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: Sean Rodriguez. Guy can’t hit a slider to save his life. But tip your cap to Rodriguez for not taking the play at second for granted. He got a great lead, a great jump, and just beat the second baseman to the bag to allow Ben Zobrist score the game-winning run…Top O’ The Order. Desmond Jennings, Johnny Damon and Evan Longoria combined for 7 of the Rays 8 hits…Big Dub. For just the second time in his career, and the first time since his third career start back in 2009, Wade Davis pitched past the 8th inning. Unfortunately, thanks to some free baseball, Davis got neither a win nor a complete game despite tossing 9 innings…Longo Power. Evan Longoria isn’t doing much else with the bat these days, but he is hitting home runs. Since the all-star break, Longoria has 34 hits, and 11 of those are home runs after he hit number 22 last night.
THE BAD: This Is Why. The biggest hurdle the Rays have had for the last couple of weeks is that they needed either the Red Sox or Yankees to go into a prolonged slump. It looked like it might be the Red Sox for a few days, but all of a sudden they have won 2 in a row. And now it is the Yankees the Rays are trailing by 7.5 and 8 in the loss column. If the Rays went 24-10 in last 34, they would need the Yankees to go 17-18 just to tie.
THE TELLING: Orestes Destrade subbed for Andy Freed (who was under the weather) in the radio booth…BJ Upton was not in the lineup last night, but did pinch-hit and strike out. He is hoping for a Friday return…
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon says Jeremy Hellickson may be able to stay in the rotation through the end of the season. [TampaBay.com]
- No surprise here: A Sports Illustrated poll named Joe Maddon as the manager players would most want to play for. Of course, we are assuming “manager of team offering biggest contract” was not one of the options. [The Heater]
- These baseball stadium models are incredible. [Business Insider]
- Mayor Bill Foster will talk to residents, just not the press. [TampaBay.com]
- The city of St. Pete is lining up a small army of lawyers as they get ready to battle the Rays in court. [TBO.com]
- Say what you want about Rays attendance, but it has NEVER looked this bad. [SportsGrid]
- Pat Burrell is pondering retirement. Maybe the Rays can retire his jersey with a bonfire. [@extrabaggs]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Norfolk 4, DURHAM 3: Alex Torres struggled with his control walking 7 and throwing a wild pitch in 5 innings, giving up 3 runs…SS Tim Beckham homered for the second straight game and now has 4 in 13 triple-A games.
- MONTGOMERY 8, Mississippi 5: Alex Colome gave up 4 runs in 5 innings, striking out 3 and walking 4…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 1-3 with a triple and 2 walks. He has 3 triples in the last 4 games…1B Henry Wrigley hit his 15th home run, a grand slam.
- CHARLOTTE 4, Jupiter 3 (gm 1): Joe Cruz threw 5 shutout innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4…2B Tyler Bortnick went 0-3 with a walk.
- CHARLOTTE 5, Jupiter 1 (gm 2): Jake Thompson allowed just 1 run in 6 innings. He held Jupiter to 3 hits and no walks. He struck out 2…2B Tyler Bortnick was 2-4 with a double.
- Lansing 4, BOWLING GREEN 1: Braulio Lara gave up 3 runs in 5.1 innings…SS Derek Dietrich went 1-4 with a double.
- HUDSON VALLEY 3, Vermont 1: Andrew Bellatti struck out 6, walked 2 and allowed 1 run on 2 hits in 6 innings.
- PRINCETON 6, Pulaski 0: SS Jake Hager went 3-4 raising his average to .261.