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

RAYS 5, Royals (boxscore)

THE GOOD: Jeremy Hellickson. Hellboy had a nice mix of pitches last night, getting 10 swing-and-misses on 4 different pitches, including 3 out of the 10 curveballs he threw. The result was his second straight 7 inning performance and the first time he has struck out 6 batters in a game since June 2…Flash Jennings. Another multi-hit game for Desmond Jennings, who no has 5 in the last 8 games he has started…Sam Fuld. Super Sammy got the start in right field and did not disappoint with a pair of great catches and 2 hits, including a hustle-double…7-1-1. In the last 30 games, the starting pitchers have worked into the 7th inning 21 times. That’s a tremendous number that not only tells us how well the starters are pitching (2.39 ERA in last month. Only 1 other team’s starting pitchers have an ERA below 4.00 in that span) but it also makes life very easy on both Joe Maddon and the bullpen. The Rays have great depth in the bullpen, which becomes even greater when Maddon can pick and choose from 6-7 arms to get 6-7 outs.

THE BAD: Perfect Attendance Storm. School was back in session. The weather was horrible. And the opponent was the Kansas City Royals. It was the Perfect Storm of lousy attendance. And the result was 9,913 tickets sold for the Monday night game. That is the 3rd smallest crowd of the season…Numbers Game. No move has been announced yet, but it is expected that Luke Scott will be activated today and Sean Rodriguez will be sent down to the minors. It stinks because Rodriguez has been here for a while and somebody like Ryan Roberts has not. But when it comes down to it, it is just for 12 days (Rodriguez will likely be back when rosters expand in September), and Rodriguez has a minor league option and does not have to be exposed to waivers.

THE TELLING: The Rays are 68-54, and trail the Yankees by just 4 games in the AL East. The Rays trailed by 10.5 games just 33 days ago. The Rays also lead the Wild Card by 2 games and are 2.5 in front of 3rd place Oakland. According to CoolStandings.com, the Rays now have a 82.1% chance of making the playoffs.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • Former Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett has been released by the Padres. [MLBTR]
  • RaysDigest.comspoke with Luke Scott about his return to the Rays and his time on the farm. [RaysDigest]
  • Would you be surprised if Derek Jeter ranked in the top 10 for home runs by a Yankee? [Chart of the Day]
  • Roger Clemens is coming back? [BI Sports]
  • Warren Sapp had an interesting interview on The Howard Stern Show. Joe Bucs Fan has the highlights. [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

Charlotte 9, DURHAM 6. Cesar Ramos continues to struggle as a starter, giving up 9 runs (6 earned) in 6 innings including 4 home runs…Henry Wrigley (13), Leslie Anderson (12), Tim Beckham (5), and Cole Figueroa (2) all homered for the Bulls…CF Rich Thompson was 3-5 and stole his 23rd base.

MONTGOMERY @ Pensacola. postponed

CHARLOTTE. no games scheduled

South Bend 6, BOWLING GREEN 3. RF Drew Vettleson was 0-3 with a walk and LF Josh Sale went 1-4 with 2 RBI…DH Cameron Seitzer was 3-3 with a double and a walk.

HUDSON VALLEY 2, Lowell 1. CF Joey Rickard had a double and a home run and drove in both Renegades runs.

PRINCETON 6, Danville 1. SS Brandon Martin hit his 10th home run and C Omar Narvaez added his 1st.

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10 Comments

  1. Gus says:

    2008 Team MVP Bartlett is on waivers? Impossible. Somebody wake up Marc Topkin!

    I still feel S-Rod is a better player than Elliot Johnson, but Johnson has had the better year as much as it pains me to admit. Makes the Rays a little lefty-heavy though (I’m not recognizing Elliot’s attempts to hit RH).

    • Beth says:

      I’d take Sean Rodriguez over Johnson too, I think the fact the Rodriguez still has an option left, and that we’re 10 days away from expanded rosters, makes keeping Johnson almost a no brainer. I’d be surprised if Johnson cleared waivers, given his low salary and his versatility. Any contending team with a limping infielder would take him.

  2. s says:

    EJ could have easily had 3 throwing errors last night.

    • Gus says:

      I forgot the throwing motion. EJ’s side-arm tossing of the ball makes me cringe on every throw. S-Rod is the better fielder.

      Maddon thinks EJ is Lou Brock despite the fact he gets thrown out on the bases more than any other Ray, maybe Upton if you count the lefties picking him off first at a regular clip.

      • Beth says:

        Actually, I believe Ben Zobrist is the least effective base stealer this year. He’s got a success rate just over 60%. BJ is around 79% and Johnson around 74%. Can’t argue with your complaints about EJ on defense however.

  3. Tom says:

    Actually, SeanRod and EJ are both .226 hitters. EJ has never hit .250+ in the majors.

    • Dave L says:

      And check out EJ post all star break numbers you will cringe.

      He had a good Late May – June 2012 for the Rays. The rest of the time he hasnt been very productive.

      I’d say EJ = SRod —offense/defense/base running/ versatility its a total toss up overall to this point.

  4. Hal says:

    Get ready for the attacks to begin. Colin Cowherd went on a rant today about how we are the worst baseball fans in America and that we never deserved a team in the first place. The marching orders have been sent down, so expect more of this in the coming days.

    It’s funny because he pointed out that we have almost no corporate support and that corporate support is the backbone of “80%” of MLB attendance. But he says he’s tired of all of our excuses.

    This sucks because he actually had a far more reasoned take on this a couple of years ago when he very correctly pointed out that drawing 2 million a year is not so bad. Especially when you actually look at other franchises attendance figures from the 70′s and 80′s. Go look at the Boston and Philly numbers from those decades. But I guess his bosses told him not to have reasoned positions regarding the Rays and start attacking.

  5. angry buddha says:

    Hal’s right that anything and everything said on an ESPN platform should be viewed through the prism of their business interests.

  6. Hal says:

    There’s not a bit of rile in me and you are right, I do doubt that he has made it to any games this year as he lives in Bristol, CT. I was simply making an observation about that way ESPN covers the Rays. Any success that we have is always tempered by attacks on out fan base. We are bad for their business – they have a vested interest in the Sox and Yanks making deep runs into October.

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