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: James Shields. Ho hum. Another start, another complete game. That is his 6th on the year, and his 3rd in a row. And really, he was toying with the Astros all night. Typically, Shields will use a full arsenal of 5-6 pitches. Last night it was just 4-seam fastball, curve and change. And there was nothing the Astros could do…Evan Longoria. Is Dirtbag starting to heat up? Hard to say. He is still looking for consistency. But there are signs. Last night’s 3-run home run was all Shields would need. That was Longo’s 2nd in 4 nights. Of course, those were sandwiched around a couple of 0-4s. Still, we are getting the sense, that the timing is almost back…BJ Upton. Upton followed up Longoria’s home run with one of his own, going back-to-back and a belly-to-belly.
THE BAD: Too Much Tinkering. First it was his hair. Now Evan Longoria is hitting without batting gloves. For a guy with so much natural ability, he spends way too much time inside his own head. He hit a home run last night. That’s great. Is he going to go gloveless the rest of the year? There is a reason players where gloves. It is a better grip. An advantage. A wise man once said, “don’t think, it can only hurt the ballclub.”
THE TELLING: Since 2000, only 2 pitchers Roy Halladay (twice) and Paul Byrd, have longer streaks than James Shields of consecutive complete games. Both of those pitchers had 4-game streaks…Since 2000, only 24 pitchers have thrown 6 complete games in an ENTIRE SEASON. And only 16 of those have thrown more than 6. Shields has 6 in 16 starts…JP Howell was back with the team after his bout with gout in his foot…Matt Joyce is once again a platoon player. He sat last night and will again tomorrow. After tomorrow’s game, Joyce will have been on the bench for 6 of the last 14 games.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays signed one of their compensation picks, number 38 overall, Brandon Martin. [TampaBay.com]
- Roger Mooney writes about the domination by the starting pitchers. [TBO.com]
- Evan Longoria talks about his struggles at the plate. [NY Times]
- Would never happen, but Francisco Rodriguez is open to being traded to the Rays. [NY Daily News]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Scranton/WB 14, DURHAM 3: Brian Baker allowed 7 runs in 4 innings…LF Leslie Anderson hit his 7th home run and C Robinson Chirinos added his 2nd of the year.
- Jackson 8, MONTGOMERY 2: Jim Paduch struck out 7 in just 3.2 innings, but allowed 6 runs (4 earned)…SS Tim Beckham was 0-4.
- Palm Beach 10, CHARLOTTE 4: Alex Koronis allowed 4 runs ( 3 earned) in just 3 innings on 7 hits…2B Tyler Bortnick was 1-5…SS Hak-Ju Lee did not play.
- BOWLING GREEN 5, Dayton 2: George Jenson gave up 2 runs in 5 innings…DH Phil Wunderlich went 3-5 and RF Cody Rogers scored 3 runs. He was 1-4.
- HUDSON VALLEY 5, Brooklyn 1:
- Pulaski 6, PRINCETON 3: LF Josh Sale was 0-4 and is 1-10 in his short career.
James Shields (via TampaBay.com)