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: Carl Crawford. While it looked like CC was pressing against the Yankees last week, he finally had a typical all-around great game in a big game. Two hits, including his 16th home run and he stole 2 bases…Rain Delay Depth. With a 2-hour rain delay, both starting pitchers were pulled in the 3rd inning. While the Yankees had to go with a guy who hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since 2008, the Rays were able to counter with Jeremy Hellickson who gave Joe Maddon 3.1 strong innings. Hellboy did give up 2 runs (1 can be blamed on Navarro, see below) but he also struck out 5 and got 9 swinging strikes of his 54 pitches (16.7%). That is very good. And he showed how dominating his changeup can be by getting 5 swinging strikes on that pitch alone (out of 16 changeups).

THE BAD: Dioner Navarro. Navi is the Rays best defensive catcher. But if he has a fault behind the plate it is that he sometimes falls asleep or gets lazy. In the 6th with the score 3-1 and Derek Jeter on first base, Jeremy Hellickson threw a 58-foot curveball and Navi made a half-arsed attempt to block it. The pitch got away, Jeter advanced to second and would eventually score on a single.

THE TELLING: The Rays magic number to clinch a playoff spot is now 5…Carlos Pena and BJ Upton were not in the lineup…Tonight is David Price versus CC Sabathia, round 2.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rays are 90-61, 1.5 games behind the Yankees and 6.5 games ahead of the Red Sox. After 151 games in 2008, the Rays were 90-61.


  • Don’t forget to check out our “Postgame Shot of Joe” for immediate reaction to that night’s game. [Postgame Shot of Joe]
  • Jeremy Hellickson talks about his rain delay relief work (Video). [The Heater]
  • Joe Maddon said BJ Upton needed some rest and Carlos Pena needed to “try to rearrange how he’s thinking.” [St. Pete Times]
  • John Romano wonders if Carlos Pena’s spot on the bench will become more permanent. [St. Pete Times]
  • The Wall Street Journal on “DJ Kitty”: “You’re so much better than this, Rays”. We couldn’t agree more. Is DJ Kitty cute? Sure. Does DJ Kitty want us to get loud and rally the Rays to victory? Um, no. Now, maybe if it was “DJ Doberman” or even “DJ Jonny Gomes” we might get excited. But not for a kitty. Even the Rally Monkey is laughing at the Rays. [Wall Street Journal]
  • The sheriff’s deputy we told you about earlier this week, who was kicked out of The Trop for refusing to turn his shirt inside-out, has been banned from The Trop for life. [Tampa Tribune]
  • Jon Heyman, a baseball exec. and 2 agents take a stab at how much Carl Crawford will make in free agency. The guesses range from $96 for 6 years to 126M for 7 years. We don’t see Crawford getting more than $105M for 7 years. []
  • Tim Kurkjian writes about how David Price transformerd into a legit Ace. [ESPN]
  • finally found a Rays blogger for their Sweetspot Network. [The Ray Area]
  • Former Devil Ray Jose Canseco and his twin brother are going to host a home run derby. [Rays Rev]




  1. I'd like DJ Kitty more if there was some sort of storyline to him. Maybe a backstory.
    I blame Cowbell Kid. If he showed up more, we wouldn't need a gimmick. But alas ...

  2. sunrisejeff says:

    Big win for us that really showed our depth in the bullpen. Amazing how different Hell Boy looks when he is playing the "starter" roll rather than relief.

  3. Don says:

    Now the ball is in Maddon's hands...If he doesn't realize this is a different hitting team WITHOUT Pena/Upton....
    He is beyond help...With Johnson, Brig.,Jaso, Zo (in out field) there is 8/9 hitters in the line up...with Pena/Upton/
    Navarro/Shopp there are 3 blanks hitting and we CAN NOT beat the Yankees that way..
    Now Maddon what are you going to DO?

  4. The BIZ says:

    Some guy on the radio just said he is going down to the trop at 10:30 with his lawyer with documentation, that if sternberg agrees to pull the tarp for the playoffs he will buy whatever remaining seats do not sell.

  5. Gus says:

    The Good: Finally using the great depth they have on the roster. Free Rocco!

    The Good II: Jaso and Zobrist at the top of the order looks to have something there. They both take lots of pitches, make the pitcher earn the out, and set the table. Jaso needs to be there every game.

    • Don says:

      Jaso, Zo, CC, Longo...Rays version of murders row....
      guarantee they will score runs that way...
      addition...Dan Johnson 5th..let them pitch around Longo...they will pay!

  6. nward63 says:

    I watched this form UK. Something I noticed was the applause, presumably from Yankee fans, for Crawfords homer. There was a clear booing for Longo and Johnsons home runs. They really think Carl will be in pinstripes next year don't they?


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