The GBT – The Good, The Bad and The Telling sandwich, where The Bad is nice and lean and the The Telling is ripe.

RAYS 8, Rangers 4 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Sending a Message. You hate to ever say one game in April against a non-divisional foe is benchmark, but the Rays and Rangers are probably the two best teams in the AL right now, and the Rays came out and punched the Rangers right in the nose in the first inning with 4 runs, 3 coming on a big blast by Evan Longoria…Longo’s Big Swing. Longoria hit a 3-run home run. It happens. But this one was different. It was a changeup that Longo was fooled on a bit. But he kept his hands back, and despite his front side opening up too soon, he still muscled the ball over the center field wall. And even that was more impressive considering how high hit the ball. The wind was blowing in, but at Rangers Ballpark, that only affects balls hit high. So Longo had a bad swing, and the wind was blowing in, and he still hit it 410 feet…Joe Magic. With a lefty on the mound, Joe Maddon went with Jeff Keppinger at DH, Chris Gimenez at C and Elliot Johnson at 2B. Those three combined for 7 hits. And when the Rangers went to the bullpen, Maddon replaced Keppinger with Luke Scott, who promptly hit his 5th home run.

THE BAD: Bossman’s Baserunning. C’mon BJ, you can’t try to tag up from second on a flyball to left field with 2 outs. The play itself is fine. In fact we like the idea. But with two outs, the risk is too big considering there would be little reward. And when you are running home later and the catcher has the front of the plate blocked, you have to try to slide around. And yes, sliding head first is typically a no-no at home. But that is one situation where it works. Now if BJ could have just gotten thrown out stealing second and picked off first, he would have had the bizarro cycle…Wade Davis. OK, nice job getting out of the 8th inning. But going 3-0 to Elvis Andrus with the bases loaded and Josh Hamilton on deck is not ideal. Two called strikes and 5 foul balls later, Andrus was still at bat when he lined out to BJ Upton in center field to end the inning. And yes, this was a huge out and is probably good. But Big Dub gets bumped to the Bad because he nearly gave us a heart attack. And that’s not cool!

THE TELLING: Rays hitters had 16 hits and just 4 strikeouts…The Rays have won 6 in a row, and 8 of their last 9. The Rays are now alone atop the AL East at 13-7, 1 game ahead of the Orioles…The Hideki Matsui signing is still not official.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Over at BI we broke down the 9th inning of Brandon Allen’s heroic walk-off home run. We can’t emphasize enough how important BJ Upton was to the rally. Just as important as Allen. [BI Sports]
  • Here is a fun look at how Evan Longoria’s home run (5.05 seconds) took 53.5% longer to leave the park than Josh Hamilton’s home run (3.29 seconds). [@CorkGaines]
  • We all knew the pitching would be good, but the amount of power the offense has generated has been a pleasant surprise (thanks Thad). [ESPN]
  • Here’s a picture of Jeff Niemann’s dog Sadie, who was a guest in the clubhouse. [Lockerz]
  • Rocco Baldelli can empathize with what Carl Crawford is going through right now. [ESPN]
  • Jeff Niemann has struggled against the Rangers. [TBO.com]
  • Chris Gimenez is enjoying his new-found playing time. [TampaBay.com]
  • The Bucs finally got their linebacker and Joe is geeked. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

Indianapolis 13, DURHAM 2.

Birmingham 11, MONTGOMERY 3.

Bradenton 9, CHARLOTTE 2.

Beloit 6, BOWLING GREEN 3.

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9 Comments

  1. Joel Verlin says:

    Durham on a horrible losing streak, got whooped on the road & not doing any better their first game back home.

  2. don says:

    Leave BJ alone you know he is an intelligent Player just mis- understood, besides he is the last of the three amigos not in jail
    (Dukes-gone, D. young headed there)

  3. I’m really enjoying this team right now (of course, it’s easier when they’re winning). But they’re really displaying a sense of professionalism that I’ve never seen in previous Rays incarnations. The team was very Yankee-esque during their home stand versus the Twins and the Angels. They went about their business w/o too much drama and did what they had to do against inferior teams. Even when they blew that game to Twins, they just went out and did their job w/o dwelling.

    As for last night.. I like the way they came out and sent a message in the first inning. Then, they did what good teams do versus good teams… they held off the comeback by matching runs for runs.

    I still have questions about the bullpen, but a healthy Farnsworth will go a long way to solving that problem.

  4. phil says:

    Anyone know when Farnsworth is coming back?

  5. mick says:

    Are you kidding me? I can’t believe that you are such a Davis hater. He is brought in with runners on first and second with no outs in the most electric atmosphere and gets the job done, even after an unfortunate error, and you kick him to the bad. Great job Wade, you are appreciated by most of us!

    • Cork Gaines says:

      “I can’t believe that you are such a Davis hater.”

      That’s an awfully broad statement based on being in the “Bad” one time. Did you miss the part where we mentioned that it was a huge out and that the only reason it was in the Bad was because he nearly gave us a heart attack? Not only did he put himself, and the team, in a huge jam by going 3-0 with Hamilton on deck, but don’t forget Andrus missed a grand slam by about 2 feet on one of those foul balls. Getting out of that situation was part skill and a lot of luck.

      • Dave L says:

        I wouldnt call you a hater by any stretch but to characterize Wades performance as in the Bad?

        That was one of the best performances by a Rays player in a back to the wall situation all year. He didnt put those guys on and he got them out. Your cohort is starting to rub off on you heheh. You want to start pointing out luck in a baseball game? Its virtually every play

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