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. It was only 8 innings, but it was Shields’ 7th complete game of the season. And if the Rays could muster any offense and play defense, it might have been his 4th shutout. And as usual it was the changeup. 31 fastballs. 29 changeups. 19 of those were strikes, including 6 that were swing-and-misses. The 1 unearned run lowers Shields ERA to 2.33.
THE BAD: BJ Upton. Upton’s problems are not that he is lazy. And they are not because he is a disappointing talent. And they are not because he is worried about cashing in during free agency. His problems are just that he has terrible baseball instincts. That’s it. We saw the talent when he threw out a runner at home in 3rd inning keeping the score locked at 0-0. But then the very next half-inning, Upton was picked off first base when he broke before CC Sabathia had even made a move. And then in the 7th, he tried to throw Robinson Cano out at first on a flyball, only he threw off the wrong foot and airmailed it putting Cano on third…Irony. James Shields has been masterful with the pick-off this season. And if he just lobs the ball to third base in the 7th he gets Cano. But the ball got by Sean Rodriguez and the game’s only run scored.
THE TELLING: The Rays are 8 games over .500, but they are now 6 games behind the Red Sox in the division and 5 games behind the Yankees in the Wild Card…David Price won’t play in Tuesday’s All-Star game. He pulled himself out of the game with case of the turf toe…Andy Sonnanstine will work as a starting pitcher at Durham.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- The Rays are said to be interested in trading for Padres closer Heath Bell. [Boston.com]
- Lots of people were wowed by Matt Moore’s performance in the Futures Game. [Rays Prospects]
- Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com writes about the revival of Tim Beckham’s prospect status. [ESPN]
- The Red Sox want to add a starting pitcher before the trade deadline. Matt Garza is high on their list. [Chicago Tribune]
- Former Rays outfielder Joey Gathright played catcher and Jose Canseco pitched 6 innings after several players and the manager quit the team saying Kevin Costner, who once wrote a song for the Rays, was behind on payroll. [Yuma Sun]
- DK Kitty makes a cameo in this video. Although, you will need to have seen this viral video first for it to make any sense.
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- US Futures 6, World Futures 4: Matt Moore pitched a perfect inning, striking out 1…Tim Beckham tied the game in the 8th with an RBI double and later scored the go-ahead run…Hak-Ju Lee was 0-2 with a strikeout.
- DURHAM 3, Norfolk 1: Alex Torres struck out 6 and walked 1 in 7 innings. He gave up 10 runs and allowed 1 run…LF Leslie Anderson went 2-5…C Robinson Chirinos had a double and drove in 2…DH Jose Lobaton went 0-3 with a walk.
- MONTGOMERY 16, Jacksonville 6: Shane Dyer gave up 4 runs in 4 innings…DH Stephen Vogt had 3 hits including his 10th home run. He drove in 4 and is hitting .303…1B Henry Wrigley hit his 5th home run and LF John Shelby added his 11th.
- CHARLOTTE @ Daytona: (postponed)
- BOWLING GREEN 11, West Michigan 7: Enny Romero allowed 2 unearned runs in 3 innings…CF Cody Rogers was 2-3 with a walk…SS Derek Dietrich had a double and his 11th home run, driving in 3.
- HUDSON VALLEY 10, Lowell 7: 1B Jeff Malm hit 2 home runs giving him 6 in 20 games.
- Kingsport 11, PRINCETON 2: RF Drew Vettleson went 2-4 and DH Josh Sale was 1-4 with a double…SS Taylor Motter stole his 10th base in 17 games.