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, Giants 3 (boxscore)
THE GOOD: Attendance. On Saturday, attendance was 31,969, the third largest crowd of the season and the fifth largest non-opening day crowd in the last three seasons. And then on Sunday, the Rays had a sellout. It was the first sellout for a non-opening series game since 2010. That year the Rays had five non-opening series sellouts. In reality it was probably the perfect storm for Rays attendance. The Rays are hot. It was their first weekend home games in three weeks. They had a popular giveaway on Saturday. And they were playing a popular team that hadn’t been to Tropicana Field since 2004. So good crowds was not a complete surprise. But can the Rays fans keep it up when the Rays return home next week to play the Mariners and Blue Jays? That will be the true test. But in the meantime, things are looking better…Wil Myers. OK, some will make a big deal about his bat flips which is the lamest of unwritten rules in a sea of lame unwritten rules. But man, Myers has an amazing way of making things look easy. And since the All-Star break, only Mike Trout has a better WAR (1.4) than Myers (1.3) in the American League. By the way, Ben Zobrist is third (1.0)…The Bullpen. Things got off to a shaky start. But now that the starting pitchers are doing what we all expected, the bullpen is back to a position where they can dominate. That means plenty of rest when David Price, Chris Archer, and Matt Moore are pitching. So when Roberto Hernandez is pulled before the 5th inning is over, four relievers are in a position to to throw 4.1 innings with just 2 base runners allowed. And one of those was Alex Torres hitting the first batter he faced…Sam Fuld. Fuld was in the middle of both the tying and go ahead runs on Sunday. First he drew a leadoff walk and stole second with two outs. That allowed him to score on Evan Longoria’s single. And then in the sixth inning, his 2-out single scored Yunel Escobar to give the Rays the lead for good…Evan Longoria. I’m not ready to say Longo is out of his slump. He has a lot of 1-4 games recently. But he did hit the ball hard a couple of times and was starting to look better at the plate. Let’s see if this is the start of a hot stretch.
THE BAD: Roberto Hernandez. His last start was the best start of the season. He followed that up with one of his worst solidifying Chris Archer’s spot in the rotation whenever a decision needs to be made…What Could Have Been. We all know the Rays passed on Buster Posey to draft Tim Beckham. But not as well-known is that the Rays were originally going to draft Tim Lincecum in 2006. But when the Rockies surprised the Rays and passed on Evan Longoria, the Rays went for Longo. Of course, that pick has been great and we all love Longo. But which combination would you rather have, Lincecum and Posey or Longo and Beckham? And before you answer, don’t forget the Rays would have been much more careful with Lincecum than the Giants have been. He might not have won two Cy Youngs with the Rays, but he probably wouldn’t have broken down either. On the other hand, Beckham is getting better and has a very good shot to be in the big leagues next season, even if just as a backup middle infielder. I’d probably take Lincecum and Posey. But I am also biased towards pitchers and catchers.
THE TELLING: Desmond Jennings missed Sunday’s game due to a sprained finger…On Saturday, Alex Cobb allowed just 1 run in 4 innings for single-A Charlotte in a rehab start. He struck out 3 and walked 2…Brandon Guyer was “promoted” and added to the Major League disabled list. By doing this, the Rays can potentially add a player to the 40-man roster if necessary by later moving Guyer to the 60-day DL…Juan Carlos Oviedo, who signed with the Rays as a free agent last winter after undergoing Tommy John surgery, could be added to the roster in September…Triple-A relief pitch Ramon Ramirez has been granted his release. He had only been with the Rays since the beginning of July…Warren Sapp will throw out the first pitch on Aug. 24 as the Rays will honor his induction into the Hall of Fame…The Yankees have 20 straight seasons with a winning record (per ESPN) and will likely get there again this season. The Phillies are next with 10, but their streak will likely end this season. The Rays are next with 5 straight, tied with the Cardinals… The Rays have won 52 of their last 79 games. That is the equivalent of 107 wins over a full season…The Rays are now 66-45, 1.0 game behind the Red Sox and 4.5 games ahead of the Rangers for the second Wild Card.
THE JUNKYARD DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Alex Rodriguez is expected to be suspended this afternoon for 15 months. However, he is also expected to be in the lineup for the Yankees tonight. [BI Sports]
- Matt Garza went off on a sexist rant aimed at Eric Sogard and his wife. Why? Because Sogard executed a squeeze bunt in a 1-run game. Seriously. [BI Sports]
- David Price wants the Dodgers to be ready. He is bringing Astro to Dodger Stadium and he says Astro will poop in Yasiel Puig’s right field area. [@DAVIDprice14]
- Data is from before this weekend’s series, but eight teams have seen bigger drops in attendance than the Rays this season. [BI Sports]
- Mike Glennon is tall. [JoeBucsFan]
DOWN ON THE FARM…
Gwinnett 4, DURHAM 1. Merrill Kelly struck out 7 and walked 2 in 6 innings. He allowed 3 runs (2 earned)…The Bulls had just 3 hits. Tim Beckham was 1-3 with a double.
MONTGOMERY 4, Chattanooga 3. Mike Colla held the Lookouts to 1 run in 7 innings. He walked 3 and did not strike out a batter…Todd Glaesmann hit his 11th home run and Kyeong Kang added his 12th.
Brevard County 9, CHARLOTTE 6. Felipe Rivero allowed 6 runs (5 earned) in 5.1 innings. He struck out 3 and walked 1…Alejandro Segovia went 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI…Hector Guevara had a double and his 7th home run.
South Bend 5, BOWLING GREEN 4. Tyler Goeddel had a pair of doubles and a walk. He drove in 2 runs.