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. The Rays needed a big start and they got one from James the Greater. And of course, it was the changeup. Shields threw 29 changes, 18 for strikes, and 6 of those were swing-and-misses…Evan Longoria. Shields didn’t need a lot of runs, but he got one early from Dirtbag, who finally shook his warning track power when he took CC Sabathia deep in the 2nd inning on a 1-1 slider…Elliot Johnson. He hasn’t made many appearances in The Good this season, but we need to point out his huge at bat in the 5th inning. With 2 outs, he worked the count to 3-2 before fouling off a tough changeup. The next pitch was a ball, and Johnson was off to first with what seemed like a harmless walk. But then 4 pitches later, Sam Fuld tripled, and the Rays got the insurance run they desperately needed.
THE BAD: Still Dead, Sorta. Even with the win, the Rays are a lot farther back than it appears. With just 65 games remaining, to catch the Yankees, New York would have to play .500 (33-33) AND the Rays would have to play like a 95-win team (38-27). One of those might happen. But both? The one thing the Rays have going for them, is they still have 9 games left with the Yankees. But, 6 of those games are in New York. And 6 of those games aren’t until the final two weeks of the season. The Rays will probably be in a situation where they will have to win at least 5 of those last 6 games to make a difference. Unless of course the Rays trade all of their key pieces. Then it won’t matter.
THE TELLING: For last night’s game, 8 of the Rays 25 players were in the minors to start the season. And that does not include Sam Fuld and Elliot Johnson, who should have been…After the game, Dane de la Rosa was sent back to triple-A to make room for Friday’s starter, Wade Davis.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Hey look! There is a new Rays blog in the neighborhood. Stop by and give them a look. [Braysball Talk]
- Wade Davis is back, and he brought an old friend, his slider. [TampaBay.com]
- Maury Brown of BizOfBaseball.com is the latest to crap on Rays fans and suggest the Rays should continue to cut payroll: “On payroll…[Ken Rosenthal] is absolutely correct. If you can’t get fans to the ballpark, time to cut payroll.” Hey Maury, payroll is already at $40 million. How low should it go before you are satisfied that the Rays are making money? [Twitter]
- Sam Fuld is 4th among left fielders with 8 runs saved. Not bad for a part-time player. Of course, we are pretty sure he saved 7 of those on the diving catch in Chicago. [ActaSports]
- Before his start on Wednesday, David Price visited with one of his friends. [MLB]
- Derek Jeter welcomed Robinson Chirinos to the big leagues. Hard to hate him after reading this. [TampaBay.com]
- Johnny Damon wants to go into the Hall of Fame with a Royals cap. [Royals Review]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 18, Rochester 3: Jim Paduch made his first start for Durham and allowed 3 runs in 7 innings…The Bulls hit 7 home runs including 2 by John Matulia, who has only been in triple-A for a week…Dan Johnson went 5-6 with his 5th home run. He drove in 4.
- CHARLOTTE 4, Dunedin 3: RF Reid Fronk’s sac fly in the 9th won it for the Biscuits…Jake Thompson walked 4 in 6 innings and gave up 3 runs…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 1-3 with a walk.
- BOWLING GREEN 6, Burlington 5: Eli Suero allowed 3 runs (1 earned) in 5 innings…SS Derek Dietrich homered for the second straight game and now has 13.
- Staten Island 8, HUDSON VALLEY 7:
- PRINCETON 12, Elizabethton 3: