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! With Desmond Jennings on third base after a lead-off triple in the 11th. Evan Longoria took a swing on an 0-2 fastball that we had never seen him take before. We don’t want to call it a “defensive” swing some hitters (even Longoria) will take at times on an 0-2 pitch. But rather it was an easy, level swing. Very Carew-like. And the result was a basehit up the middle. Game over, and game on. Since first game of Aug. 16 double-header against Red Sox, the Rays are 16-8 and the Red Sox are 11-14. The Rays needed help. They are getting it.
THE BAD: Kyle Farnsworth. Is Farnsville healthy? He is 35 and recently had a “tender elbow.” Since then he has worked 4.1 innings and given up 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, including 3 home runs. He had only allowed 2 home runs all season prior to his elbow issue. It sure seems like the Rays were a little quick to dismiss his problem…Andrew Friedman. If Evan Longoria had now won the game in the 11th, the Rays would have gone to their last reliever, Andy Sonnanstine. It’s not like it was the 18th inning. There is no reason the Rays should be down to their last reliever in September when the Rays could have called up as many relievers as they wanted. Joe Maddon keeps saying the Rays are still in the race, but the front office is sure not acting like the Rays still have a shot.
THE TELLING: Rays needed to win Friday and Saturday to be a threat. But if the Rays win today, they are in a pennant race…IL MVP Russ Canzler and Dane de la Rosa will join the Rays from triple-A, but neither are expected to see much playing time. Somebody will need to be removed from the 40-man roster to make room for Canzler…We have never liked the nick name “Big Game” for James Shields. That is the sort of nickname a player must earn. But Shields could take a step in that direction today.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Premature headline of the year: “Kyle Farnsworth’s Blown Save Might Be Just What Doctor Ordered For Ailing Red Sox.” [NESN]
- James Shields’ 2012 option could go up $1 million depending on how he finishes in Cy Young voting. [TampaBay.com]