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: Johnny Terrific. He just missed his 7th career grand slam in the 7th, but was still given credit for a 3-run double after a review, to give the Rays a 7-5 lead. And then leading off the 9th, Damon made sure there was no doubt, hitting the first pitch he saw for a trot-off home run…Flash. Desmond Jennings now has 13 steals in 27 games since being promoted. That would be 78 over 162 games. Jose Reyes, who stole 78 in 2007, is the only player in the last 20 years with more than 75.
THE BAD: James the Lesser. James Shields got knocked around pretty good yesterday, giving up 12 hits and 7 runs in 7.1 innings, including 2 home runs. The big blow was a game-tying 2-run home run in the 8th inning. Strangely, Shields had the good changeup, with 21 of the 29 changeups going for strikes, including 8 swinging strikes. But the book on Wily Mo Pena was curveballs. And while Shields struck out Pena on four straight curves in the 6th, when Pena saw his 9th curveball of the day in the 8th, he finally caught up to it for a home run…Beasts of the East. The Rays are playing about as well as can be expected right now, going 4-1 this week. But in the last 7 days, they have only made up one game in the Wild Card. And with the Rays still trailing the Red Sox by 7.5 games there are only 5+ weeks left.
THE TELLING: The Rays now have 8 series sweeps this season, with 3 at home…Jose Lobaton could resume playing in a week, and Justin Ruggiano is close to starting a rehab assignment with the Durham Bulls.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- If you missed it last night, Joe Maddon did his postgame presser in a football helmet. Also, Gordon Wittenmyer believes Andrew Friedman will be at the top of the Cubs’ GM wishlist.
- Buster Olney adds that Andrew Friedman will be facing a tough decision this winter on whether or not he should stay with the Rays. [ESPN Insider]
- Rays consigliere Ken Rosenthal feels Stuart Sternberg will allow Andrew Friedman to be interviewed by the Cubs. Of course, considering Friedman is not under contract, we are not sure how Sternberg could block an interview. [Fox Sports]
- Joe Maddon has switched up the Rays routine at home and is allowing his players to show up at the park later. [TBO.com]
- Last week we saw that there is little correlation between market-size and payroll. This week we see there is even less correlation between market-size and winning. [Business Insider]
- Is Johnny Damon clutch? John Romano makes a case that he is. [TampaBay.com]
- Here is a pic of David Price’s dog Astro at The Trop yesterday. [Rays Report]
- If you missed Shaun King’s on-air criticism of Geraldini McCoy, Joe Bucs Fan has the highlights. [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 4, Norfolk 3 (10): SS Tim Beckham’s 10th inning RBI single proved to be the game-winner. He finished 2-6 and stole a base…CF Brandon Guyerwas 3-5 with a triple. He is 14-34 with 5 extra-base hits in 9 games since coming off the DL.
- Mississippi 5, MONTGOMERY 4 (10): Jim Paduch allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks in 7 innings. He struck out 5…SS Hak-Ju Leewent 2-5 with a triple…2B Shawn O’Malleywas 3-5 with his first home run of the year.
- Fort Myers @ CHARLOTTE: Double-header suspended in the 7th inning of game 1 with the game tied 1-1. Kyle Lobstein tossed 6 innings, striking out 8, walking 1 and giving up just 1 run on 7 hits… SS Matt Hall went 2-2 with a double and a home run.
- BOWLING GREEN 5, Great Lakes 2: Eli Suero gave up 2 runs in 6 innings…SS Derek Dietrich went 0-3 with a walk.
- Vermont 8, HUDSON VALLEY 3: 1B Jeff Malm was 0-2 with a pair of walks.
- Bristol 4, PRINCETON 3: 2B Ryan Brett went 3-5. He is 11-23 in the last 5 games.