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: We needed that. Admit it, you were worried about this series. Now imagine how tight the sphincters of the players would have been if Niemann went out there and took a dump on the mound?…Jeff Niemann. No dump. Just dominance. And for the first time in over a year, Niemann worked into the 8th inning, allowing just 1 run and he did with Uncle Charlie. Niemann threw a whopping 37 curveballs. He only got 2 swinging strikes, but the Yankees never seemed to get good wood on the bender…Ben Zobrist. Three hits. Two walks. And his home run in the 3rd inning allowed us and the team to breathe a little easier…BJ Upton. He is starting to get that swagger back. In his last 13 games, Bossman is 15-47 (.319) with 6 home runs and 14 driven in. We all know this is not going to last, but let’s hope he can ride this wave for a while. At least until the Nationals up their offer… Sean Rodriguez. Derek Jeter might already have hit #3,000 if not for Rodriguez making a great backhanded stop down the third base line in the 5th and then making a charging Longoria-esque play in the 9th to end the game (helped by a nice Casey Kotchman scoop)…Speaking of Kotchman. Remember when he lost out to Dan Johnson for a roster spot? Yeah, us neither. Show of hands, who misses Carlos Pena? *crickets*
THE BAD: Still not close. The Rays may be within 3 games of the Yankees. But according to CoolStandings.com the Ray still only have a 17.7 percent shot at making the playoffs.
THE TELLING: Evan Longoria got a half-day off, serving as the DH. Sean Rodriguez played third base…Johnny Damon may be back in the lineup tonight.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: Hey, Joe Maddon drives us nuts sometimes. But how many times in the last four seasons has this team come up with a big win just when everybody was about to count them out?
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Ben Zobrist finished fifth in the voting for the final spot on the AL All-Star squad.
- Jeff Niemann talks about his strong outing. [The Heater]
- James Shields and David Price visited the Fan Cave yesterday. Here is a video clip of their visit. [MLB]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 5, Norfolk 4: Alex Cobb struck out 9 and walked 2 in 6 innings. However he did allow 4 runs, 3 coming via 2 home runs…CF Desmond Jennings hit his 12th home run and stole his 17th base…1B Leslie Anderson went 3-4…C Robinson Chirinos hit his 5th home run.
- MONTGOMERY 4, Tennessee 2: Chris Archer tossed 7 shutout innings with 6 strikeouts and 3 walks…SS Tim Beckham was 0-3 with a walk.
- CHARLOTTE 2, Jupiter 1 (gm 1): Alex Colome struck out 7 and walked just 2 in 7 innings. He allowed 1 run and 3 hits…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 0-2 with a walk…2B Tyler Bortnick walked 3 times and stole 2 bases.
- Jupiter @ CHARLOTTE (gm 2): Suspended
- Lake County @ BOWLING GREEN: Postponed
- HUDSON VALLEY 2, Tri-City 1 (10):
- Burlington 14, PRINCETON 6: RF Drew Vettleson went 0-4…DH Justin O’Connor was 1-5 with his 3rd home run…LF Josh Sale went 2-3 with a double and a triple. He also drew a walk, but is still hitting just .185.