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: Wade Davis. Big Dub dominated the Rangers for 5 innings. But of his 94 pitches, none were bigger than the 0-2 fastball and the 1-2 slider to Vlad Guererro with the bases loaded and 2 outs in the 5th. The fastball stood Vlad up. And the slider was picture-perfect. Couldn’t go in the dirt with runner on third, but got it far enough away that Vlad couldn’t hit it…Tiger-Cycle. Carlos Pena is officially awake and saucy. In one 4 AB stretch over the last 2 games, he hit for the cycle…Evan Longoria. You can tell his quad is still bothering him as he cringes every time he runs. But his bat is finally coming around. Two doubles and a home run yesterday. It is an old cliche, but the Rays’ offense is night-and-day depending on how well Pena and Longoria are doing…Sweet Glovin’ Matty Joyce. While Nelson Cruz has struggled in RF for the Rangers, Matt Joyce looked perfectly comfortable in the shadows. And none of his plays were bigger than the diving grab he made with no outs in the 5th and a runner on first. That killed what could have been a huge rally.

THE BAD: Nelson Cruz. Of course you don’t want Josh Hamilton or Vlad Guerrero beating you, but this Nelson Cruz fella is really starting to annoy us. His solo HR in the 5th was his third home run of the series.

THE TELLING: In 4 games, Joe Maddon has used 15 different starters in his lineup. Amazing considering there are only 14 on the roster (Rocco Baldelli started game 1). That’s just JoeMa being JoeMa…Carl Crawford grounded into just his 3rd double-play of the year. Sure he is fast, but CC is left-handed, hits a lot of groundballs and usually hits the ball hard. So only 3 GIDPs is pretty awesome.

WHERE THEY STAND: The Rangers and Rays are tied 2-2 in the best-of-5 ALDS. Game 5 is Tuesday at 8:07pm.


  • Yesterday we linked to a piece that reported Rafael Soriano flipped out on a reporter for getting Soriano’s name wrong. Turns out that Soriano and the reporter were just “joking around.” [Bright House Sports]
  • Carlos Pena talks about evening the series (Video). [The Heater]
  • Carl Crawford got into a heated conversation with the homeplate umpire when the umpire told CC to get back in the batters box. [St. Pete Times]
  • Carl Crawford on re-signing with the Rays this winter: “You always keep that little ounce of hope.” [Twitter]
  • Jon Heyman says the Rays are hoping to re-sign Carlos Pena this winter. [MLB Trade Rumors]
  • Did you miss the Bucs huge win yesterday? Joe has the highlights. [Joe Bucs Fans]
  • Gary Shelton writes about how Evan Longoria’s play has put his leadership on display. [St. Pete Times]
  • Josh Hamilton has struggled against Rays pitches. [St. Pete Times]




  1. Kelley says:

    What a game! I feel like the momentum is still with the Rays and they have a good chance tomorrow night!! I can't wait to be there when they move onto the ALCS!

  2. John says:

    "They" say that momentum is tomorrow's starting pitcher. I have two words for "them":

    David Price.

  3. sunrisejeff says:

    You couldn't have asked for a better series that will end in Price vs Lee 2. Really hope Price can mix in his second and third pitches this time because you can just not force your fastball on these Rangers no matter how good it is. Lee is hittable.....we saw that the first game. Just need to get those RISP around this time. Go Rays!!!!

  4. Gus says:

    As Joe spends his off day going through his charts and graphs and swing planes, I just ask the following of him. Continue to go with the team that is your best players. Don't fear the other guy. Yes, be aware of the match ups. But is Jaso's v. Lee any worse that Shoppach v. Lee? If it is close, then you must go with Jaso. Same for Joyce v. S-Rod for the RF-2b non-Zobrist slot. DH is tough, but it does seem Dan Johnson is hitting lefties better than righties in his small sample size this year, and he seems to give you quality at bats. But maybe Aybar is better there. Keep Upton at the bottom of the order. Try to keep what was working in Texas working.

    Sheffield fits the pattern of all the other steroid cheats -- why would you ever take a chance on him this late in his career, because you don't know what is real and what isn't. Plus he's a jerk. Don't seem him being too down with the Brayser and a young team. And if you wanted an "old boy network" guy, you don't pick on the guy who is sick. Gabe Kapler and Troy Percival --- those might be examples of personal connections. Rocco is a special case.

  5. Don says:

    W. Davis has the mentallity to make it in the big time!
    I felt very comfortable in him coming out and NOT letting the pressure bother him...I can't say the same for
    Shields (exp. 2/3 starts 2010) Garza (50% of time) and Price (1st game of series)....But
    Now Price has something to prove...time to put up (Mr. mouth)..I think he will hold Tex to 1/2 runs...probably a Rays hitters put up a 3/4/5 spot...Price will beat Tex....Price/hitters your on TUE. NIGHT

  6. Don says:

    Oh I forgot..WE were laughing yesterday when Sorriano came in ....
    How would you like to see a staring match between W. Davis and Sorriano...Who would win?
    THe Florida redneck or the 300 lb Bear?
    I know who won in Canada!


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