Blue Jays 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: Big Home Run. The Rays entered the game losers of 4 straight, but it could easily be argued that the walk-off home run was bigger for Pat Burrell, who needed a hit like that to get him out of his season-long funk. Will he now go on one of his patented tears? The way the Rays are hitting recently, they need it…James Shields. The defense helped but it was another typical James the Greater start, with just 1 run allowed in 7 innings…BJ Upton. His throw to nail Aaron Hill at home to end the 8th may have saved the game…Dan Wheeler. He continues to put up zeroes. Two more perfect innings increases his scoreless appearance streak to 13.

THE BAD: Where’s the Beef? 4 hits overall. Only 2 in the first 9 innings. Only 2 hits in 6 innings off a kid making his big league debut. And if that was bad, wait for this one. No hits off of Shawn Bleepin’ Camp in three innings. How does one of the best offensive teams in baseball get shutdown for three innings by Shawn Bleepin’ Camp? And the top 4 batters were the biggest culprits. Two, maybe three all-stars, and they combined to go 0-19 with a walk and 7 strikeouts.

THE TELLING: Jeff Niemann will start Friday with Matt garza going on Sunday and James Shields on Saturday.



  • The Rays were sporting “Vote for Los” t-shirts prior to last night’s game. [Rays Revolutionary]
  • Joe Maddon had some rare stern words concerning the Rays performance in Texas and made it clear that the Rays are not thinking wild card. [The Heater]
  • Evan Longoria says his hamstring is feeling “100% better.” [St. Pete Times]
  • John Romano says the biggest culprit this season has been the starting pitching. [St. Pete Times]
  • Rays Revolutionary has some pics from the opening of a cycling studio owned by Pat Burrell’s wife. [Rays Revolutionary]
  • Power Rankings, Trop It Like It’s Hot-style. [Trop It Like It’s Hot]




  1. I think Shawn Camp should thrown a meatball pitch... just for old times sake. That was ridiculous.

  2. bobrittner says:

    Shawn Camp is not a particularly good pitcher, but he is a legitimate major leaguer. He was unfairly castigated in TB after his horrific 2007 season when he was indeed not very good, but as a ground ball pitcher was also sabotaged by a hideous infield that made his numbers appear even worse than they really were.

    But he was not terrible in 2006; in fact he did some good work then. And his 1 1/2 years in Toronto have also been decent. It is no shame to fail against him. He has excellent movement on his pitches, throws reasonably hard and generates a ton of ground balls. In 2007 his control was a bit off his normally adequate standard which contributed along with the historically bad defense to his disastrous season, but with decent control and an ability to get strikeouts he can be a useful reliever. His major league career ratio in BBs and Ks is 2.7BB/9 and 6.6K/9.

    • All true, but there is nothing in his history that suggests he should be able to shut down the Rays for 3 innings at the Trop.

      • bobrittner says:

        He doesn't often go 3 full innings but has on occasion. This year on June 3 he pitched 3 full innings against the Angels giving up 2 hits, 0 runs, 1 BB and 4 K.

        Over the years he has had a few other multiple inning outings, some against good offensive teams, without allowing runs and few hits or walks. This was certainly one of the best, 0 hits after all, but not wildly out of left field.

        Fact is any major league pitcher may have such an outing, especially against a struggling offense as the Rays are right now. True, the Rays should not be held down that way by Camp or most other relievers, but his success was a combination of poor Rays hitting and professional pitching.

    • Beth says:

      I'm sure that Shawn Camp is not really as bad as he seemed to be in 2007 -- if he were consistently that bad he would not be in the majors. But just his presence makes me cringe -- the hangdog look, the prominent ears...his "walk on" music was "Sweet Home Alabama" and I still can't hear that song without feeling an inexplicable sense of defeat. So may feeling of despair when pitched three hitless innings -- my sense that this was some new low in offensive production -- might not be logical, but it's inescapable.

  3. Sam A says:

    I'm going to commit and act of sacrilege and say that I don't think Pena is playing like an allstar right now. The HRs and BBs are nice, but the Ks and BA are poor and his defense has been subpar.

