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

RAYS 4, Yankees 1 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Jeff Niemann. Niemann’s best start of the season came at a great time, ending a 3-game skid by the Rays and keeping the team close enough to pull it out late. It was the deepest he worked all season, going 7 innings, striking out 5 and more importantly, he walked just 1…Matt Joyce. After just missing one on Tuesday night, Joyce gave his left foot to make sure the ball cleared the wall in the ninth inning last night (see below)…Honey Badger. It wasn’t a save situation (although the 9th inning was basically a save), Fernando Rodney gave Joe Maddon 2 shutout innings, striking out 2...Shifty. The Rays used the shift throughout the evening, but the big one came in the 8th inning when the Yankees had 2 on and just 1 out with Mark Teixeira up. He hit a groundball right into the shift for a double-play, keeping the Rays in the game.

THE BAD: Carlos Pena and Getting The Man In. Prior to Matt Joyce’s home run, the Rays were 0 for their last 20 with runners in scoring position. And just before BJ Upton’s sac fly and Joyce’s home run, it was Pena that once again struck out in the 9th inning, leaving the bases loaded…Michael Kay. We’ll have more on this in a little bit, but Kay is the classic example of an old school baseball insider that feels threatened by how the Rays play baseball. He never used the word fluke, but that is basically the tone of his comments about the Rays unconventional style of play.

THE TELLING: At 29.14 seconds, Matt Joyce’s home run “trot” was the longest in baseball this season, beating Chipper Jones by .17 secondsDesmond Jennings pinch-hit in the 8th inning, flying out to left field…Hideki Matsui went 2-4 with a walk in an extended spring training game…Tonight is a battle of aces as David Price and CC Sabathia are going head-to-head.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • ESPN ran this pro-Rays graphic during the game. [@CorkGaines]
  • If Hideki Matsui is called up, his salary will be $900,000 for the season. In the minors he is making $10,000 per month. [TampaBay.com]
  • Jeff Keppinger missed yesterday’s game because of a divorce hearing. [TampaBay.com]
  • Brandon Guyer admits that Matt Bush’s DUI case affected the way Guyer played early in the season. [TBO.com]
  • Here’s how close Josh Hamilton came to hitting five home runs in one game. [BI Sports]
  • Is Ronder Barber already a starting safety? On a tangental note, I always wondered if John Lynch could have played middle linebacker late in his career. He was a great tackler, and the Mike in the Tampa-2 is already sort of a third safety. But I digress. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

Syracuse 15, DURHAM 8. Alex Cobb was pounded for 7 runs (6 earned) in just 1.2 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 3…3B Matt Mangini hit his 2nd home run, a grand slam…SS Reid Brignac was 1-4 with a walk…1B Stephen Vogt went 2-5, but is still hitting just .190.

MONTGOMERY 9, Chattanooga 0. Kyle Lobstein struck out 7 and walked 5 in 5 shutout innings. He allowed 3 hits…1B Michael Sheridan went 3-5, all singles.

CHARLOTTE 5, Daytona 1. Enny Romero tossed 6.1 shutout innings, striking out 3 and walking 4…3B Riccio torrez hit his 3rd home run…RF Mikie Mahtook had 2 singles and a walk. He also stole a base, his 9th…CF Ty Morrison had 2 hits, a walk, and his 11th stolen base.

Lansing 7, BOWLING GREEN 3. RF Drew Vettleson went 1-3 with 2 walks and an RBI…DH Cameron Seitzer was 2-5 with a double.

Matt Joyce twists his ankle on a home run swing…

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11 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    If Matt Joyce had been too injured to run the bases, what happens then? On the one hand, he can’t round the bases to score. But on the other hand, the Yankees can’t easily retrieve the ball to actually throw him out.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Somebody with a better memory than I might have more details, but i believe this has actually happened at least once. In that case, I believe you can sub a pinch-runner to run the bases. And interestingly, the pinch-runner gets credit for the run scored with the batter getting the home run and the RBI (i believe).

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Not exactly the same, but I believe the same rule applies. Gabe Kapler was on base when a teammate hit a home run and he ruptured his achilles tendon. the game was delayed and a pinch runner inserted before the home run trot was finished.

      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2162043

  2. Sledge says:

    There is your answer as to why Maddon used SRod at 3rd yesterday. He knew how frequently he planned to use the shift and wanted SRod as the one guy on that side.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      That very well may have been the reason. But Maddon could have had SRod at SS and just moved whomever was playing third over to the right side. This is actually how some managers use the shift which seems to make more sense. That is, rather than moving 3 players to a new spot. You keep the 2B and SS where they are and just move the 3B over to the right side. That way only one player is in an unusual spot.

      • Sledge says:

        Interesting. I guess I’ve only watched Maddon employ the shift and he never does it that way, so I never really thought about it.

  3. phil says:

    Niemann seems to pitch well against the Yankees. I remember a game from last year when he shut them down!

    Good to see that Enny Romero pitched well last night!

  4. don says:

    Nieman is not the worst starter on this staff..believe me..
    I sprained my ankle many times as a basketball player and couldn’t walk let alone run the bases…watch out for today his ankle might be big as a basketball this morning..then no joyce..wonder if Maddon has the balls to keep him on the bench because of LH Sabathia?? ankle good excuse..

    • Hal says:

      Must of been ’68. Hot day; but aren’t all days in the jungle being stalked by Charlie hot? The air was so filthy humid that we could take a drink by just inhaling deeply. I was on point with Bravo Company, wild man gonzo was on my left flank and our CO innocent Jimmy from Des Moines was cowaring towards the rear as usual. Was crawling through the mud when my ankle got trapped in a cobra hole; twisted real good. No ball for me the next day – that’s for sure.

  5. Beth says:

    So will Moore and Matsui have to arm wrestle for number 55?

    I don’t think Matt should have to give up his number for someone only likely to play for the Rays for a few months.

    • DRR says:

      I thought Matsui already talked about this at his press conference, basically saying he didn’t care what number he got.

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