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: Jose Lobaton. If you missed the 9th inning last night. Oh Mama. A real catcher. We can’t emphasize enough how good (and natural) Lobaton looked behind the plate. Honestly, we can’t remember the last Rays catcher that looked as comfortable. Flexible. Low base. Wide stance. Weight on the balls of the feet. Nice low target. And not only will he receive a better game, but his style will give the pitchers more confidence. Right now, we don’t care what this guy hits. He is a real catcher! Please Andrew, find a way to keep this one. The Rays will be better for it…Ben Zobrist. Grand Slam. Blah, blah, blah. But can he catch!?! Love for Lobaton!…Jake McGee. Joe Maddon said before the game that he will ease McGee back into the mix but that at some point McGee will be in the mix for late-inning high-leverage situations. And seeing McGee hit 96 on the gun last night as he struck out the only batter he faced was a good sign.
THE BAD: Prince Price. C’mon David. Home runs to Darnell McDonald and Jacoby Ellsbury? And three home runs total? Ellsbury was just the third lefty to hit a home run off of Price ever. But it was also the second this season. And notice that when Dustin Pedroia got Price in the 6th inning, it was the third time he had faced Price in the game. And when Pedroia hit the home run, it was the 16th pitch he had seen from Price and the 15th fastball. 15 fastballs to one player. Even Reid Brignac could hit a home run if saw 15 fastballs from one pitcher in the same game.
THE TELLING: The Rays are now 3.5 games behind the Yankees for a playoff spot…Alex Torres was pulled after just 2 innings for triple-A Durham. This indicates that the Rays are not sure if they want a lefty (Torres) or a righty (Alex Cobb) for the Yankees series…Ben Zobrist’s grand slam was the 5th of his career. That is a new Rays record. It was also the 50th grand slam in Rays/Devil Rays history (h/t Mark Simon of ESPN.com ).
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jake McGee thanks a mechanical adjustment for rediscovering his velocity. [TampaBay.com]
- Rays prospect Cameron Seitzer, son of former big leaguer Kevin Seitzer is off to a solid start for Princeton. Adam Lawson spoke with Seitzer the younger. [MiLB]
- Matt Joyce talks about his All-Star experience. [TBO.com]
- Jenna Laine appeared on the latest episode of JoeBucsFan TV. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Pawtucket 3, DURHAM 2: Alex Torres started, but was pulled after 2 innings, having allowed just 1 unearned run…CF Brandon Guyer was 2-4 to raise his average to .321.
- Huntsville @ MONTGOMERY: (postponed)
- CHARLOTTE 5, Clearwater 0: Alex Koronis tossed 5.1 shutout innings, striking out 5 and walking 2…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 3-4 with a double and 2 stolen bases (22)…2B Tyler Bortnick went 1-3 with a walk and his 28th stolen base.
- Cedar Rapids 9, BOWLING GREEN 6: Eli Suero gave up 8 runs (6 earned) in just 3 innings…SS Derek Dietrich went 1-3 with a walk…RF Cody Rogers was 0-3, but walked twice and stole his 22nd base.
- HUDSON VALLEY 2, Jamestown 1: C Kyle Holloway hit his 3rd home run.
- Johnson City 7, PRINCETON 6: RF Drew Vettleson went 2-5 raising his average to .291.
Ben Zobrist (via TampaBay.com)