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: A Start Wasted. Outside of the home run to the first batter of the game, Jeremy Hellickson was masterful. After allowing 3 baserunners in the 1st inning, Hellboy retired 15 of the next 16, including a franchise first 4 strikeouts in the 3rd inning. That happened after Kelly Shoppach couldn’t handle a strike 3, allowing the batter to reach first base. But this start, even a loss, was classic Hellickson. If you can throw strikes and change speeds, you can be successful as a pitcher. And that is exactly what Hellboy does. 102 pitches. 87 were either fastballs or changeups. And 59 of those were strikes. Simple, but effective.
THE BAD: Still No Beef. Doug Fister retired the first 13 batters he faced. And once again, when the Rays did get runners into scoring position, they couldn’t figure out how to get them home going 0-5 with 3 strikeouts and a double-play to end the game…Unlucky. We really want to be mad at somebody for the game-ending double-play, but it was just bad luck. You really want that second runner in scoring position, especially a slow runner like Matt Joyce who is no guarantee to score from first on a double. And he got such a good jump that Sam Fuld’s line drive was behind him, and Joyce didn’t know it was a flyball until he rounded second and picked up Tom Foley. Even Fuld gets credit for hitting the ball hard. Good call. Solid Execution. Dumb luck…Losing Series. Teams don’t lose 3 of 4 to the Tigers in late August if they want to be taken seriously. Right now, the Rays can’t even make the argument that they are just a victim of their own division. Even if there was a second Wild Card in the AL, the Rays would be on the outside looking in.
THE TELLING: Andy Freed missed his second straight game in the radio booth…The Rays went 1-6 against the Tigers this season.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- If you missed the update, Brad Penny claims he screamed and cussed at Sean Rodriguez because Rodriguez was screaming and cussing. [RaysIndex]
- Tom Jones blames Dewayne Staats and Brian Anderson for speculating that Brad Penny was yelling at Sean Rodriguez for not hustling. That seems odd. It wasn’t until Joe Maddon commented (especially the one where he said Rodriguez would be justified in charging the mound) that anybody was even talking about this issue. Obviously Rodriguez and Maddon thought Penny was mad about Rodriguez hustling. So to blame Staats and Anderson seems unfair. [TampaBay.com]
- As Evan Longoria goes, so do the Rays (scroll to the bottom). [TampaBay.com]
- The good news is all the cheap tickets for the Bucs home opener have sold. Unfortunately, there is also bad news. [Joe Bucs Fan]
- We’re amazed at just how many Tigers fans are blaming Wednesday’s loss to the Rays on Brandon Inge. HIS THROW BEAT THE RUNNER! It is absolutely inexcusable that the second baseman wasn’t there. [mlive.com]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
- Charlotte 12, DURHAM 7: Brian Baker gave up 4 runs in 4.2 innings…SS Tim Beckham went 0-4 with a walk and 2 strikeouts…RF Brandon Guyer went 2-5 with a home run, his 13th…C Robinson Chirinos added his 6th home run.
- Mississippi 15, MONTGOMERY 0: Nick Barnese was pounded for 7 runs (4 earned) in just 2 innings. He allowed 4 hits and, 3 walks and threw 3 wild pitches…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 0-3 with a strikeout as the Biscuits were held to 3 hits.
- CHARLOTTE: (no games scheduled)
- Lansing 5, BOWLING GREEN 2: Wilking Rodriguez gave up 5 runs in 3.1 innings raising his ERA to 4.55…SS Derek Dietrich went 0-5 with 3 strikeouts…RF Cody Rogers went 1-5 and stole his 27th base.
- HUDSON VALLEY 6, Vermont 5: C Alejandro Segovia was 2-4 with an RBI. He is now hitting .333.
- PRINCETON 8, Bristol 4: C Justin O’Connor hit his 7th home run and drove in 3.