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: Comeback For The Ages. Wow. Just wow. 9th innings don’t get anymore exciting than that. When the 9th inning started, the Rays had a 1.5% chance of winning the game. But like any great comeback from a big deficit, the players need to remember there are no 5-run home runs. And the Rays singled and doubled the Royals to death. When Evan Longoria doubled home the first run we sat up a little straighter. But then two infield groundballs scored the next two runs, the second by Casey Kotchman who hasn’t run that fast since he was 18, and all of a sudden we were getting exciting. Still only 1 out, we were skeptical with BJ Upton and Sam Fuld due up. Upton was either going to hit a walk-off home run or strikeout. He did the latter. That left Fuld and we’ll admit, we were just praying for a walk. With Elliot Johnson on first base, typically you would want the runner stealing second with 2 outs to get into scoring position. But with that canon behind the plate, Johnson might as well have been wearing cement shoes. So he was stuck at first. And that meant our best hope for Fuld was just to get Johnson into scoring position and prolong the inning. He went several steps further, driving a ball into the right-center gap which you knew would tie the game. What you didn’t know was that the throw to third would get by the bag, and Fuld, running slower than we have ever seen, found enough gas to scamper home and dive in ahead of the tag. That, that was fun.
THE BAD: Sam Fuld. Yes. Super Sammy. Before he won the game in the 9th, he represented the tying run on third base in the 8th and got picked off by the catcher. Sometimes these things happen, but it can’t happen then. And it can’t happen after the same catcher had already demonstrated his lethal arm several times in the game…Jake McGee. McGee faced three batters striking out 1, walking 1, and giving up a 3-run home run which seemed to seal the Rays fate. So, of course he would get the win.
THE TELLING: Justin Ruggiano was placed on the DL and Reid Brignac was recalled from Durham. Interesting. So a player who has made one start in 3 weeks and who is out of minor league options, suddenly goes on the DL with knee bursitis? Of course he does…Tim Beckham was promoted to triple-A and Hak-Ju Lee was promoted to double-A. Interestingly, Derek Dietrich was not promoted to Charlotte to replace Lee.
RANDOM THOUGHTS: If you get a chance to watch the replay of the pile at home plate, look for Robinson Chirinos. During the entire scrum he is circling the pile looking for a way in, the whole time doing it with a big ole smile on his face. It’s adorable. Like a little kid that wants to play with the big boys…If the Rays sweep the Yankees this weekend, things could start to get interesting. But anything less than a sweep will just be status quo…Look for Tim Beckham to get a nice long look in spring training next year. But we would still be surprised if we see him in the big leagues before August.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- If you missed it last night, there has been an arrest in the burglary of the spring home of Evan Longoria, David Price, and Reid Brignac. [RaysIndex]
- Like we speculated, Alex Cobb will be shut down for the rest of the season. He is set to have surgery on his hand, but is expected to be ready for the start of the 2012 season. [TBO.com]
- Mayor Bill Foster and Stuart Sternberg haven’t spoken since early May. [TampaBay.com]
- The Rays failure to send a representative to the Pinellas County Tourism Development Council meeting may have cost the team a $250 thousand grant. Said one member of the board, “Why wouldn’t (an applicant) be here?…Is it that there’s an arrogance, or are we being taken for granted?” [TampaBay.com]
- Should James Shields be considered for the American League Cy Young Award? [The Ray Area]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Rochester 11, DURHAM 3: Ryan Reid filled in again in the rotation and lasted just 2 innings, giving up 4 runs (1 earned), striking out 2 and walking 6…RF Russ Canzler hit his 16th home run.
- MONTGOMERY: (no game scheduled)
- Palm Beach 3, CHARLOTTE 1: Alex Koronis gave up 3 runs in 5.2 innings. He struck out 5 and walked 2…CF Ty Morrison went 2-4.
- BOWLING GREEN 7, Fort Wayne 1: Enny Romero struck out 9 and walked 2 in 5 shutout innings…1B Phil Wunderlich hit his 15th home run, a grand slam.
- Lowell @ HUDSON VALLEY: (suspended)
- Bluefield 4, PRINCETON 2: SS Jake Hager went 2-5 with his 2nd home run.
Sam Fuld (via TampaBay.com)