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 Emo Squeeze. It wasn’t quite suicidal, but with John Jaso on third, Reid Brignac laid down a perfect safety squeeze to give the Rays the lead in the top of the 10th…James Shields. Another great night for Shields, only this one ended in a no-decision. After a walk and a double to start the 2nd left 2 in scoring position with no outs, Shields proceeded to mow-down the next 3 batters to get out of the inning. After giving up a leadoff single in the first, he proceeded to pick the runner off his league-leading 7th this season). And in the 5th, with the bases loaded and just 1 out, Shields induced a tailor-made double-play ball to live another day…Briggy Baseball. Oh right. THIS is why we love Reid Brignac. First there was the home run, his first of the year. That was nice, but did you notice how he swung the bat like he was trying to kill scary spider, and the ball still barely cleared the wall? And then there was the game-winning emo-squeeze. But we love the defense. And it was on display in a 2-run ballgame and probably saved a run as the next batter doubled.
THE BAD: Cesar Ramos. Amazing how quickly a game can go from 3-0 to 3-3. James Shields deserved better and Ramos did not deliver. He came on with the bases loaded. And the one batter he faced hit a bases clearing double.
THE TELLING: Evan Longoria was out of the lineup again. He has now started just 32 of the Rays first 62 games. That has probably cost them 2 wins…Brian Anderson will take a mini-vacation for the rest of this roadtrip and Todd Kalas will fill in as Dewayne Staats’ sidekick. And replacing Kalas will be Angela Jacobs from channel 10.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays were the worst defensive team in baseball in 2007. Since then they have been top-10 every year, including number 1 this season. [ESPN]
- Dirk Hayhurst is now writing columns for Baseball America. [Baseball America]
- Did you know that Matt Joyce’s dad is a softball legend? [ESPN]
- The Rays drafted Ryan Turner in the 32nd round. They must really want this kid, because it is the third time the Rays have drafted Turner. [Rays Prospects]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Lehigh Valley 6, DURHAM 0: Jeff Niemann moved his rehab up to triple-A and gave up 4 runs in 4 innings on 7 hits. He struck out 4 and walked none…1B Dan Johnson had 2 of the Bulls’ 3 hits…Desmond Jennings did not play…Catchers Jose Lobaton and Robinson Chirinos (as a DH) went a combined 0-6 with 4 Ks.
- MONTGOMERY 10, Mississippi 5: Shane Dyer improved to 4-1 after giving up 3 runs in 6 innings…Matt Bush gave up 4 hits in 1 inning, including a home run…LF Stephen Vogt homered twice in the first two innings, driving in 5…SS Tim Beckham went 2-5 to get his average above .300 (.301).
- St. Lucie 4, CHARLOTTE 2: Alex Koronis gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in 5.1 innings…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 1-4 with a strikeout…2B Tyler Bortnick went 0-4.
- BOWLING GREEN 13, Kane County 7: Victor Mateo gave up 7 runs in 5 innings including 2 home runs…1B Todd Wunderlich hit his 8th home run, a grand slam in the 7-run 3rd inning…SS Derek Dietrich went 0-2 with a walk…LF Cody Rogers was 1-4 with a walk and 2 stolen bases.