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. If he keeps this up, we might have to stop calling him “Big Blast” James. Shields tossed his second-consecutive complete game, and has not allowed just 1 run in his last 19 innings pitched. He also has a 1.08 ERA in his last 3 starts. But the big difference has been the home runs. So far this year, he has allowed just 3 home runs (all in 1 start). Last year, he led the AL with 34 home runs allowed, or 1 every 6 innings. This year it is just 1 HR every 12.1 innings…Zorilla is Back. While Shields is now avoiding the long ball, Ben Zobrist has rediscovered his. After hitting just 10 home runs a year ago, Zobrist’s 2-run shot yesterday was his fifth in just 22 games…6th/7th Innings. In the 6th, Shields gave up a lead off double, but retired the next 3 batters. That included striking out the red-hot Jose Bautista with a steady diet of curves and changeups. In the 7th inning, Joe Maddon made a series of defensive switches that included moving Sean Rodriguez to third base. He responded with a great stop towards the line on the first pitch of the inning. He saved a double and threw Juan Rivera out at first.

THE BAD: Off-Days. When things are going this well, you hate to see off-days. Yes, they are often good for the players, but dammit, we want to watch the Rays tonight!

THE TELLING: Since the extra-inning game, the bullpen has only thrown 5 pitches (all by Farnsworth). And with today’s off-day, they should be well-rested for the Twins series…The Rays have now won 4 straight series after losing the first 3…

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Evan Longoria took batting practice for the first time since going on the DL. We are still looking at a hopeful return sometime in the next homestand for Dirtbag. [The Heater]
  • Nick Cafardo spoke with some “evaluators” that think BJ Upton could be moved even if the Rays are still in contention and that the Rays are looking for a deal similar to the Matt Garza trade. [Boston.com]
  • A Jeremy Hellickson bobblehead from the Cubs’ triple-A club (Hellboy went to high school nearby). [TampaBay.com]
  • Rays Rev Radio debates Casey Kotchman and Dan Johnson in their latest podcast. [RaysRev.com]

DOWN ON THE FARM

  • Norfolk 6, DURHAM 5 (11): After winning a 14-inning marathon the day before, the Bulls lost in 11 yesterday. After SS Ray Olmedo gave the Bulls the lead in the top of the 11th with an RBI-single, Mike Ekstrom blew the save and the game by giving up 2 runs in the bottom half of the inning…CF Desmond Jennings was 3-6 and RF Chris Carter had 3 singles and an RBI.
  • Mississippi 4, MONTGOMERY 1: Matt Moore struck out 6 in 5 innings, but also gave up 2 solo home runs. Those were the only 2 runs he gave up, but now has allowed 12 runs in his first 18.1 innings this season…SS Tim Beckham was 1-4 with a double and scored the Biscuits only run on DH Stephen Vogt’s single.
  • CHARLOTTE: no game scheduled
  • BOWLING GREEN: no game scheduled


James Shields (via TampaBay.com)

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2 Comments

  1. Zack says:

    Couldn’t agree more with that bit about off-days. Whenever I wake up in the morning on an off-day, I’m always really pissed off!

  2. pete says:

    i’ve noticed that Zobrist seems to be taking the same approach that he took in 08 and 09 and that he is swinging hard again.

    for some reason last year he seemed to go back to being that slap hitter that hits .250 and that is not what got him to the all star team or a daily job here.

    his previous approach was if im gonna hit .250 i might as well swing hard.

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