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: GAME ON! We will be the first to admit it. We wrote this team off weeks ago. Hell, we wrote them off about five times, with the most recent happening a week ago when this same team lost 2 of 3 to the Orioles. But here we are. The Rays did what they needed to do. They won 3 of 4 in Fenway. And now there are ten (10!) games left and the Rays are just 2 back. That is still a lot with so few games to play and none head-to-head. CoolStandings.com still gives the Rays only an 8.5% chance to make the playoffs. But as a great man once said, “Never tell me the odds!”…Speed Kills. After the Red Sox had just cut the lead in half to 4-2. Desmond Jennings led off the 5th with single. He stole second, move to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a passed ball…Bullpen. Or specifically, Jake McGee. With David Price pulled early, McGee came in and gave his teammates 2.2 innings of relief, retiring the first 8 batters he faced and keeping the explosive Red Sox lineup in check…Terry Francona. Tito left Tim Wakefield in the game for a long time. After the Red Sox cut the lead to 4-2, Francona stuck with Wakefield in the 5th, when he gave up 2 more runs, effectively killing the Red Sox hopes. Boston does have a double-header today, and you have to wonder if Francona was more concerned about saving his bullpen for those games than he was about winning this game.
THE BAD: Taking a Bullet. David Price took a shot off his right shoulder/chest area in the 3rd inning. He stayed in the game, and his fastball was still touching 96. But he did not look comfortable on the mound and was pulled after the 4th. Let’s hope there are no lasting effects…Still A Lot Of Work Left. There are only 10 games left, but 7 of those are against the Yankees. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have 7 left against the Orioles. Realistically, the Rays need the Sox to lose at least 4 games. It won’t be easy.
THE TELLING: The Red Sox had 2 wild pitches, 4 passed balls and a hit batter…The Rays are now 12-6 against the Red Sox this season, their best mark ever against Boston…The Rays are now 43-2 when they score at least 6 runs…The Rays are 17-15 in games started by David Price. Last year they were 24-8…Both Rob Delaney and Mike Ekstrom accepted their minor league assignments after being removed from the 40-man roster last week…Rays pitchers held the Red Sox to a .189 average this season. That is the worst mark for the Red Sox against a single AL foe since 1901…Ben Zobrist will miss Tuesday’s game to attend the birth of his second child.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Joe Maddon says David Price is “fine” and is expected to make his next start. [The Heater]
- Roger Mooney writes about Joel Peralta and how he is thriving as the Rays newest non-closer closer. [TBO.com]
- The Devil Rays drafted Jacoby Ellsbury in 2002, but he turned them down and went to college. [Projo.com]
- That other team. You know, the one that actually plays in Tampa, also had a big win yesterday. Don’t forget to check in with Joe for all the news you need. [Joe Bucs Fan]