Stephen Vogt (By Nick Martinez, Charlotte Stone Crabs)

click above image for boxscore

Image at right is of Stephen Vogt during game 2 of the FSL playoffs (photo by Nick Martinez, Charlotte Stone Crabs)

THE GOOD: BJ Upton. His 3-run home run that gave the Rays a 4-0 lead should have been good enough. It wasn’t.

THE BAD: Matt Garza. His offense staked him to a 4-0 lead in the 2nd inning. That should have been game over for a pitcher like Garza. But we don’t call him The Garza Complex for nothing. He immediately gave back 2 runs on an Adrian Beltre home run and then the next inning, the lead was gone after 2 solo home runs. And then, after the Rays took the lead back, 5-4, he gave up another solo home run. In all, he gave up 4 home runs, and 6 runs total. He struck out only 1 batter.

THE TELLING: Monday’s matchup at the Trop will feature David Price going against CC Sabathia in a battle of two Cy Young frontrunners.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 84-55, 2.5 games behind the Yankees in the East and 6.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card (7 in the loss column). After 139 games in 2008, the Rays were 85-54.


  • Matt Garza on his home run derby performance (Video). [The Heater]
  • Jeremy Hellickson picked up his second minor league player-of-the-year award. This one from USA Today. [USA Today]
  • David Price and Rafael Soriano are #2 and #3 in the Cy Young predictor. [ESPN]
  • David Ortiz on where Carl Crawford will play next season: “The Yankees…That’s the team that’s going to pay him. Either the Yankees or Anaheim.” [Fox Sports]
  • Joe Maddon says Jeremy Hellickson’s recent struggles are the result of not getting enough work. [St. Pete Times]


  • Check out Rays Prospects for boxscores and more detailed recaps. [Rays Prospects]
  • Louisville 8, DURHAM 4 (L’ville leads 1-0, best-of-5): Richard de los Santos was pounded for 7 runs in 5 innings on 8 hits and 3 walks. The big blow was a 3-run home run in the 6th inning that put the game out of reach…Leslie Anderson drove in 3, including a 2-run home run.
  • CHARLOTTE 10, Bradenton 2 (Series tied 1-1, best-of-3): Joe Cruz (2007-30) was the game 1 starter and he struck out 7 while walking only 1. He allowed 2 runs on 7 hits in 6.2 innings…Stephen Vogt (2007-12) had 2 doubles and drove in 3 runs…Tim Beckham (2008-1) went 2-3 with a triple, walk and an RBI.




  1. Kelley says:

    After last night, I have to admit I'm a little worried about the postseason. Garza is the one other pitcher besides Price I had a lot of confidence in, and now I'm afraid if we even make it to the playoffs, what if we don't get that far and lose in the 1st round?

    I'm not trying to be negative but I'm just a worrier and I'm definitely worried after last night's game. Hope someone can make me feel better..

  2. Mike says:

    Big Pop-up said that, not David Price.

  3. Sarah says:

    Garza was just awful (and if you were listening on the radio, Andy and Dave called it -- even in the first inning, when he retired the side on 10 pitches, they noticed that he was taking a lot of time between pitches, and they said that is usually a bad sign for Matt). Just as Neimann was awful two days earlier. These things happen.

    But do the Rays really have no one who can come in midway through a game and get a few outs?

    You'd think expanded rosters would be a plus, especially in exactly this sort of situation -- needing to plug a few unexpected innings when your starter gets pulled early. But it seems as though the Rays have really struggled since expanding the rosters -- rather than taking advantage of those extra resources, the Rays just don't seem to know what do to with all these guys.

  4. MJ says:

    Would it kill garza to throw a couple changeups or curve balls? The only strikeout he had was Drew looking on a change. I don't know what they expect to happen when they throw 3-2 fastballs repeatedly to Papi and fastball after fastball to beltre when everyone knows he is just trying to hit over or through the monster. Maybe garza and co are too stubborn not to change the "pound the zone" philosophy. I guess the performance against Baltimore and the pitch selection they used went unnoticed. Maybe garza thinks he is David price and he can just blow fastballs by people. Idk, he just didn't look like a pitcher last night.

  5. Tom says:

    I wonder if the Rays would be better off keeping Price on 4 Days rest and having him start on Sunday against the Blue Jays. The Jays offence crushes Righties but is below average against lefties. The drawback, and it is a significant drawback, is they would not be able to use their ace in the yankees series. They may be better served, though, focusing on the wild card.

    Does anyone remember the last time Benoit or Soriano pitched? I know they have not had many opportunities where they need the set up man or closer but these guys are going to get rusty.

  6. sunrisejeff says:

    Pitching matchups in this Toronto series are definetly not what I really wanted to see.....Shields, Price and Davis are all subject to give up the long ball lately. Loving that Price vs CC matchup to start the Yankees series.....I have a feeling whoever can come out and look dominant in that matchup will put themselves in a good position to win the Cy.

  7. Hey... I'm having a bit of problem with the way your site is displaying. For some reason the text block is getting mixed with the edge. I don't know if it's just me or have you heard this from other ppl? Just wanted to let you know in case you've been making changes. Thanks! Dayle Kaelker

  8. Gus says:

    Site looks fine, but how about a spot start for Hellickson against the Jays on Sunday? If he needs work, there is the opportunity. Neiman in that spot doesn't sound promising.

    • Sarah says:

      Yeah, although I really understand the organization's desire to restrict Hellickson's innings, I don't agree with their very firm stand against a spot start for him. Look, you've got a struggling Neimann -- we're not giving up on him, but could it hurt for him to skip a start, throw a simulated game, and get back into things? You've got Hellickson not adjusting quickly to the bullpen. And you're still in a pennant race. Why not have him start, hold him to 100 pitches, and have him sit for a while before his next relief appearance?

      • KillaTapes says:

        I totally agree. While I feel they're playing for the Wild Card (unless they sweep the Yanks which is improbable regardless of who their rotation is), I definitely think Neimann needs to be able to step back and figure things out. And it would probably be a good thing for Hellickson to get a start since relief has not treated him too well.


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