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: Evan Longoria. Longo’s 2-run home run in the 6th was a nice moment in an otherwise ugly night. But there was something else we hadn’t seen in a while: that classic Dirtbag swing. We went back and watched his warning track flyball during the 16-inning game against the Red Sox. Last night’s home run clearly has more bat speed. When Longoria has his bat speed, the bat smacks the ground behind him on the follow-through. That was not there against the Sox. It was there last night.
THE BAD: Missed Opportunity. The Rays scored an early run with back-to-back doubles to start the game. And then threatened to score a bunch more when back-to-back walks loaded the bases with no outs. But Matt Joyce struck out when just about any contact would have scored a run. And the Ben Zobrist was thrown out at home on BJ Upton’s flyball, ending the inning with no additional runs…Sam Fuld. One ay after telling you that Fuld was among the best defensive left fielders in baseball, and that he had saved the Rays 8 runs this season, Fuld misplayed not one, but TWO flyballs. The first he misjudged a ball that went over his head, eventually leading to 2 runs. The second was a routine flyball he never saw. That runner eventually scored. On top of that, Fuld injured the Royals shortstop with a dirty spikes-up slide (VIDEO). The Royals later retaliated with ball in Fuld’s back…Wade Davis. There was a lot of chatter about an improved Big Dub returning from the DL. Unfortunately, that was about all he had last night, throwing it 14 times for 11 strikes (2 swinging).
THE TELLING: The Rays are 6.5 games behind the Yankees, and according to CoolStandings.com, the Rays now have a 5.8% shot at making the playoffs. The Detroit Tigers, who are only one-half game better than the Rays, with an easier schedule, have a 50.4% shot.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Jayson Stark says the Rays are more likely to trade BJ Upton than James Shields. [ESPN]
- According to Buster Olney, the Yankees called the Rays asking about James Shields and were told he is not available. [Twitter]
- Johnny Damon does not have a no-trade clause, and said the rumor he might be traded “kind of stinks.” [TampaBay.com]
- The Rays will stick with their 6-man rotation into August, at least. [TampaBay.com]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 4, Toledo 3: Matt Moore made his triple-A debut tonight, striking out 7, walking 2 and giving up just 1 run on 3 hits in 5 innings…RF Brandon Guyer hit his 11th home run.
- Jackson 10, MONTGOMERY 6: Shane Dyer gave up 5 runs in 4 innings and now has an ERA of 4.79…1B Henry Wrigley hit his 5th home run in the last 10 games…SS Tim Beckham went 0-5.
- Dunedin 3, CHARLOTTE 2: Kyle Lobstein allowed 3 runs in 5.1 innings. He struck out only 1 and walked 3…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 0-4.
- BOWLING GREEN 2, Burlington 0: Enny Romero only worked 4 innings, but he did not allow a hit, striking out 7 and walking 3. The Hot Rods did not allow a hit until the 9th inning…SS Derek Dietrich went 0-3 with a walk…RF Cody Rogers was 1-4 and stole his 23rd base.
- Staten Island 2, HUDSON VALLEY 1: Jake Partridge allowed 2 runs in 5.1 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 1.
- PRINCETON 5, Elizabethton 4: RF Drew Vettleson hit his 4th home run, a 3-run shot.