    • Beth says:

      Sam A, I would not admit this to my best friend...but I agree. I love the guy, but this is not his all-star season. He's hitting .230, and even his defense has deteriorated. Yes, he does make some spectacular plays at first, but he had 2 errors all of last year -- he's got around 6 - 8 so far this year!

    • Per a discussion this morning on Twitter...I also think it is strange that Rays are pushing so hard for Pena when his own manager didn't think he was worthy.

      But to play Devil's advocate: He leads AL in HR, has a .360 OBP and an .890 OPS. He also leads all MLB in good-guyness. He has oodles of it! And it would be pretty cool, if for just 1 inning, all 4 Rays infielders were on field at same time in St. Louis.

      • Jim says:

        I think Maddon probably thought about the uproar if he had chosen that many Rays, and that's why Pena was left off. This year, he is definitely not as deserving as the other All Stars.

        As for all four IFs playing at the same time, Longo is starting while the others are reserves, so I doubt that would happen.

        • Maddon did help 6 Red Sox to make the team so I am sure the uproar would have been minimal. Besides, 5 is scarce compared to what Joe Torre used to do with the Yankees. As for the 4 infielders...yes, it would be unlikely but it would not be impossible. Nothing says Maddon has to take out all the starters in same inning.

      • Sam A says:

        I would LOVE to see the All-Star-Rays infield. I'm not really a big ASG fan and this would make it all worthwhile.

        Pena is sixth in OPS among AL firstbasemen. Really not that impressive when taken together with his struggles on D.

      • This is exactly the reason Pena won't make the All-Star team. Local fans are on the bubble, so he won't get the national vote either. Pena had the chance on Sunday night to show the country he belonged. He didn't. So, he'll be relaxing in St. Pete during the break.

      • Wally Pipp says:

        With three first basemen already on the All-Star roster, it's tough to pick another one. I think that's why Maddon didn't select Pena and why he probably prefers someone with more positional flexibility like Figgins or Inge.

        I think that if Teixeira didn't get voted in by the fans, he wouldn't be in the All-Star game. That being said, I feel Russell Branyan is more worthy of an All-Star slot than either Tex or Pena at 1B.

        Agree that Pena is tops on the likability scale.

  4. Wally Pipp says:

    I've been pulling for Burrell all season, hoping for a moment like this where he can prove his worth. It's been tough, but hopefully this is a turning point.

    But his demeanor while circling the bases, jumping into the pile, and in the post-game interview put me off a bit. He seemed absolutely grumpy. Is that how he normally is?

    C'mon, Pat. Enjoy the moment. Celebrate. Smile a bit.

    • Beth says:

      He could be a grump, or he could be hugely depressed about how poorly he's performed, and recognize that this home run hardly makes up for 3 bad months. We fans can sit back and take potshots at him and his large contract, but I'm sure this kind of floundering takes its personal toll. Imagine you had royally screwed up at work for half a year, hurting your co-workers and putting your company in jeopardy. Unless you were without conscience, wouldn't you be a tad down? I'd be more concerned if he were celebrating as though this 1 lousy home run had wiped away all the earlier failures!

    • Gus says:

      Maybe he's grumpy because of the heat he takes on Rays Index? After he flied out in his prior at bat, the Rays broadcast had an interesting shot of somebody (I didn't recognize the person; may have been a ball boy)consoling him in the dugout with a pat on the leg like he was a little leaguer pouting about striking out. But good for him to come through, and maybe this will be the start of one of his streaks (I doubt it, but sure hope so).

      Topkin's chat again mentioned his gut feeling that CC gets shopped this off-season because of money. To keep Pat at $9M and lose CC at $10M, the greatest Ray ever with many good years left, would be an outright travesty. If money is really that tight, they need Pat to get hot in July, blame his first half on injury and DHing, and trade him back to the NL before August 1, even if they have to eat some of the 2010 salary. But he needs to do his part first.


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