving up 1 run on 2 hits…SS Derek Dietrich went 2-4 with a double and is 8-18 on the young season.



It was opening night in Durham


Evan Longoria is feeling better (via TampaBay.com)


Johnny Damon on his big night (via TampaBay.com)

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10 Comments

  1. I think Youk pulled a Jeter honestly.

  2. Carey says:

    Brandon Gomes. Any relation? Or just coincidence?

  3. Don says:

    WHOever started the BS about D johnson being a bad/poor defensive 1st baseman to date I have not seen him make a mistake and he has made many ”great/good” plays….his bat WILL become an asset….

    Does ANY of our young players even have a clue about what to do on the bases( fuld is not young) Jaso used to… but now he doesn’t get on…
    What do the bases coaches say to players… Joyce got picked off TWICE in the same inning…and that Big dummy coaching 1st base doesn’t even know what the hell is going on…. let my little league coach 1st we never got picked off….

    • Alex says:

      Did you watch the White Sox series? Johnson dropped a few easy balls thrown to him

      • Don says:

        You Gotta stop drinking I’m talking about the Rays..not CWS…
        Never happened!

        • Mark E says:

          Dan Johnson really has had some good plays this year, but yes, actually, he did drop a throw to him that should’ve been caught 99 out of a hundred times. Went right off the end of his glove. He barely had to reach out for it… he alligator-armed it.

  4. Des (from Durham) says:

    Attention Ivy League management:

    I could be useful in innings 1 through 7 in “The Show”. For example, in the Bulls’ home opener last night, I got a hit in my first at bat and gave my team a lead in the first inning. We led the rest of the way.

    My pitcher, buyoed by the fact he was pitching with the lead, was a bulldog out there. The Rays should really try it (taking an early lead) sometime. Does wonders for the confidence.

  5. CC says:

    Can we please get a catcher thats worth a damn? Watch Jaso. He does not give the pitcher a target. And he stabs at the ball instead of catching the ball and holding it in the strikezone for a second. Can’t throw anybody out. Does not block balls in the dirt. Let me ask you. What does he do well?

    • Sarah says:

      Well, last year he got on base a lot and was a heads-up base runner. Certainly if he fails to get back on track as a hitter, he’s not earning his keep with his defense.

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