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: Jeff Niemann. Is Jeff Niemann making himself the great pitcher we always hoped? Or is he just making himself into a winter trade candidate? In his last 7 starts he has an ERA of 1.65 and has worked into the 7th inning 5 times…Joel Peralta. Where would the bullpen be this season without Peralta? After JP Howell did his best to make an easy win more difficult, Peralta came in with 2 on in the 7th and got a big strikeout. He then got a big double-play to end the 8th…Double-Play D. The Rays got two huge inning-ending double-plays. In the 7th, on a strikeout with 2 runners stealing, Kelly Shoppach threw out the runner at second rather than try for the runner at third. Then in the 8th, with a runner on first and a groundball to first, Casey Kotchman took a huge step towards the mound before throwing to second, making sure that the throw would easily clear the runner and give Elliot Johnson a clear look back to first base.
THE BAD: JP Howell. This is where Joe Maddon drives fans nuts. At this point, why is Howell even a consideration in high-leverage situations? He has zero confidence in himself. And the opposing hitters know this. And when your fastball is upper-80s, it is hard to be successful without any confidence in your stuff.
THE TELLING: If the Yankees go 23-23 down the stretch, they will finish 94-68. The Rays would need to go 31-14 to tie…
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- A young Rays catching prospect had himself quite a season, setting records and winning league MVP in the Venezuelan Summer League. [Biscuit Crumbs]
- Here are the draft picks that have until Monday to sign with the Rays. [Rays Prospects]
- The New Jersey Star-Ledger spoke with some of Andrew Friedman’s Wall Street co-workers. [NJ.com]
- David Price got quite the sunflower seed shower during yesterday’s game. [VIDEO]
- The police have made a second arrest in the burglary of the Rays spring home. [TampaBay.com]
- The police in Riverside, California arrested 20 gang members recently who identified themselves by wearing Rays caps. [Rays Prospects]
- A former member of The Village People is going to sue the Rays. Seriously. [TampaBay.com]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- DURHAM 6, Rochester 1: Matt Torra gave up just 1 run in 7 innings on 5 hits and no walks. He struck out 3…SS Tim Beckham went 1-4 in his triple-A debut…C John Jaso went 1-4…LF Stephen Vogt went 1-3 with an RBI.
- MONTGOMERY 6, Carolina 4: Jim Paduch gave up 4 runs in 5 innings on 9 hits and 1 walk. He did strike out 7…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 1-4 in his double-A debut.
- Palm Beach 3, CHARLOTTE 1: Jake Thompson tossed 6 shutout innings giving up just 1 hit and 1 walk. He struck out 4. In his last 3 starts, Thompson has allowed just 1 run in 18 innings…C Jake Jefferies went 2-3 with a double and scored the Stone Crabs only run.
- Fort Wayne 3, BOWLING GREEN 0: Braulio Lara gave up 3 runs in 6 innings…SS Derek Dietrich went 2-4 with a double. He is hitting .291.
- HUDSON VALLEY 6, Lowell 5: Stayton Thomas made his first start and held Lowell to 1 run in 4 innings, striking out 3.
- Bluefield 6, PRINCETON 2: SS Jake Hager homered for the second straight game.