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: The Cobra. Upton has a great glove. He also has a great arm. Unfortunately, most teams know this and won’t test it, so we rarely get to see it in action. But in the 5th, in a tie game, with a runner on and 1 out, Alex Avila wandered off first base on a line drive to center and Upton unleashed The Cobra. Oh so quick. Oh so deadly. Double-play.

THE BAD: Evrything Else. Jeremy Hellickson wasn’t terrible. He retired 12 of the first 14 he faced. But a leadoff home run by a rookie in the 5th, followed by back-to-back 2-out hits in the 6th, and all of a sudden, the Rays were down 2-1. And when Juan Cruz came in, it was game over. The four batters he faced went walk-double-walk-single, leading to 4 runs…Felipe Lopez. Admit it. You thought we would never see him in a Rays uni again. And yet, here we were 3 weeks later, and he is starting at first base. Ugh…Kelly Shoppach. 0-2 and he is now hitting .167. Worse than that was the play he made on the 2-out single to right field in the 6th. Matt Joyce’s throw beat the runner, but was a couple of steps up the third base line. Shoppach took a horrible angle fielding the throw, allowing the go-ahead run to go around him easily.

THE TELLING: The Rays have lost 7 of their last 10…Elliot Johnson was pulled from the game with a sore knee after being caught stealing. MRI was negative, but he is expected to miss a couple of games…Kyle Lobstein was named the FSL (single-A) pitcher of the week and Felipe Lopez was named the IL (triple-A) hitter of the week…Andy Sonnanstine is expected to make his 4th start on Wednesday. *Gulp*


  • Lee Singer compares the changeups of James Shields and Felix Hernandez. [ESPN]
  • We asked it yesterday, and Eric Karabell and Mark Simon discussed James Shields’ Cy Young candidacy on the “Baseball Today” podcast. Which, if you are into podcasts, “Baseball Today” should be a must-listen for you everyday. [ESPN]
  • Well, if you can’t think of anything witty or original to say, perpetuate the stereotype. [Deadspin]
  • Will all the good prospects be gone by the time the Rays pick in the upcoming draft? [Rays Prospects]
  • Are there similarities between Jose Bautista and Ben Zobrist that might help us predict late-blooming power? [Fangraphs]
  • Of the worse positions (in terms of production) among winning teams, the Rays have three positions on the list. [ESPN]
  • We kinda want to toss these guys the keys to our jeep so they can park it. [The Heater]
  • A little background on Brandon Guyer. [Minor League Ball]
  • Here is a review of Charlotte Sports Park. [Claw Digest]
  • Sean Burroughs is back in the majors after being out of baseball for a long time. [ESPN]


  • Columbus 3, DURHAM 2: Alex Cobb continues to look like a decent alternative for the fifth spot in the Rays rotation. He allowed just 2 unearned runs in 6 innings, striking out 5 and walking none. His ERA is now 1.14…C Robinson Chirinos, possibly sensing how much the Rays need a catcher, hit his first home run of the season. He does have his average up to .241, which considering where it was, is pretty good…CF Desmond Jennings was 0-4 and is hitting .273.
  • Huntsville 5, MONTGOMERY 2: Shane Dyer allowed 2 runs in 5.2 innings, striking out 4 and walking 1…LF Stephen Vogt was 1-3 with a walk as the Biscuits managed just 5 hits…SS Tim Beckham did not play.
  • CHARLOTTE 6, Dunedin 0: Merrill Kelly made his first start in 10 days, working 2 scoreless innings, striking out 4…SS Hak-Ju Lee was 2-5 with a double and his 12th stolen base.
  • Lansing 12, BOWLING GREEN 7: Braulio Lara continues to struggle, giving up 8 runs in 4.1 innings. His ERA is now 5.73…SS Derek Dietrich was 2-5 and DH Robby Price had 2 hits and a 2 walks.




  1. Beth says:

    I think those of us who are forced to watch Kelly Shoppach flail with his bat deserve some kind of special hardship pay.

