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: The Giraffe Returns. He, we miss Alex Cobb already. And in the long run, Cobb might be the better option. But last night, Niemann was solid. In his return from the DL, he tossed 6 shutout innings. The only real threat came in the 6th when Niemann battled out of a bases loaded, 1-out jam with a K and a flyball…Evan Longoria. His 3-run home run in the 8th put the game out of reach. But more importantly, it was just good to see him do something productive with the bat. Let’s hope this starts a hot streak…Magic Carpet. Justin Ruggiano continues to make the most out of his latest opportunity. His RBI-double in the 7th opened the floodgates…The Sacrifice. The Rays rarely use it. In fact, it was just their 15 sacrifice of the season. Only four teams have fewer. But in this case, Elliot Johnson’s sacrifice got Kelly Shoppach to second, who then scored on a basehit to give the Rays a 2-0 lead.
THE BAD: Middle Relief. When the Rays jumped to a 5-0 lead, it looked like they were going to coast to a win. But 6 baserunners and 3 runs allowed in the 7th and 8th innings forced Maddon to bring Kyle Farnsworth in to the game to close out the 8th. He probably needed some work anyway, but it was a bit more stressful than it needed to be.
THE TELLING: Proving once again that he is the smartest person in the
room stadium, Joe Maddon had pinch hitter Sam Fuld momentarily remain in the game and actually go to the mound to warm up, just to buy Cesar Ramos a few more warm up pitches. Of course, there is something to be said about not having Ramos ready in the first place. And considering all three batters he faced reached base, he probably wasn’t ready…Johnny Damon started in left field.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays have signed their third pick of the first round and two of their choices from the supplemental round. [TampaBay.com]
- James Shields was named the AL co-player of the week. [The Heater]
- Jim Hickey is not with the team due to a fire at his home. Nobody was injured. Of course, the last time something like this happened (Sean Rodriguez had his condo flood because of a faulty sprinkler), Rodriguez was hitting .265. He is hitting .221 since then. [The Heater]
- Brandon Guyer was named the IL batter of the week. [Watching Durham Bulls Baseball]
- Tyler Bortnick was named the FSL hitter of the week. [Claw Digest]
- Josh Sale and Drew Vettleson are about to begin their professional careers. [isportsweb]
- Here is some video of the Rays and Marlins wives playing softball this past weekend. [MLB]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 2, Buffalo 1: Chris Bootcheck allowed just 1 run in 7 innings, striking out 5 and walking none…Jake McGee pitched a scoreless 9th for his 7th save…CF Desmond Jennings had 2 hits including his 10th home run, a 2-run shot in the 3rd inning that was all the runs the Bulls would score. That is also one short of his career high…C Jose Lobaton was 1-2 with a walk. He is hitting .293…DH Robinson Chirinos was 1-3 with a double…RF Brandon Guyer did not start.
- MONTGOMERY: (no game scheduled)
- St. Lucie 3, CHARLOTTE 2 (11): For the first time this season, Jake Thompson worked past the 5th inning, allowing just 2 runs (1 earned) in 7 innings. He struck out 1 and walked 2…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 0-5…2B Tyler Bortnick went 1-4 with an RBI.
- BOWLING GREEN: (no game scheduled)
- Staten Island 8, HUDSON VALLEY 3