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: James Shields. You gotta love what we are seeing from Big Blast James early in the season. Last night he tossed a complete game, striking out 9, walking 1 and giving up just 1 run on 4 hits. It was Shields’ first (9-inning) complete game since his 1-hit shutout of the Angels in May, 2008, and just the fifth time in his career that he went 9 innings. It was also just the fourth time in his career that he had at least 9 Ks and less than 5 hits allowed…Matt Joyce. Joyce has been hot with the bat. But in the third with 1 out and a runner on first, he made a diving grab near the line. If that ball falls, the White Sox have a runner on 3rd with less than 2 outs…Sean Rodriguez. Just let him hit! This guy has a big league bat. Let him use it…Kelly Shoppach. In a 1-run game in the 7th, Shields hit a batter to start the inning. Never a good thing. But then he got the next batter on strikes, and Shoppy picked the runner off first for the double-playto kill a potential rally.

THE BAD: We Got Nuthin’

THE TELLING: Rays are now 8-3 since Manny Ramirez retired, tied with the Blue Jays for second place in the AL East and just 2 games out of first…The new 6:40 start times are only making things worse for the Tampa crowd, but you gotta love it when the last pitch is at 8:52…Johnny Damon could return to the lineup tonight...The Rays will show support for the Lightning by wearing Bolts gear on trip to Toronto.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Joe Maddon says Sam Fuld is on par with Carl Crawford defensively. [TampaBay.com]
  • Rob Neyer explains why Sam Fuld is a valuable piece even if he is playing above his head right now. [Baseball Nation]
  • And here is a solid background piece on Sam Fuld from Tyler Kepner of the New York Times. [NYTimes]
  • The Nationals admit they are scouting  BJ Upton, but say that it is just routine scouting and they have no plans to trade for him now. [MLB]
  • The Bucs are returning to Monday Night Football. [Joe Bucs Fan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • DURHAM 9, Charlotte 1: Alex Cobb struck out 8 and walked 3 in 5 innings. He allowed 1 run on 4 hits. He now has 25 strikeouts and 5 walks in 16 innings…Rob Delaney, RJ Swindle and Brandon Gomes combined for 4 shutout innings of relief, striking out 5 and walking 2…cf Desmond Jennings was 1-5…RF Justin Ruggiano was 4-4 with a walk and 2 home runs. He now has 4 on the year…LF Brandon Guyer was 3-4 and added his second home run.
  • MONTGOMERY 5, Jackson 4: Matt Moore struck out 6 and walked just 1, but gave up 3 runs in 4 innings, all on a home run…SS Tim Beckham was 1-4 with a single.
  • CHARLOTTE 5, Palm Beach 4 (12): After falling behind by a run in the top of the 12th, 2B Tyler Bortnick tied the game with an RBI single and the Stone Crabs won a walk-off wild pitch…SS Hak-Ju Lee had a double, triple and 2 walks in 5 plate appearances. He is now 5-10 with 3 walks since coming off the DL…
  • Dayton 7, BOWLING GREEN 2: Victor Mateo gave up 5 runs in 4 innings on 8 hits and a walk…CF Todd Glaesmann had 2 of Bowling Green’s 4 hits including his first home run of the year.


James Shields (via TampaBay.com)

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15 Comments

  1. Amanda says:

    Cork, are you noticing a trend of letting pitchers pitch longer into games earlier in the season?

    THE BAD: We Got Nuthin’ — Woot! :)

  2. Don says:

    Maddon… back on bottle after winning a few games…let me get this right Joe..
    A 29yr old player who has started 40 ML games is now the equivalent of
    multi year allstar,golden glove left fielder….Fuld wouldn’t even be playing if an over the hill, drug user was on your team right now…NOW… YOU have found the replacement for CC….Maddon sell you BS to the few dumb fans that dont know any better….
    Fuld has done a good job the last 10 games or so..he has another 9 years of consistant (all star) play to come close to CC
    you want to bet on the chances of that happening?

    • Derek says:

      I read it as him being on the same level defensively. Nothing about offense, or years in the majors. Crawford is a jello armed left fielder. You, yourself, complimented Fuld on that diving catch in center, a position Crawford refused to play, probably because he knows his arm is crap.

      Notice how CC is still in leftfield in Boston.

  3. MJ says:

    “Sean Rodriguez. Just let him hit! This guy has a big league bat. Let him use it”

    Thank you.

  4. Sarah says:

    Yeah, what’s with the 6:40 start? In all the talk about low attendance, I don’t remember anyone saying “if only those week night games started earlier, people would show up!”

    • Don says:

      Back to attendance….good one!….did you show up?

    • MJ says:

      i know that i have season tickets, live in Tampa, and couldn’t/didn’t go to the game because i had to run an errand after work. if it were a 710 start, id have gone after errand and arrived in 2nd inn prob.

  5. Merrill says:

    The early start time was to try to combat the complaint that games were too late for school kids…they are trying to shake things up. Maybe it doesn’t work, but is it worse? Meh, they don’t draw either way, but why bust their chops for trying?

  6. Hal says:

    What about S-Rod isn’t big league? Seems to me he’s more than capable anywhere in the field also. Shoppach’s level of play is so much higher this year – seems to me that he got his ass in shape. Now if he could just hit a little more.

  7. Jordi says:

    I don’t think we can make a judgment on the new start time until at least the all-star break. Then they can see what times work best for the area on what days. Don’t be surprised if they find out St Pete area folks are catered to on weekdays with early start times and Bay area folks see later times on Friday and Sat, which is kinda the case now.

    That said, my personal opinion: I hate 6:40 games.

    • Sarah says:

      Well, my concern is: parents are still not going to come to games with kids on school nights — whether the game ends at 9:00 or 9:30 doesn’t much matter to them.

      But at the same time, you lose adults who might be coming from work.

      But I’m all for anything that gets more people to attend, even if it’s not my personal preference. So let’s see what happens.

    • Brixology says:

      Just for anecdotal purposes, my wife is allowing me to take my kindergartner tonight to use our season tickets. It is a special treat for him and I am doing it now because of the 6:40 start. That makes a huge difference. If we had been there last night, we might have stayed for the whole game. When I’ve taken him in the past, we’ve usually left in the 5th or 6th.

    • Pipp says:

      I don’t blame them for trying the early start times. So far, it doesn’t seem to be working.

      The 7:10 first-pitch times resume in June, so this is definitely a push for school-age kids.

  8. Sledge says:

    Ditto what Brixology said. For me, I’m usually coming to games with some combination of my sons, ages 7, 5, and 2. Contrary to what Sarah said, that 30 minutes earlier greatly enhances my chances of coming over from Tampa with the 30 minute pick up on the back-end. If I’m investing the hour round-trip to go, I don’t want to have to leave by the 5th inning. I honestly struggle with taking my 7 or 5 year old on a school night (but we go 2-3 times a year). Big difference getting to the car by 9 (kids fall asleep on ride home) and making it to 7th or 8th inning enhances my experience significantly.

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