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: Super Shields. Another day. Another complete game for James Shields, who now has 5 on the season. And the key for Shields was first-pitch strikes. When Shields started Hanley Ramirez with a ball to lead off the 5th inning, it was the first time that happened in the game after 14 straight first-pitch strikes. In the end, the only thing between Shields and another shutout was a first inning unearned run…Casey Kotchman. Plain and simple, this guy is just a professional hitter. The Marlins brought in lefty Randy Choate to face Kotchman with the score tied, 1 out, and a runner on second. Kotchman came through with a basehit down the left field line and the go-ahead RBI…Super D. Sam Fuld retired the leadoff hitter in 8th with a diving catch towards the left field line that was reminiscent of his catch in Chicago. That probably saved a run and kept the score tied at 1. Fuld then saved Evan Longoria from his poor throw when Super Sammy made another diving grab to end the 8th.
THE BAD: Stranding Runners. Runner on third with less than 2 outs should be an automatic run, but the Rays leave that guy stranded far too often. It happened again on Sunday when Sam Fuld grounded into a double-play to end the 4th…Evan Longoria. It is bad enough he isn’t hitting. But at least we could depend on his defense. But even that failed him on Sunday with 2 errors, including one that led to the Marlins only run…Poor BJ. There is something ironic, poetic, and sad about Casey Kotchman being picked off first base and being able to blame BJ Upton (he appeared to miss a bunt sign).
THE TELLING: The Phillies are the only team in baseball with more complete games than James Shields…As expected, Alex Cobb was optioned back to Durham to make room for Jeff Niemann.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Is there anyway we can get David Price mic’d up once a week? Never gets old. [FS Florida]
- Alex Cobb and Joe Maddon talk about the prospect’s short stint with the Rays. [TBO.com]
- Scroll down for a look at which pitchers are doing well at triple-A. [WDBB]
- And here are the Rays organizational leaders in various categories. [Rays Prospects]
- Is Johnny Damon a Hall-of-Famer? We’re not sure. He seems like the classic compiler. That is, he ends up with a lot of big numbers just because he was good enough to hang around for a long time. [TBO.com]
- Oops. [Twitter]
- Would you rather have Matt Ryan or Josh Freeman as your team’s quarterback? [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 2, Gwinnett 1: Brian Baker held the Braves to 1 run in 5.2 innings…RF Leslie Anderson had 2 of the Bulls’ 6 hits…1B Dan Johnson homered, his 2nd…C Robinson Chirinos was 1-3 with a double and a walk…Jake McGee pitched a scoreless 9th for his 6th save…RF Desmond Jennings did not start, but was used late in the game as a defensive sub.
- Mobile 3, MONTGOMERY 1: Shane Dyer gave up 3 runs in 5 innings, striking out 3…SS Tim Beckham went 0-4, snapping his 16-game hitting streak.
- CHARLOTTE (All-Star game): Alex Colome and Josh Satow each pitched scoreless innings for the South team at the Florida State League’s all-star game…SS Hak-Ju Lee played all 9 innings, led off, and went 0-4…RF Brett Nommensen was 0-3 with a sac fly…2B Tyler Bortnick was a reserve and went 0-2.
- BOWLING GREEN 6, South Bend 4: Victor Mateo gave up 1 run in 5 innings, striking out 5 and walking none…LF Cody Rogers 3-run double in the 9th erased a 1-run deficit. He added a sac fly earlier…SS Derek Dietrich was 0-4.
- HUDSON VALLEY 5, Aberdeen 4: