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 Biceps. Johnny Damon became the third Rays player this season, and third in the last four games to homer twice in the same game.
THE BAD: Wade Davis. Just one of those nights Big Dub is going to have from time-to-time. He gave up 6 runs and failed to get out of the 5th inning…JP Howell. The rest of the pitching staff pounded Jose Bautista up-and-in, often brushing him back. But Howell left an 88-mph fastball out over the plate and Bautista scrambled it into his 38th home run…Luck. Sometimes the hard-hit balls find the openings. Sometimes they do not. Last night was the latter. Twice the Rays hit into inning-ending double-plays with runners in scoring position, one on a hard line drive by Ben Zobrist. And twice the Jays third baseman made throws on the run to make the third out with runners on base.
THE TELLING: This was just the 3rd start this month in which the Rays started failed to work at least 5 innings. David Price and Alex Cobb did in back-to-back starts on August 6 and 7…The Rays are now 7.5 games behind the Yankees, 8 in the loss column…Tyler Bortnick and Hak-Ju Lee were named postseason All-Stars in the FSL.
RANDOM THOUGHT: At some point we might dig through the data to see if this is true (maybe somebody already has), but our hunch is that a team with great starting pitching is better able to avoid sustained losing streaks. But a team with a great offense is more likely to go on a sustained winning streaks. And when playing catch-up, winning streaks are important.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- In a sad moment last night, Dirk Hayhurst, triple-A pitcher, author of “The Bullpen Gospels,” and alter-ego to The Garfoose, announced that he had been released by the Rays. Hayhurst was expected to come off DL soon. And with rosters set to expand later this week, the Rays may be giving Hayhurst a shot to catch on with another big league team.
- Not surprisingly, BJ Upton was not traded yesterday before the deadline of his waiver claim. [The Heater]
- Joe Maddon says to only expect 3 players to be added to the roster on Thursday when teams are allowed to add as many as 15. Look for Robinson Chirinos, Brandon Guyer and a reliever to be the first wave, with more coming as needed or after the Durham Bulls playoff run ends. [The Heater]
- Should Justin Verlander be the AL’s MVP? [Business Insider]
- You think the Rays regret having Aqib Talib throw out the first pitch at a Rays game? By the way, that game was back in 2009. [Joe Bucs Fan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Gwinnett 2, DURHAM 1: In 6 innings, Alex Torres struck out 7 and gave up 2 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks…SS Tim Beckham went 1-4 with a strikeout…RF Brandon Guyer went 0-4 with a walk.
- Carolina 8, MONTGOMERY 3: Alex Colome gave up 4 runs in 5.1 innings…SS Hak-Je Lee went 0-4 and is now hitting just .200 in double-A.
- CHARLOTTE 5, Fort Myers 2: Joe Cruz made his first start for Charlotte, going 7 innings and giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk. He struck out 1…DH Jose Lobaton went 3-5 with a double…1B Mike Sheridan went 2-3 and drove in 4.
- BOWLING GREEN 10, Great Lakes 0: Enny Romero pitched 6.2 shutout innings, giving up just 1 hit and 2 walks. He struck out 6…SS Derek Dietrich was 1-4 with a double and a walk.
- Brooklyn 3, HUDSON VALLEY 1 (GM 1): Trevor Shull held Brooklyn to 1 run in 4 innings…RF Chris Winder homered for the second straight game, his third of the year.
- HUDSON VALLEY 7, Brooklyn 0 (GM 2): Jake Partridge tossed 6.1 shutout innings, striking out 9.
- Elizabethton 6, PRINCETON 5: Matt Spann struck out 8 and walked just 1 in 4.2 innings. But he also gave up 7 hits and 5 runs, including 2 home runs…C Justin O’Connor homered for the second straight day and the third time in five games.