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, Marlins 2 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Jake McGee. We don’t give McGee enough love in the GBT because he is typically in a game for just 2 or 3 batters. But what he has done with those batters has been remarkable. In his last 12 appearances, he has pitched 9.2 innings and has given up just 4 hits, 2 walks, and been charged with just 1 run. He has also only allowed 1 of 8 inherited runners to score during that stretch. And he is doing it during key moments of most games…BJ Upton. Upton now has a 7-game hitting streak and is 10-29 during that stretch…James Shields. We are seeing a lot more of the old James Shields this season. That is, a guy that will work into the 7th inning without his best stuff and yet still hold the opposition to 1 or 2 runs and a chance to win the game. He had the good changeup (10 whiffs), but not much else, but still got the job done…Lobotron! It is like night and day when Jose Loboton is behind the plate compared to any of the other Rays catchers. That doesn’t mean he calls as good a game as Jose Molina or frame a pitch as well. But Loboton is a natural back there, and shows you what a good catcher can look like.

THE BAD: Landlines. We wrote a bit of a tongue-in-cheek post about the Marlins new ballpark using wired landlines. And we took some heat for the post. So it was kinda funny and a lot ironic, that on Sunday, the phones failed completely and the Rays were stuck using hand signals (see below), as well as Will Rhymes to run to the bullpen to get the right reliever warmed up. And when Joe Maddon was asked about the phones after the game, he managed to take a small shot at both the Marlins and the Red Sox: “you’d like to think they got it right here the first time. You know, when Fenway breaks down, you kind of expect it.”…The NL East. We knew the NL East was overrated before the weekend started. And this weekend didn’t do anything to change our opinion, with the AL East going 9-6 in the five interleague matchups.

THE TELLING: Many people commented on the immense number of Rays fans in Miami for this weekend’s games…The Rays are now 35-25, one-half game ahead of the Yankees and 1 game in front of the Orioles. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays have a 65.0% shot at making the playoffs…Best part of this weekend’s sweep is that it removes any pressure on Evan Longoria to rush back…With the Rays having an off-day today, it sounds like a number of players stayed in Miami last night and did not take the charter flight home.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Don’t forget to check the GIFy goodness from the weekend at the end of this post.
  • Brandon Allen has cleared waivers and has been assigned to triple-A Durham. Juan Miranda was released to make room. [@RCummingsTrib]
  • Evan Longoria might start a rehab assignment on Wednesday, but that depends on how well he feels on Tuesday. He will need at least a week in the minors before rejoining the Rays. [TampaBay.com]
  • And Evan Longoria is getting anxious. [TBO.com]
  • Joe Maddon thinks run scoring us down in baseball because advanced data helps the pitchers and fielders, but not the hitters. [SI.com]
  • Here are the Marlins and Rays Wives and Girlfriends just after they battled in a game of softball. [@HallerDave]
  • Matt Joyce and Joe Maddon talk about Joyce’s maturation as a hitter, especially against lefties. [TampaBay.com]
  • Former Rays outfielder Justin Ruggiano had a pretty decent night on Saturday. [TampaBay.com]
  • So, Leslie Anderson is having a pretty good season. Remember him? (and yes, several commenters have been on the Anderson bandwagon for a while) [WDBB]
  • The Bucs second wideout position may be wide open. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM 7, Toledo 1. Matt Torra struck out 6 and walked 1 in 5 innings. He allowed 3 hits and 1 run to lower his ERA to 4.77…C Stephen Vogt was 3-4 to raise his average to .264…DH Leslie Anderson was also 3-4 with a double and is hitting .315…SS Reid Brignac went 1-4.

Chattanooga @ MONTGOMERY. (double-header postponed)

St. Lucie 10, CHARLOTTE 3 (14). CJ Riefenhauser struck out 6 and allowed just 1 run in 6 innings…CF Mikie Mahtook had a rough day going 0-6 with 4 Ks…DH Robby Price was 2-4 with a double and his 2nd home run.

Dayton 6, BOWLING GREEN 1. Four different players had 2 hits, including RF Drew Vettleson who was 2-3 with a walk and LF Josh Sale who was 2-4 with his 8th home run.

http://www.tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/tampa-bay-rays-turn-to-will-rhymes-when-bullpen-phone-malfunctions/1234726

Here are the Rays Wives and Girlfriends celebrating their softball win over the Marlins WAGS…

What were the Rays going to do if this didn’t work, two cans and a string?

Jeremy Hellickson has a potty mouth. Who knew?

On Friday night, the ballpark became a nightclub during the postgame interview…

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7 Comments

  1. don says:

    Making the most of your players:
    What if I told you the Rays had a player that plays 25% less than the regulars: Hits 100 points higher than a $7mil.player,has the3rd best BA on the team, has more stolen bases than Jennings & 2 less than Upton, actually the 3rd fastest guy on the team, has as many HRs as upton,and strikes out 50% than the "stars"...
    Where would you hit him in the order..how about 7/8/9?
    Just asking?

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  2. Rob says:

    It has been a long time since I have seen a game someplace other than Tropicana Field or a Spring Training site, and I have defended the Trop in the past as a place that isn't as bad to watch a baseball game as its reputation might indicate. However, I went to the game in Miami on Saturday, and I have to say, in comparison, the Trop is like a 1970s brown paneled double-wide to Miami's sleek art deco beach house. I'm sorry, but the Trop IS a dump.

    The best thing about Marlins Park (besides that it is clean) is the promenade level where you can still see the field while standing in line for a beer and a dog.

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    • Rob says:

      Meant to add, while I wouldn't have picked the same color for the outfield walls, it doesn't look nearly as hideous in person as it does on TV.

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      • s says:

        rob or cork, what's your guess on the actual attendance for the 3 games? on tv there were a lot of empty seats visible.

        just curious, new ballpark, two teams near or at the top of their division at the start of the series, no weather issues, in-state "rivals" in a weekend series that was drivable for the rays fans. yet the ACTUAL attendance was under "league average". just saying...........

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        • don says:

          Rays will out draw them this weekend for $600mil. less,Callers on the radio said it was ice cold under the blowers up stairs and hot & stuffy on field level

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          • James says:

            Hey Don, surprise surprise, you're still bitching. You have to be one of the most negative people around. Smile sometime, you may enjoy it.

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        • Rob says:

          I am not sure what capacity is, but the stadium felt about 70% full. I actually thought it would be less full due to the Heat-Celtics game.

          Speaking of which, after the baseball game there was a Heat watch party outside under the retracted roof (they opened the stadium after the game to shoot off fireworks).

          Something else that struck me as odd was that Marlins fans didn't seem to care they lost. After a loss at the Trop you can feel the disappointment in the air. Marlins fans didn't seem fazed at all. I am not sure if it was because the Heat were winning and everyone was focused on that (lots of people at the centerfield bar watching basketball during the baseball game) or if Miami fans just have a different attitude toward their teams. My take was that baseball is just another entertainment choice for them (according to the guy in front of me, Miami is all about entertainment), but I could totally be misjudging the fans and generalizing from the ones who were sitting near me.

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