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Rays 8, Royals 7 (click image for boxscore)

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



Sam Fuld (via TampaBay.com)

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12 Comments

  1. Don says:

    Sam Fuld pulled the best one of all time…the dumbest base running act of all time getting picked off 3rd (1 out)UNLESS SRod was suppose to get the bunt down as in suicide..THEN Fuld Scores on a hit that NO ONE on the Rays would have scored on except Jennings(IF the base ball hits him on a normal slide he goes no where at third)
    SO Fuld YOU ARE A “MORON” AND the” MAN” on the same night..
    Hope you are around next year for laughs….

  2. Sarah says:

    I confess, I stopped watching when McGee gave up the homer. When I read a recap that had the words “infield hit” and “Kotchman” in the same sentence I knew that something miraculous had happened.

    As for Ruggiano – How to you know you are not part of your team’s long term plans? When you become the guy who gets the sore roster spot injury, a role Gabe Kapler played so well earlier. Maybe you keep a guy with a touch of bursitis on the roster just for these occasions — you never know when the bursitis will flare up.

    Finally, I read that Brignac feels he’s worked on all the things he’s been asked to work on and is ready to be back in the majors. Wasn’t he hitting like .240 at Durham?

    • Tom says:

      How they did not give the second basemen an error on Kotchman’s 2nd inning “hit” is beyond me.

      I also think Kotchman being picked off 1st worse than Fuld being picked off 3rd. Fuld has a reason to be far off the bag with the bunt on, he is fast guy and he has to take risks, Kotchman not so much. What a terrific game.

      • Alex says:

        Kotchman was just taking a secondary lead and he got gunned. It was unfortunate. Sam’s pick off was by far the worse one. He was on third base with one out. You can score so many ways off of 3rd base with one out. With the game tieing run on third you don’t take dumb risks like that.

        • Gus says:

          S-Rod deserves at least half the blame for the Fuld pick off. it was a safety squeeze and a reasonable pitch (it was low, but worth offering at). S-Rod left Fuld out to dry.

          Fuld as the 4th or 5th OF is fine. That is his role. You play him more, you expose his weaknesses. But he is a real nice scrappy player off the bench. Why they tried to make more of that and let Jennings rot in Durham for almost 4 months will be a mystery I take to my grave.

          Jennings had a clutch hit in the 8th that set up the pick off and got them close. One of my co-workers is from Alabama (but not much of a Rays fan) and he observed that Jennings looks like fellow Alabaman Bo Jackson in LF, especially his throwing and running, and I think he has a good point. Not quite as thick, but close.

    • Chris says:

      He was hitting .231 in 11 games. Not horrible, not good, just so-so which is all we need him from offensively as long as he keeps using his pretty, pretty glove. Might as well give him another shot. Elliot is an inappropriate liability at the plate. Sean, hes about as good as Briggy. And neither Sean nor Elliot compare defensively. Platoon anyone?

      • Rob says:

        Since when is .231 in AAA not horrible? .231 with no power, no speed, lots of strikeouts and good but not great defense is not major league material. It may not even be AAA material. How was this guy ever a top prospect??

  3. Alex says:

    I also turned the game off after the hr was given up, but I was following it on the computer. When they got the first two guys on I turned the game on thinking what the hell. Why not? Just amazing. One of the best comebacks I’ve ever seen.

    So that is what a real catcher looks like? God damn. The Royals have Yadier Molina Jr. behind the plate. I have always said that I would rather have a damn good defensive catcher than a good hitting catcher with bad defense. Oh and everyone that says Kelly Shoppach is good defensively. LOL. That Royals catcher made our catchers look bush league. He made more superb defensive plays last night than our catchers have all year. He’ll basically stop anyone from running on the Royals and even if they do try stealing he’ll just throw them out.

  4. Joe says:

    We saw one for the ages here, folks

  5. Amanda says:

    Cork, I just watched the bottom of the 9th (yay MLB.tv!) because I was on the DL last night (damn tummy ache). When they all peeled away, Upton had Fuld’s belt in his hand. lol That was a pretty hilarious dogpile.

  6. Scot says:

    On a follow up – for one of the dumbest organizations in baseball, the Royals have an outstanding TV announcer. I enjoyed his play calling. I didn’t pick up his name, but from the website, the assumption he is Ryan Lefebvre.

    So far Staats is behind the Royals, ahead of Buck “clueless” Martinez of the Blue Jays (now one of the smarter organizations – and wealthier – in baseball) and of course ahead of the Yankees “see-ya” announcer, Michael Kay. The problem is that Staats is so far behind John Miller, Staats looks like a Jr. High school announcer in comparison.

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