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: Johnny Damon. One nice side effect of Sam Fuld’s benching is Damon in the leadoff spot. Two more hits and a walk yesterday. And in 9 games at the top of the order he is 13-40 (.325) with 4 walks…Evan Longoria. His 2-run home run in the 8th was the first inside-the-parker of his career and put the game on ice…Justin Ruggiano. You would have seen hell on these pages if Ruggiano was sent down instead of Felipe Lopez. And Ruggiano rewarded the Rays with 3 more hits and a now-6-game hitting streak…JP Howell. He’s back. After his shaky start, and the decision to revert back to his old throwing motion, Howell has now retired 7 straight batters in 3 straight scoreless outings. And yesterday he picked up his first save since 2009.
THE BAD: Should Have Been More? It is hard to look at a game in which the Rays scored 9 runs and think they underperformed. But the Rays left the bases loaded in the first, left runners on base in 7 innings, and 3 times left runners in scoring position. In the 3rd inning alone, the Rays had a single, double, walk, and at least 3 pitches that got by the catcher and yet scored just 1 run…Sean Rodriguez. We have no idea what he was thinking in the 3rd inning when he was standing 10 feet from the runner, who was heading back to 2nd base, and yet Rodriguez threw the ball to 3rd base and into the stands allowing the same runner to score.
THE TELLING: Matt Joyce, who has fallen to 3rd in the AL in hitting, was on the bench with the lefty on the mound…Justin Ruggiano has started 6 straight games…Kyle Farnsworth is the latest player to get the stomach bug making the rounds. I am currently fighting the stomach flu. Coincidence?
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Cory Wade was released by the Rays. Wade competed for a bullpen spot this spring. He had a 1.23 ERA in 36.2 innings with 34 Ks and just 6 walks. He likely had an opt-out agreement with the Rays to be released by a certain date if he was not in the big leagues.
- Here is a closer look at John Jaso’s dumb or maybe not-so-dumb stolen base in the 10th inning Saturday night. [TBO.com]
- Johnny Damon tied the Rays record for consecutive games reaching base. But should we get excited about a record that belongs to Ben Grieve? [TampaBay.com]
- Looks like Team Glazer is about to take Manchester United public. Will that impact the Bucs? Couldn’t hurt. [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Norfolk 11, DURHAM 5: Brian Baker was pounded for 5 runs in 3 innings, including a 3-run home run and a solo home run…CF Desmond Jennings went 1-5…RF Brandon Guyer had 2 singles in 4 at bats…LF Russ Canzler’s 3-run home run, was his 8th home run of the year.
- MONTGOMERY 2, Jacksonville 1: Jim Paduch struck out 5 and walked 3 in 5 innings. He allowed 1 run…SS Tim Beckham, continues to hit well in double-A with a 2-3 night and a walk. He now hitting .307 and has an 11-game hitting streak, hitting .378 during that span (17-38).
- Palm Beach 4, CHARLOTTE 2 (10): Jake Thompson allowed 2 runs in 5 innings, striking out 1 and walking 1…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 1-5 and has 15 hits in his last 8 games.
- BOWLING GREEN 4, Clinton 2 (10): Enny Romero went 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks…1B Steve Tinoco’s RBI-single in the top of the 10th, put the Hot Rods proved to be the game-winner…SS Derek Dietrich was 1-4 with a double and a walk. He is hitting .276.
Evan Longoria (via TampaBay.com)