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: James the Greater. We hope Joe Maddon had his office door locked after the game, because there is no way James Shields was happy about being pulled with 2 outs in the 9th inning and the a 3-run lead. He had 117 pitches on his arm already. But he has thrown at least many seven other times this season…Bossman. BJ Upton continues his hot September going 2-4 with a walk including his big 2-run double in the 3rd that tied the game…Our Second Favorite Team. We have always said that Buck Showalter is overrated. But if there is one thing is good for, it is that his teams will always play hard when the games don’t matter. And thanks to the O’s win over the Red Sox, the Rays are now tied for the Wild Card lead with just 2 games to go. Oh Hoochie Mamma!
THE BAD: Mr. Pressure Has Changed His Address. The Rays can’t screw this up now. They can’t come all the way back from 9 games back on September 1 and then blow it in the last 2 days. At the very least, the Rays have to play in the one-game playoff on Thursday or else this is a huge disappointment. We can all celebrate overcoming the odds later. But remember, we all screamed and yelled about how this team was better than most thought. We can’t now say they overachieved. Playoffs was the goal. At this point there are no moral victories.
THE TELLING: 25 days ago, the Rays had a 0.6 percent chance of making the playoffs and Joe Maddon was talking about his goal of having the third best record in the AL…Matt Moore was named the Rays minor league pitcher of the year and C/DH Stephen Vogt was named minor league player of the year.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Here was the key play in the Red Sox loss. This is fun to watch over and over. [Mocksession]
- This is why editors shouldn’t write headlines >> “Tampa Bay Rays’ playoff fate will be determined this week.” After all, the season does end on Wednesday. [TampaBay.com]
- What has gone wrong for the Red Sox? Just about everything. [ESPN]
- Joe Girardi says Yankees are playing to win. [TampaBay.com]
- Solid interview with Jim Hickey discussing James Shields and his approach on the mound and whether this season is a fluke. [Fangraphs]
- Rays are winning with MaddonBall. [ThePostGame]