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, Blue Jays 1 (boxscore)

THE GOOD: James the Greater. In 8 innings, James Shields gave up just 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 6 and walking 1. In his last two starts, he has faced 56 batters, and has allowed 7 base runners in 17 innings with 17 Ks and 1 walk. And we are finally seeing 2011 Shields now that he is finally starting to rely more on his fastball…Pitching. Since the All-Star break, Rays pitchers have an ERA of 2.28. Unfortunately, they are just 12-11 over that stretch…Evan Longoria. It was just one night, but you could see how Evan Longoria changes this team offensively. And it is not just his spot in the lineup as he was just 1-3 with a sac fly. But Ben Zobrist looked a little more comfortable in front of Longo and the rest of the lineup gets shifted down to places in the lineup more appropriate for their abilities. As good as Jeff Keppinger is at making contact, he should never be hitting cleanup.

THE BAD: One Hit Wonders. A few of the Rays mid-season acquisitions all had good starts but had trouble keeping up the pace. Ryan Roberts has gone 3 for last 34 (.088). Brooks Conrad went 3 for his last 38 (.078) before being demoted. And Hideki Matsui went 7 for his last 60 (.117) before being released…Targeting Rays Pitchers. Earlier this year Joel Peralta was busted for having pinetar on his glove. And last night, the Blue Jays apparently didn’t like Fernando Rodney wiping the sweat off his face while on the mound. In this case though, the situation was handled much better with the umpire simply asking for the ball to be replaced and then giving Rodney a stern lecture.

THE TELLING: Brooks Conrad was designated for assignment to make room for Evan Longoria on the roster…The Rays are now 57-52, 2.5 games behind the A’s and the Orioles and 1 game behind the Angels. The good news is that the Red Sox and Blue Jays are starting to fall off the pace. The race for the second wild card will be much easier against 3 teams instead of 5.

THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA

  • JB Long interviewed Evan Longoria prior to last night’s game for the MLB Network. Here’s the video. [MLB.com]
  • And here is Evan Longoria talking to reporters after the game. [TampaBay.com]
  • “I’m not the savior.” [TBO.com]
  • Carlos Pena is going to start sitting against some lefties. But don’t look for Luke Scott to be in the lineup. Instead, it will be Jeff Keppinger filling in. [TampaBay.com]
  • Don’t forget to check out JBF’s “Morning Cup of Joe.” [JoeBucsFan]

DOWN ON THE FARM

Columbus 2, DURHAM 1Chris Archer struck out 8 and walked 2, giving up just 1 run in 6.2 innings…RF Rich Thompson had 3 singles in 5 at bats..SS Tim Beckham went 0-3 with a walk…DH Henry Wrigley was 1-4 with a double and is hitting .321.

Jacksonville 4, MONTGOMERY 0. Nick Barnese gave up 4 runs in 6 innings raising his ERA to 4.53…SS Hak-Ju Lee went 0-2…RF Mikie Mahtook went 0-3

CHARLOTTE 8, Bradenton 1. Eliazer Suero walked 6 in 5.1 innings, but only gave up 1 hit and didn’t allow a run…RF Todd Glaessmann was 3-3 with 2 doubles and a walk.

Fort Wayne 7, BOWLING GREEN 3. C Alejandro Segovia was 2-4 with his 14th home run…RF Drew Vettleson was 0-4 with 2 Ks and is hitting .287…2B Ryan Brett stole his 41st base.

HUDSON VALLEY 7, Vermont 5. C Luke Maile went 2-3 with a triple and his 3rd stolen base.

PRINCETON 4, Bluefield 3. Bruedlin Suero tossed 6 shutout innings with 5 Ks and no walks…SS Brandon Martin went 2-5 with a double but is still hitting just .220.

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10 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    In the land of 0 for 4, the man with a single and sac fly RBI is king. By recent Rays standards Longoria had an awesome night at the plate.

    Also, loved Sam Fuld’s tweet, for those of you who don’t follow him:

    Sam Fuld ‏@SamFuld5

    Really want to thank everyone for the nice ovation I got tonight for pinch-running..totally unexpected…great surprise.

  2. Joe says:

    Rays are only 1.5 behind the A’s and Orioles and 1 behind the Angels.

    2.5 behind the Tigers for the first spot.

  3. Hal says:

    And only 6 behind the yanks.

  4. Hal says:

    Why did we need to DFA Conrad? What am I missing? Did we replace Mr. Matsui on the 40 man when he was released? What about Brandon Allen?

    • Dustin says:

      The Rays DFA’d Conrad to make room for Longo on the 25-man roster. Allen is playing baseball in Japan for the Fukuoka Hawks. Not sure who took Matsui’s spot on the roster, but I think he was replaced by Ryan Roberts.

  5. Andy says:

    Don’t know what Longo & Maddon are talking about! I thought the whole purpose of growing & keeping his beard was b/c Longo IS our Savior!!! ;) After all, before the season’s over, the whole MLB world will Swear Eternal Loyalty to & Kneel Before . . . Evan!! :D

    Btw, love your post, Beth, especially the Fuld tweet!! lol

  6. Gus says:

    Longo’s running evoked shades of the Dodgers’ run with a gimpy Kirk Gibson in 1988.

    In one way, being “hamstrung” with a bad leg may make Longo stay back and go the other way more and maybe make him a more solid hitter over the long haul. I was happy to see him up the middle twice and RCF once in 4 at bats. That is a smart approach.

  7. bbmern says:

    Whatever happens, it sure felt good to see Longo coming up to bat. I didn’t realize how much much I missed him. He is a breath of fresh air and hopefully will bring a spark like no other to these hitters. Our pitching staff has been keeping us alive! I love my Rays and will never give up on them. Who doesn’t love Sam Fuld…he is another one that makes me smile. I’m not a tweeter but may just join to follow Sam and other tweeties..lol.

    • Beth says:

      I started a twitter account because I thought it would have some value for my work. Just to see how it functioned, I started following a few of the Rays players.

      Well, now I follow many baseball players, and it’s become a full time hobby! My day isn’t complete unless I know where David Price has lunch. Sam Fuld is good to follow — he’s got a sense of humor and doesn’t tell you too much. Sean Rodriguez tweets whenever he goes to the mall, and he’s got a lot of religious stuff which is not my cup of tea. Longoria spends too much time re-tweeting the insults he’s received and making snide remarks back to them. But following players on twitter has shifted some of my allegiances. I like Kelly Shoppach and Elliott Johnson a lot more now than I used to based only on their baseball performance. But I did drop Shoppach once he went to the Red Sox — he seems like a nice guy but there are limits.

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