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: Maddonology 101. Shaun Marcum is a right-hander, but Joe Maddon calls him a lefty in disguise. So JoeMa loaded his lineup with right-handed bats and even had Kelly Shoppach batting clean-up. The result? Righties went 9-13 versus Marcum and lefties went 1-7…Top O’ The Order To Ya. The Rays starting 1-6 hitters were a combined 12-23…Yep, Sauciness. Carlos Pena hit another home run, his 4th in 3 days. Think about how good this team could be if Pena was actually mashing on a consistent basis. Yep. This could get fun…Sean Rodriguez. With a 3-4 showing last night, Rodzilla now has a 10-game hitting streak. Over that span, he is 14-34 (.412) and has raised his average from .197 to .264. OK, maybe we’ll keep him…BJ Upton. Last night he was on base 3 more times. And as a leadoff hitter this season, he has been on base 12 times in 25 plate appearances (.480)…Evan Longoria. We don’t put Dirtbag in this category nearly often enough. It is as though we just expect him to be great (that’s not necessarily a bad thing). Last night he had 3 hits to raise his season average to .326. And his double-play to end the 5th inning (above) was a thing a of beauty…David Price. King David is now 5-0 with a 2.09 ERA in 6 career starts versus the Blue Jays. Last night he did have to fight through some jams. Price did not have a 1-2-3 all night and in the 4th he loaded the bases with 1 out. He got out of it with a strikeout and a broken bat grounder.

THE BAD: Scoring. The Blue Jays were averaging 5.2 runs per game prior to this series. Rays pitchers have allowed the Blue Jays to score 1 run in the first two games. How is this bad for the Rays? It is not. But it is for the Jays and that’s all we got today.

THE TELLING: Last night’s attendance was 15,886…David Price leads the AL in wins (9) and ERA (2.23). According to JB Long of Bay9News, Price is the youngest player to lead both categories this late in the season in 23 years (Bret Saberhagen, ’87). Any chance Joe Girardi will pick King David to start the all-star game over Phil Hughes? Yeah, we didn’t think so either…David Price is on pace to win 25 games…Carlos Pena’s home run was his 128th as a Ray, tying Aubrey Huff’s franchise record.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 39-20, 2 games ahead of the Yankees and 5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. After 59 games in 2008, the Rays were 35-24.


  • David Price talks about last night’s start (video). [The Heater]
  • Joe Smith writes about the adjustments that Sean Rodriguez has made working with Derek Shelton. [St. Pete Times]
  • The man with the magical graphs, one of our favorites, Ricky Zanker made his debut (we think) with The Hardball Times. Take a look at the graph for Carlos Pena. Your eyes do not deceive you. All of his hits are either down the right field line or to the opposite field. [The Hardball Times]
  • Yesterday we told you about Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis and their fishing trip. Here is a video excerpt…But what we want to know is: what is up with the guys hiding their faces? It is kinda creepin’ us out. Why are they wearing masks? Were they burned by acid or something? Did they tell their wives they were on a business trip? [FS Florida]
  • If you are going to put together a tourism brochure for the Bay Area, it would help if you could at least get the name of the baseball team correct. [Tampa Tribune]
  • It has already been deleted, but here is a strange one for you to ponder: “Is it possible that Joe Maddon brought a steroid culture with him to the Rays?” [Yahoo! Answers]
  • One writer gave the Rays an A+ for their draft (thanks Connie). [Bleacher Report]


  • Check out “The Rundown” from Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • DURHAM: Jeremy Hellickson struck out 8, but was pulled after just 4.2 innings with 101 pitches. He gave up 3 runs, including a solo home run, on 7 hits and 2 walks…Matt Joyce was 2-3 with 2 walks…Desmond Jennings did not play.
  • MONTGOMERY: Alex Cobb improved to 2-1 with a 1.45 ERA in 6 starts. He threw 6.2 shutout innings, striking out 6 and walking none. He gave up just 3 hits…Matt Sweeney went 2-3 with a double.
  • CHARLOTTE: Shane Dyer gave up 3 runs (2 earned) in 6 innings in game 1…Chris Andujar improved to 5-1 with 5 innings and 2 runs allowed…Tim Beckham was 1-6 with 2 strikeouts in the double-header.
  • BOWLING GREEN: Kyle Lobstein struck out 5 and walked 5 in 4.2 innings. He allowed 3 runs (1 earned) and just 1 hit in the first game…Alex Colome was touched for 4 runs in 6 innings. He struck out 4 and walked 2 during game 2.




  1. Bob says:

    Watch attendance begin to creep up now that summer starts this week for the kids. This is a family driven market in large part, and that impacts attendance. Not sure why people don't get that....

  2. cmshannon says:

    Professor, possible Maddon orchestrated the Marcum Scheme to persuade Navi to quit switch-hitting?

  3. Matt says:

    That sucks to think Hughes would start over Price but I guess that's whats good about a starting manager. Zobrist wouldn't have made it last year w/o Maddon

  4. Connie says:

    Can someone explain how Marcum pitches like a lefty?

    Also, is this indication that Sean needs to play everyday instead of sporadically like he did during his slump? Or just a function of him working on his swing?

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Marcum's 3 biggest pitches are the 4-seem fastball, the 2-seem fastball and the changeup. All 3 pitches break in towards a right-hander (away from a lefty), especially the changeup and 2-seemer. So those pitches are tailing into the areas of strength for a right-hander (inside half of the plate) and away from the areas of strength for a lefty (outside of plate).

      If you can, go back and watch Crawford's single last night. sure he got a hit, but it was an ugly swing. His ass was practically in the dugout as he was a little fooled and kinda poked the ball back up the middle. It was the exact same swing you would see from Crawford if he got fooled by a tough lefty.

      • MJ says:

        I do remember him throwing a cutter type pitch often the last couple of games he threw against us.

      • Connie says:

        Thanks for the explanation. That makes so much sense...why didn't anyone think of this before? 🙂

  5. Hal says:

    There's going to be some really tough choices to make when JB comes off the DL. Is it automatic that Navi goes down? How do you show Brignac or Rodzilla the bench right now? How can you justify taking BJ out of the leadoff spot (he's like a real baseball player all of a sudden)? Thank you Gabe, it's been nice and all, but....................

  6. Michael says:

    Here's a link to some stat-nerd calling Joe Maddon an idiot when he stacked righties against Marcum in Toronto:

    I tried posting a comment over there this morning asking if we'd see a follow up to this brilliant piece after last night but they wouldn't publish the comment. I wonder why?

  7. Tone says:

    Pena's defense works so well with the rest of this amazing infield. Hope there is some way to keep him at a cheaper rate. There is no way they can keep Carl from those damned Yankees. I love when they get hits early, smooth fun games the last 2 nights. This team looks great right now, hope they can keep some of that going for a while. Price looked really wild last night, could have been brutal with an early base hit. Davis needs to step up, he has not impressed me since the Yankee game. Winning is so good, will be down there for the Indians series.


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