    But Cork, putting Hellickson in "the bad?" That's a little harsh. He was actually fairly effective, if not dominating -- if the Rays hitters had capitalized on any of their early opportunities, and if Shoppach had made the out at home, Hellickson would have had a W and he'd be in "the good."

    • Cork Gaines says:

      Maybe I could have split it up. He was definitely good early on. But he also seemed to unravel when it was apparent the offense was struggling.

      • werD says:

        we gave guyer his weekend in the bigs, why cant we do the same with Lobaton?

        i mean, you gotta figure one of these AAA guys can upgrade the line up, and smack a solid .225 ....

  2. Don says:

    Alot of ML catchers are doing this now adays...but Rays catchers insist on taking throws to home in Front of the plate... then they have to turn to tag the runners...
    runners are just sliding to the out side to avoid tag...
    back in the day we were behind the plate or sitting right on it...I guess catchers don't want anyone running over them ala pete Rose and will give up the run if necessary!
    Hellboy did his job.. would have been easier IF RAYS score early off a nobody...Maddon gets his wish tonight for the best (pitchers) see how his big hitters do....

  3. Hal says:

    How is Lobaton's D? Shoppach just gives us nothing.

  4. Des from Durham says:

    Last night's line-up had Fuld, Shoppach, Lopez and Elliot Johnson. Durham is better than that.
    Johnson is the human rally killer with another brain-dead caught stealing (2 days in a row). He needs to be in the "BAD".

    • Beth says:

      Yes, there were cries of "what is he doing?" in our living room when Johnson tried to steal third there. And that he managed to get injured in the deal just makes it more frustrating.

      • Tom says:

        I thought he got a great jump, Aviles made an excellent throw and Inge made a great tag. I think sometimes you just need to give the other team credit for a nice play. It was a good risk, if he had made it you have a runner on third with less than 2 out in a tie game.

        • Des from Durham says:

          He was out by 2 feet. Just like he was out by 4 feet the day before (and hammered by Maddon -- who never hammers ANYBODY -- for being a blockhead -- "we have to be safe there"). Moreover, Upton was at the plate -- not exactly a reliable contact hitter anyway, so the 90 feet wasn't huge (Upton, in fact, struck out to end the inning). By hurting himself in the clumsy slide, he may have played his way out of a starting job.

  5. Joe says:

    Couldn't lose this one and the way we did is so damn annoying.

    Now we face Verlander then come back and give Sonny another chance. Let's see if we find a way to avoid a sweep now.

  6. werD says:

    Maddon said RHP Andy Sonnanstine is locked in to make his fourth start in place of injured RHP Jeff Niemann on Wednesday, and Maddon hopes a talk about Sonnanstine's previous success, specifically his 13-win 2008 season, helps. "I just wanted to remind him of some things he's gotten away from, and he concurred," Maddon said. "So we'll see how it works out on Wednesday."

    CORK!!! you have got to be hit uck kidding me!!! Maddon SUDDENLY decides that all Sonny needed to be successful, after going 0-3, was someone to remind him of THREE EFFING YEARS AGO!?!?!?

    serioulsy, that paragraph makes my head want to explode, for sooooooo many different reasons...

    • Cork Gaines says:

      That was kinda funny in the if-I-ignore-the-pain sorta way. It just reeks of Maddon being out of ideas. It's not like Maddon and Hickey will suddenly figure out how to get Sonny to throw a fastball.

  7. Alex says:

    Bj hasn't had a good arm for years. Every time he shows off his arm the ball ends up half way up the third base line. He has a strong arm. Accuracy is out of the question.

    • Hal says:

      Yes. He has no idea where the ball is going OR where he should go with the ball most of the time.

  8. Mark says:

    New team rule ...any player with 100 plus at bats that is not hitting Reid Brignac's weight is sent to Durham. I believe that would include Shoppach and Brignac and maybe a couple of more.


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