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: Evan Longoria. We guess it’s official. He’s baaack. After the Rangers took a 1-run lead in the top of the 8th, Longoria responded with a go-ahead 2-run home run that just cleared the wall. That proved to be game-winner. Dirtbag finished with 2 hits and a walk and has now been on base 12 times in the last 4 games including 5 walks…Alex Cobb. Cobb’s linescore could have been a lot worse. He survived a shaky first inning in which he faced a runner on first with no outs, and first-and-third with one out. And after 6.1 innings, he allowed just 2 runs despite giving up 4 hits and 4 walks. Still, not a bad effort against the Rangers in just his second big league start…Mashing Lefties. Matt Joyce hit his second home run off of a lefty in 2 weeks. Those are also the only two home runs he has ever hit off of a lefty.
THE BAD: Kelly Shoppach. Enough already. Whatever it is, it ain’t working with the Rays. Even against lefties, whom he is supposed to mash, Shopp is just 8-43 (.186) with 1 extra-base hit. And yes it was ruled a wild pitch, but when the go-ahead run scored in the 8th, the pitch didn’t even hit the dirt until it was past Shoppach’s glove. He just missed it. As a catcher, one of the most important rules is to assume the worst with runners on third. That’s why you will occasionally see a catcher go to his knees even on pitches that are caught. Shoppach just gave up. And if the Rays had lost, the wrath would have been great.
THE TELLING: Casey Kotchman did not play, but was available as a pinch-hitter…After today, the Rays will play the next 11 games on the road over the next 12 days, in four different cities.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Are Bucs fans in for more blackouts this season? [JoeBucsFan]
- From the can’t-make-it-up department, Elijah Dukes was arrested again. [WTSP.com]
- The Rays say they will stick to their “best player available” strategy in next week’s draft. [TampaBay.com]
- Jeremy Hall, a pitching prospect, has retired after making 10 appearances between double-A and triple-A this season. [Claw Digest]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 4, Columbus 1: Brian Baker held Columbus to just 1 run on 2 hits and a walk in 7 innings. He struck out 6…1B Dan Johnson hit his first home run since being demoted, a 3-run shot that broke a 1-1 tie…3B Russ Canzler accounted for the other run with his sixth home run.
- MONTGOMERY 6, Jackson 5: Matt Moore only struck out 6 in 6 innings, and walked 2. He gave up 1 run in 6 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.76…SS Tim Beckham was 0-5 with 2 Ks…C Stephen Vogt had 2 singles and is now hitting .308.
- CHARLOTTE 7, Daytona 0: Alex Colome tossed 7 shutout innings, striking out 5 and walking 3…SS Hak-Ju Lee was just 1-5, but it was a triple to left field. Not an easy thing to do.
- BOWLING GREEN 4, Wisconsin 3 (10): CJ Riefenshauser allowed just 2 runs (1 earned) in 6 innings despite 5 walks and 5 hits…SS Derek Dietrich went 2-4 with a triple. He is hitting .289.
Evan Longoria (via TampaBay.com)
David Price with Leigh Dittman