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

RAYS 7, Jays 1 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Another Day Another Great Pitching Performance. 6 innings, 2 hits, 2 walks, 1 run, 6 Ks. That was Matt Moore’s line. And at one point, he retired 14 in a row. Moore now has 5 straight starts having allowed 2 runs or less. And in his last 4 starts, he has thrown 25.2 innings, and allowed just 3 runs on 17 hits and 7 walks with 25 strikeouts…JP Howell. On June 13, Dude had an ERA of 6.16. Since then, he has made 17 appearances (21 ip) and allowed no runs, lowering his ERA to 2.92. He also has 19 strikeouts and 7 walks during that stretch…Jose Lobaton. Since his big 3-3 night with a HR in Baltimore on July 25, Lobatron was just 4-22 (.182). But yesterday he had 2 hits including a big 2-run single in the 2nd and another RBI-single in the 5th that seemed to seal the door on the sweep.

THE BAD: Did Carlos Pena Get Matt Joyce Plunked? In the bottom of the 7th, with the Rays up 6-1, Pena led off and tried to bunt his way on base. This was cited by the Blue Jays TV crew as one possible reason that Matt Joyce was later hit with a purpose pitch in the 8th inning (the Rays also hit Rajai Davis earlier in the 8th inning). Considering the score and the point in the game Pena probably shouldn’t have been bunting. But more worrisome for me is that it shows just how messed up in the head Pena is at the plate right now. Sure the Blue Jays were shifting. But here he is, leading off an inning late in the game with a big lead. This is the perfect time to go up there and just relax and work on getting a good swing. Instead, he either a) has zero confidence in his swing; or b) is more concerned about his batting average. And neither is good.

THE TELLING: Ben Zobrist made his first start at SS since 2009. Joe Maddon said it was a way to get him in the lineup with both Ryan Roberts and Jeff Keppinger and that Zorilla had been working on it “covertly”…Brooks Conrad cleared waivers and has accepted his assignment to triple-A Durham…Luke Scott will play in rehab games this weekend for single-A Charlotte…The Rays are now 18-8 overall and 11-1 in the last 12 games with Evan Longoria in the lineup…The Rays are now 59-52, o.5 games behind the Tigers and Orioles and tied in the loss column for the 2nd Wild Card spot. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays now have a 39.9% chance of making the playoffs. The Orioles are just 15.1%.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Is the newly proposed Pinellas County stadium the same secret plan that Mayor Bill Foster earlier this year? One St. Pete official thinks so, and she sounds pissed. [TampaBay.com]
  • JP Peterson writes about Evan Longoria’s return and wonders if it will be enough? [TampaBaySportsCentral]
  • David Schoenfield of ESPN.com says other teams better watch out for the suddenly surging Rays. [ESPN]
  • Peter King grades the Bucs’ cafeteria food. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

DURHAM 12, Columbus 2. Matt Torra allowed 2 runs in 7 innings…SS Tim Beckham went 2-5  with 2 RBI…RF Chris Gimenez hit 2 home runs, his 6th and 7th, and drove in 5. He’s hitting .332…1B Brooks Conrad hit a home run in his first game since being demoted…DH Henry Wrigley was 1-4 with his 11th home run. His average is now .319.

MONTGOMERY 6, Jackson 4. Kyle Lobstein gave up 3 runs in 6 innings. He struck out 6 and walked 5…RF Mikie Mahtook had 3 hits in 4 at bats including 2 doubles. He’s now hitting .308 since his promotion…SS Hak-Ju Lee did not start, but was a late-inning defensive replacement.

CHARLOTTE 3, Brandenton 0 (6). Enny Romero struck out 9 and walked just 1 in 6 shutout innings. He gave up just 1 hit, lowering his ERA to 3.77…3B Riccio Torrez went 2-2 with a double and a home run, his 9th.

BOWLING GREEN 10, South Bend 2. DH Ryan Brett was 3-5, raising his average to .289…RF Drew Vettleson was 1-4 with a triple and 2 RBI.

HUDSON VALLEY 5, Vermont 4. 2011 1st round pick Jeff Ames threw 4.2 shutout innings, striking out 4. He now has a 1.68 ERA…DH Justin O’Connor went 2-5 with a double…3B Richie Shaffer was 0-2 with a walk.

Bluefield 3, PRINCETON 0. Alex Keudell worked 6 innings, giving up 3 runs, striking out 9 and walking 1…SS Brandon Martin went 2-4.

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9 Comments

  1. don says:

    Pena has been "hurting" the Rays since the beginning of the season....why not Joyce....
    If Kepp. is not the Rays best "hitter since CC I don't know who is.Hint: Rays write this down, after he retires Kepp would be a perfect hitting coach to teach Rays players to make contact. bad news you will have to pay him....

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  2. mattyb73 says:

    Pena is a bum. The Rays should have never picked up this has been. He is a Dave Kingman look alike.

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  3. Joe says:

    You know, striking out 2 times an AB is one thing. Being an idiot that could of led to an injury? I hear Wrigley is having a very good year at 1B....

    Hey, nice sweep!

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  4. Joe says:

    I know neither has come close to the promise they once had but watch these 2 in Durham

    Incredible http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cahAx0T0Dy0

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  5. brianknowsbest says:

    Cork,

    Have you taken a look at the MAP for the projected site for new tropicana. I personally love it, I am a pinellas guy and I work right by there. However if you look closely at the map picture, they have the now tropicana to scale, fit in there. It loos like a decent squeez, which to me means it could not fit a retractable dome. I am not sure if you have any knowledge on this, but if its not a retractable. no matter how close its sounds less appealing. whats your thoughts.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      from what I understand they don't have many specifics yet on the new stadium. They apparently have left it open for either a domed stadium or a retractable roof.

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  6. Beth says:

    I assumed that Joyce was plunked because a Jays player had been hit by Howell in the previous inning. Simple as that - no need to devise complicated theories about Pena bunting.

    And while I won't disagree about how messed up Pena is at the plate, it seems to me that bunting down the third base line is a reasonable response to the overshift. To say he shouldn't try it because the Rays had a comfortable lead makes no more sense than to say that a teams shouldn't employ the shift once they have a comfortable lead. I've always hated these "unwritten rules" about when and how teams should stop playing hard because of a lopsided score. Certainly I would not want to see a runner sliding aggressively into the catcher to make the score 8-1, but aggressive play that doesn't risk injury seems legitimate to me with any score.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Right or wrong, the Blue Jays announcers were upset when Pena bunted, openly questioning why he would do that with a big lead. And if they were upset, it's not hard to imagine it also caught the dugout's attention. And when Joyce got hit, they said it was pretty obvious that it was intentional and cited both the bunt and the earlier HBP and how they both likely contributed to Joyce getting hit.

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    • Gus says:

      I think a game that is out of hand is exactly the time to be bunting against the shift. Pena needs to (a) perfect his bunting technique in games and (b) plant seeds in the heads of opposing defenses that he can execute a bunt when he needs to. You could question why play the shift in a game that is out of hand just as easily as you could question the bunt. Rock on Carlos. Buck Martinez and the Jays are frustrated that the Rays own them -- 18 straight series at the Trop, in the county where they spring train.

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