Nationals Rays Baseball

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

click above image for boxscore

THE GOOD: The Trop. Gabe Kapler’s home run barely cleared the short wall in the left-field corner for 2 runs that tied the game in the 6th. Then Willy Aybar hit a routine ground ball down the third base line that hit the bag and caromed into left field to drive in the go ahead run in the 8th. Aybar probably beats the play anyway, but Carlos Pena would have stayed at second had the ball not been deflected…JP Howell. Outside of the 1 hit batter, Howell struck out the side in the 9th for his 3rd save and now looks like Joe Maddon’s go-to guy in critical 9th inning situations.

THE BAD: James Shields. Usually when James Shields is off his game it is 3-4 walks or a couple of home runs. Yesterday, he was doubled to death. But, in true Shieldsy fashion, he still managed to work into the 7th inning…Elijah Dukes. Dukes? Why did it have to be Dukes? Elijah, very dangerous.

THE TELLING: Pat Burrell batted second in what can only be described as Dusty Baker’s worst base-clogging nightmare…Gabe Gross started in right field despite the lefty on the mound for the Nationals. In fact, Gross has now started 6 in a row. Gabe Kapler got the start in left as Carl Crawford was given the day off…With Reid Brignac heading back to Durham and Joe Dillon remaining with the Rays, it looks like Ben Zobrist is now an everyday player and a lot of those days will be at second base…Prior to his 0-3 on Sunday, Brignac had hit safely in 5 straight and was 8-17 in that stretch.



  • Jason Isringhausen went on the 60-day DL to make room for Winston Abreu on the 40-man roster (players on 60-day DL do not count towards the 40-man roster) even though Izzy will not have an MRI on his elbow until today. [Rays Report]
  • Jason Bartlett was activated and Reid Brignac was sent back to Durham. [The Heater]
  • Scott Kazmir will start for the Charlotte Stone Crabs on Wednesday as part of a rehab assignment. At this point there is no word how long Kazmir’s rehab assignment will last.
  • Sporting News has a Q&A with Carl Crawford in which he discusses his chances at stealing 100 and the toughest pitcher to steal against. [Sporting News]
  • Around the Majors wrote a piece on their personal experiences with Ben Zobrist. [Around the Majors]




  1. Rayhawk says:

    OK I will say it again, can we take up a collection to keep Kapler's family here for the foreseeable future, or until school in August. Please let us not over look the NOOKIE factor. We are heading into a hornets nest buckle your seat belts sports fans.

  2. Joe Dillionaire survives! I think you're right. Ben Zobrist has played himself right into the starting 2nd base position. I think it was a good move by the Rays to keep Joe Dillionaire (manlove not withstanding). Brignac doesn't bring much off the bench for you. Maddon's not going to use him as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement. You've also got guys on the bench already that can spell Bartlett. Good move! Now, if the injury bug stays away, we'll see Dillionaire for quite awhile!

  3. Don says:

    Player of the game...Kapler???
    Last time I looked a 4to4 tie does not count in the WIN Column....
    Another good example were our two "substitute" players,......
    Aybar/Zobrist have to ride in the back seat of "most" reporting...
    The Rodney Dangerfield players of the Rays!!

    • Zobrist is hardly the Rodney Dangerfield of Rays players. That guy is getting more love than Longo right now. Everywhere you turn around you're hearing Zorilla this, Zorilla that. I even heard rumblings from some (who will remain unnamed) that Carl Crawford is now expendable because of Zobrist's emergence. <<< Hardly no respect for Zobrist.

      • KillaTapes says:

        Agreed. You can't tune into the Rays telecast without hearing Staats and Kennedy mention his "imminent" trip to the All Star game at least once. Even the Baseball Tonight crew mentions his name in reverence twice a night, and every Rays blog out there (including this one) has raised much praise for the guy. And deservedly so.

        That said, he's won it a few times already, and certainly an 0-3 day like he had is not worthy of the "Player Of The Game" title.

    • MikeD says:

      we all gotta write in Zorilla, as I'm sure you know, for him to get to the All Star Game. Guess I should start voting for him rather than Aki at 2nd

  4. KillaTapes says:

    Kapler's a career .271 hitter, I had a feeling eventually he'd get the groove. And I'll say it again, I really do like Howell in those save situations. Good win, it's starting to click.

  5. Wally Pipp says:

    This series was the first time this year that I was reminded of last year's "Team of Destiny." Not only the comebacks in all three games and great pitching in the bullpen, but those "lucky" breaks (Kapler's homer over the short wall, Aybar's double off 3rd base, Johnson's drop of a pop foul) that would have gone the other way in previous years.

    Colorado is suddenly much less of the pushover they were when this homestand began. A hot team in an atmosphere (literally) the sea-level Rays aren't used to makes for a tough road trip. Here's to hoping these 5 steps forward won't be followed by 5 steps back.

    Can't wait to see the Giraffe swing a bat...

  6. Carey says:

    Quit booing Dukes goddamit! He's like the freakin' Emperor in Star Wars. He feeds off the negative energy.


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